author: Mercedes Lackey
series: Collegium Chronicles #5
published: 1 October 2013
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Mags returns to the Collegium, but there are mixed feelings--his included--about him actually remaining there. No one doubts that he is and should be a Herald, but he is afraid that his mere presence is going to incite more danger right in the heart of Valdemar. The heads of the Collegia are afraid that coming back to his known haunt is going to give him less protection than if he went into hiding. Everyone decides that going elsewhere is the solution for now. So since he is going elsewhere--why not return to the place he was found in the first place and look for clues? And those who are closest to him, and might provide secondary targets, are going along. With Herald Jadrek, Herald Kylan (the Weaponsmaster's chosen successor), and his friends Bear, Lena, and Amily, they head for the Bastion, the hidden spot in the hills that had once been the headquarters of a powerful band of raiders that had held him and his parents prisoner. But what they find is not what anyone expected.
As anyone who knows me has long since discovered, I am a hardcore Mercedes Lackey fan, especially the Valdemar saga. I eagerly read and reread every book, and have for years. And while I know that this series has received some less-than-steller reviews, I have not had any of the issues that others have.
I love Lackey’s fluid writing, the way she draws a reader into the world she’s created in Valdemar. For me, reading her books is an experience, one that is practically spiritual for me. This experience was no different with this novel.
Mags and Amily are among my favorite characters in the saga, and I loved getting so much of them in this book. The murkiness of Mags’ past left him, and readers, with so many questions, and this book answered many of them. Because Mags is so much of a favorite for me, I loved watching his character grow and come into his own. It’s a great end to this series and part of the overall Valdemar saga, and it’s a great lead into the next series.
If you are a fan of Valdemar, it’s a must read. If you are a fan of high fantasy, I suggest starting at the beginning. There’s a great chronological book order list on the Fandom page for Valdemar.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: