Book Reviews: Mercedes Lackey

No, there was no blog post Saturday. Yes, I’m a terrible blogger. I’m sure after the Great Bathtub Debacle you understand a bit of why I’m so scatterbrained lately, and will excuse one missed post. Also, Hubby has been a COMPLETE computer hog lately so I can’t upload any photos of all the cool stuff I’ve been up to, but it’s for a good reason, so all my complaining is on hold. And you know I love to complain.

While Hubby’s been focusing on work stuff, and my house is being torn apart, I’ve been chillaxin’ with some books from one of my favorite authors. These books are the equivalent of comfort food to me. I know I’ll love them, and they are always relaxing, but compelling.

The first one I read is called “Fortune’s Fool”. Most of the Mercedes Lackey books I’ve read occur in the world of Valdemar. This, however, is from a series called The Five Hundred Kingdoms. I find this universe to be ingenious, because it is set in a place where the Tradition, a sort of magic force, guides the fate of the land. It wants people to live out certain lives and pathways based on fairy tales. This leads to all sorts of interesting problems and storylines. This particular book is based more in Eastern fairy tales, like Russian and Japanese.

The main characters are the seventh daughter of the Sea King, who can live on land or in water, and the seventh son of a monarch. His job is to be the Fool, the character archetype that recurs in several fairy tales. He is inexplicably lucky, and he channels that luck to aid his kingdom. When an evil sorcerer from another kingdom moves into an abandoned castle, the sea princess and the prince have to figure out how to defeat him. It was a great story, and it had several twists and turns in the plot that I didn’t expect.

The next two I read are called “Owlflight” and “Owlsight”, and they are part 1 and 2 of a 3 book series. I have owned Owlsight for years, and I believe I read all 3 books, but I must have gotten the other 2 out of the library or something. When I found Owlflight on clearance, I snatched it up and skipped all the way home (or actually, to the car). These are set in the Valdemar universe. I own almost all the books set in that universe, and I can’t wait to complete the collection.

This set of books centers around Darian. He is a young boy, living on the edge of Valdemar in a small town called Errold’s Grove. His parents vanish, probably killed in the forrest, that has been warped by loose magic. He is then unwillingly apprenticed to the local healer and mage, Justyn. When barbarians attack the town, Darian hides in the woods, and is rescued by the mysterious Hawkbrothers, the guardians of the forrest. It is up to Darian and the small band of scouts to rescue the townsfolk from the barbarians and the mage that guides them.

In the second book, Darian has grown up some, and has been studying magic among the Hawkbrothers. The town of Errold’s Grove is thriving again, but when a new band of barbarians is spotted headed toward the town, the Hawkbrothers band together with the military to prepare. When it is discovered that the barbarian tribe are seeking help for a mysterious illness, the allies have to decide how to handle the situation.

If you have read anything by Mercedes Lackey, all three of these are definitely consistent with her writing style and creativity. On her website, it says that she has written over a hundred books. I have no idea how this lady can be so prolific, and yet so consistently good. On the Clever Chick Scale, these all get a “Has earned a place on my shelf, and will only be loaned out grundgingly, to trust-worthy people, who will be hounded mercilessly until its return”.

This puts me at 25 (or 24.5) books read for the year. I only read half of that terrible Shopaholic book, but I think it rounds up. So an average of one a week? I’m currently bogged down in a couple I started awhile ago, so we’ll see how my average does.

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June 27, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , . Book Reviews.

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