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Closer to Home (Valdemar: The Herald Spy) Mass Market Paperback – October 6, 2015
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“Returning to her beloved Valdemar universe, Lackey opens her new series at a pivotal time in the history of Valdemar.... Series fans will enjoy the variations on a familiar theme, while enough information is presented for first-timers to discover a world of high adventure and individual courage. Highly recommended.” —Library Journal
“A real page-turner.... Outstanding characters, especially Mags, will greatly please Valdemar fans.” — Booklist
“An enjoyable and pleasant read.... Mags is an appealing protagonist facing challenges (and successes) with which readers will empathize.” —RT Book Reviews
“An entertaining fantasy starring a likable lead character.” —Midwest Book Reviews
“Top Pick! ... A wonderful amalgam of fantasy and character study.” —Night Owl Reviews
About the Author
- Publisher : DAW; Reissue edition (October 6, 2015)
- Language : English
- Mass Market Paperback : 368 pages
- ISBN-10 : 075640990X
- ISBN-13 : 978-0756409906
- Item Weight : 6.2 ounces
- Dimensions : 4.13 x 0.93 x 6.75 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #593,790 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from the United States
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With regards to the reviews that wanted more big battles, country level conflicts, etc… this book style is consistent with the first books in earlier series like Magic’s Pawn and Arrows of the Queen where the big conflicts usually came later in the series and the first books were almost always building the framework and setting. Another reason, I’ve used the term “classic” in this review.
In closing, it is great to see the author back to her earlier form. I’m not sure what was going on over the last few years with the prior Collegium Chronicles but upon reflection, an author cannot work for as many years as the Valdemar series has been going without having “real life” disruptions intrude and getting derailed for a time. Unfortunately, I know from my background in academic libraries that publishing is a major business with deadlines and contracts that must be met. Whatever the situation was, I’m just really glad it appears to be resolved and that I went ahead ordered this book. I will be waiting impatiently for the next book to come out in a year or so.
Verdict: read other stories in the world of Valdemar, but pretend the ones about Mags don't exist - no need to sully an otherwise great group of stories with this absolute rubbish.
I love Mags’ character so much. And I love his version of being a Herald. The Heralds are people above reproach, literally magically sanctioned people who are the foundation of what works for the Kingdom of Valdemar. And Mags is all of that, but yet still a bit on the shady side. But shady in the name of the greater good. As a Herald-Spy, Mags sometimes operates in the gray areas between the black and the white. In this book, he really comes into his own as he begins to work more and more on his own, expanding his network and finding his own way.
This book is just as much about Amily, too. She’s spent her life a bit in the shadows. This is partly because she’s the daughter of the former King’s Own, the second most important person in the kingdom, and partly because her disability left her too often on the sidelines. But much has happened, both in healing her leg and the unexpected turn of events that left her as the new King’s Own. Overnight, everything has changed for her. Gone is the brown sparrow; now she’s the second most important person in the kingdom.
The story is centered around a plot to undermine, even destroy, the Heralds. It’s up to Mags and Amily to sort through the family feuds, the intrigue, and determine who is responsible for the treachery.
The only thing I don’t love about the story is that Amily, even though she’s now the King’s Own, still stays in the background more often than not. Her father, although simply a Herald now, still often performs the King’s Own duties. There are reasons, but it still irked me from a feminist perspective from time to time!
My recommendation: As all of the Valdemar series, I loved this book. If you love high fantasy, this is a great saga!
Top reviews from other countries
Otherwise, a solid Mercedes Lackey book! Easy to read, especially if you're already familiar with the world, sweet characters and not too predictable about what's going to happen. I did get a confused about all the POV changes sometimes though, especially when it skipped from one character to another character in the same scene and it's not immediately obvious. Off to read the second!