Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Bastion - Mercedes Lackey

Mercedes Lackey
Daw Books
Copyright: October 1, 2013

The product description:
Mags returns to the Collegium, but there are mixed feelings--his included--about him actually remaining there. No one doubts that he is and should be a Herald, but he is afraid that his mere presence is going to incite more danger right in the heart of Valdemar. The heads of the Collegia are afraid that coming back to his known haunt is going to give him less protection than if he went into hiding. Everyone decides that going elsewhere is the solution for now. So since he is going elsewhere--why not return to the place he was found in the first place and look for clues? And those who are closest to him, and might provide secondary targets, are going along. With Herald Jadrek, Herald Kylan (the Weaponsmaster's chosen successor), and his friends Bear, Lena, and Amily, they head for the Bastion, the hidden spot in the hills that had once been the headquarters of a powerful band of raiders that had held him and his parents prisoner. But what they find is not what anyone expected.
Bastion is the fifth book in the Collegium Chronicles series about Mags, following on Redoubt. This is also the newest of the Valdemar series, only having been released on the first of the month. I have to say I was really looking forward to reading this, and I wasn't disappointed.

I started the read yesterday evening, and just finished it a couple of hours ago on the ferry. This was one of those books I couldn't put down easily for the most part. When I wasn't reading it over yesterday and today, I was working on the Goldberry Shawl CAL project, but most of the time, I was reading - even reading in the car, something I don't find I can do very easily any more.

The big thing that surprised me with Bastion was just how much it relies on the previous books in the series. Honestly, within pages of starting the read, I was feeling like I needed to go back and re-read Redoubt and the previous books. It was a near constant stream of "wait a minute, when did this happen again?" and "I know what this reference is to from the Last Herald Mage books or from the Mage Winds trilogy, but how did it tie into the Collegium Chronicles books?". Even so, I really enjoyed the read, though I think I know what my next read is going to be.

I don't know if Bastion is the final book in this series or not - I kind of hope not, but at the same time, it seems like the biggest events in Mags' story may have been tied up. I hope not, as the more I read the series, the more I find the characters growing on me.

I definitely recommend the series, but strongly feel that you need to start with the first book, Foundation, just to get a real understanding of the characters and the structures of Valdemar as it is at the time of this story. There are definitely some significant differences between the Valdemar of Mags' time and the same country as it is in the time of Talia or Elspeth, or even of Lavan or of Vanyel.

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