Intrigues: The Collegium Chronicles Book Two
Copyright Date: October 2010
The Amazon.com description:
Magpie is a thirteen-year-old orphan chosen by one of the magical Companion horses of Valdemar and taken to the capital city, Haven, to be trained as a Herald. Like all Heralds, Magpie learns that he has a hidden Gift-the Gift of telepathy.This is a book I've been looking forward to reading for a while now. Intrigues is the sequel to Foundation, which came out a couple of years ago. As with most of Mercedes Lackey's books, this is a novel that's well suited to older teens as well as adults. Mags is an interesting and somewhat believable chararacter, but somewhat typical of Mercedes Lackey's writing. He follows the type of Talia especially, but also Skif - rather a cross between them.
But life at the court is not without obstacles. When Mags is "recognized" by foreign secret operatives whose purpose is unknown, Mags himself comes under suspicion. Who are Magpie's parents-who is he, really? Can Mags solve the riddle of his parentage and his connection with the mysterious spies-and prove his loyalty-before the king and court banish him as a traitor?
It's definitely interesting seeing the evolution of the Collegium into the form we know so well from the Heralds of Valdemar trilogy, Take a Thief, the Mage Winds books as well as the Mage Storms. There's also a good look into Healers and Bardic Collegia too, which is neat, given the focus on Heraldic through most of the books.
I have to say that I preferred Intrigues to Foundation in several ways, but mostly that the book didn't seem to come to such an abrupt end, The last book didn't feel resolved in any way, the climax came out of nowhere and ended too suddenly. Intrigues tied up some of those loose ends, but did so a bit more gradually. I found myself quite satisfied with the flow for Intrigues and I'll be reading it again soon. Probably right after re-reading Foundation.
Overall, Intrigues proved itself to be another good read from Mercedes Lackey, and added itself to the world of Valdemar very well, and I really enjoyed the read.