author: Mercedes Lackey
series: Owl Mage Trilogy #3
published: 2 March 2004
buy/shelve it: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | BookBub | BookHype | Goodreads
Following on from OWLFLIGHT and OWLSIGHT, Our Hero Darian has just passed the tests to become Master Mage of the Vale. He's been made a Knight of Valdemar and a Clanbrother. But a new Herald-Mage is arriving in k'Valdemar, and he's bringing with him his new protege: Shandi, the Healer's sister, who has won her Whites in less than three years and is back looking for adventure . . . The OWLFLIGHT saga is set in the same wonderfully imagined fantasy world as Lackey's previous trilogies and is a story of 'local boy and girl make good against all odds'. The books are packed full of magic, talking horses, hawks, gryphons, lizards and other mythical races, with strong characterisation and a plot that really moves along. Like the previous books, this is lavishly illustrated with Larry Dixon's evocative character portraits.
Owlknight is the final book in both the Owl Mage trilogy and the Valedemar saga as a whole in the chronology. It ends the story of Darian, a mage and adopted Hawkbrother.
When Darian’s parents disappeared, he was a child without any other family. He was thrust upon the “kindness” of the villagers, most of whom made it clear that they saw him both as a burden and as an outlier, just like his parents. They’d disappeared without a trace, and Darian has always wondered what happened to them. Years later, he’s finally in a place where he might be able to find answers.
While I love the book, it isn’t my favorite. It isn’t because the story’s focus is on someone other than a Herald, who are the center of most of the saga. There are others in the longer saga that do that, too, and I love them just as much. I think it was because of the way Darian’s answers came to be. Not the journey to those answers, but the resolution itself. There isn’t much I can say without creating spoilers, but let’s just say that I was underwhelmed.
But I cannot fault the world-building. That is one of the main reasons why I’m obsessed with all things Valdemar. Lackey has created a world that is so easily imagined, and every turn of the page draws me more into it. The writing is so rich and descriptive, and I feel as if I’ve traveled through the novel to the very places the characters are. That is a beautiful thing!
If high fantasy is a favorite genre, this book, and the series, are great reads!