The particulars: Fantasy, Daw, available as e-book and in print
The Grade: C
Source: The Library
The Blurb: In Mercedes Lackey’s classic coming-of-age story, the orphan Magpie pursues his quest for his parent’s identity with burning urgency-while also discovering another hidden talent and being trained by the King’s Own Herald as an undercover agent for Valdemar. Shy Bardic Trainee Lena has to face her famous but uncaring father, one of Valdemar’s most renowned Bards. And Healing Trainee Bear must struggle against his disapproving parents, who are pressuring Bear to quit the Healers’ Collegium because he lacks the magical Healing Gift.
Each of the three friends must face his or her demons and find their true strength as they seek to become the full Heralds, Bards, and Healers of Valdemar.
Originally I intended to buy this, but I balked at paying the hardcover price. So when I discovered that the library had it, I decided to borrow it instead. After reading it I am glad I did. This book… it wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t good either. One reason it disappointed me could be that I thought it was the final book in the triology, which meant that I expected more action. Judging from the loose plot threads at the end, I suspect that there is at least one more book in the series. A lot of things happens in the book, both to Mags, Amity, Lena and Bear. One subplot was Mags gradual realization about the kind of Herald he will be, and his wrangling with the ethics of the decisions he has to make. It was fascinating, and one of the things that kept me reading. This book is solely focused on Mags. Must admit that I missed the point of views of his friends, since a lot of the subplots involved them. It would have been nice to follow them too, instead of hearing second hand what had happened to them.
The thing that frustrated me the most is the fact that Mags speak an dialect that is full with invented words. Dialects are one thing that really can turn me off a book. I can understand the reason why he does it, but I don’t like it.
So will I buy it when it is out in paperback? I am not sure. Maybe. And that’s a big Maybe.