Published by DAW on 6 October 2015
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Mags was a Herald of Valdemar. But he had once lived the brutal life of a child slave. When he was Chosen by his Companion Dallen, his young life was saved, and he slowly adjusted to being well fed, educated, and treasured as a trainee in the Herald's Collegium at Haven. Singled out by the King's Own Herald, Mags would thrive in his secret training as a spy. His unusually strong Gift—an ability to Mindspeak and Mindhear anyone, not just others who were Gifted—made him a perfect undercover agent for the king.
Sequel to Mercedes Lackey's Closer to Home, this adventure continues Mags's journey as Valdemar's herald spy.
Closer to the Heart is the second book in The Herald-Spy trilogy, a sequel series to The Collegium Chronicles series in the Valdemar saga.
This is really a book of growth for both Mags and Amily as they navigate their still new roles as Heralds. And, of course, there is no end to the conflict and intrigue they need to work through! I love the way Lackey handles conflict in these books. Yes, there is the overall conflict within the plot, but there is always some kind of moral conflict as well.
For the storyline, there is the discovered existence of a rebel faction, weapons being siphoned away in a futile attempt to overthrow Valdemar. Personally, there is the moral issue of excess. Mags is hyper aware of how little some people have, after his time as a mine slave. There are so many, even in Haven, with so little, and it has become his mission to help alleviate that whenever he can.
Amily, too, is continuing to grow. Learning from her father and Mags, she has begun to create her own network of eyes and ears, those of the Handmaidens to the nobles of Haven.
All in all, I love this addtion to the Valdemar saga!