Top critical review
Pretend It Does Not Exist
Reviewed in the United States on June 24, 2021
I have never had to quit a Lackey book out of boredom before.
There are no companions in this book. There are no refugees fleeing. There is a coordinated, well-stocked escape, but at 48% into the book, nothing substantial has happened.
I peeked at the end. This entire book is basically a long way to explain the history of the virondi with preachy lessons on bodily autonomy and kindness.
On the way, the book will be filled with horses giving birth in detail, old men being cranky, how to train a foal to bear weight, repetitive calls for subterfuge, proof that cats like chasing mice, and proof that most folks like fresh bread (I wish this list was sarcastic).
Also, Valdemeer got reinvented. It is not homophobic and is diverse now, so Vanyel’s family 750 years later are apparently aliens. Kordas and company are described as if they were within 3 generations of Vanyel, and the details in this book do not match the rest of the series.
So, if you are looking for a founding story to explain the companions, how one is chosen, etc., know that none of that information is here.
This book is so bad that it highlights how Lackey cannot compare with many of the new authors who are finally being published.