Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Owlflight - Mercedes Lackey

Owlflight - Mercedes LackeyOwlflight
Mercedes Lackey
DAW Books
Copyright: 1998

The product description:

Apprenticed to a venerable wizard when his hunter and trapper parents disappear into the forest never to be seen again, Darian is difficult and strong willed--much to the dismay of his kindly master. But a sudden twist of fate will change his life forever, when the ransacking of his village forces him to flee into the great mystical forest. It is here in the dark forest that he meets his destiny, as the terrifying and mysterious Hawkpeople lead him on the path to maturity. Now they must lead the assault on his besieged home in a desperate attempt to save his people from certain death!
The first book I can claim for this year's Valdemar Reading Challenge, and also the first time I've reviewed this book on All Booked Up although I've read it more than a few times now.

Owlflight is in many ways a typical Mercedes Lackey Valdemar novel. You can almost tick off the points - at least at first glance. Suitable for both the YA audience and adults, she writes a downright captivating story in my mind. You've got the young, unhappy protagonist here, but from that point on, things do take a different route. This set of books (Owlflight, Owlsight and Owlknight) is the first set within Valdemar where it's ordinary people who take the center stage. Yes, I know about the Oath set (Oathbound, Oathbreaker and Oathblood, the book of Sword and Sorceress short stories) and By the Sword, but for the most part those books are set outside of Valdemar.

It's rather neat to see how ordinary people live day-to-day and how they deal with things. All the petty (and not so petty) minutiae of daily village life. And also to see more of the Hawkbrothers.

One of my favorite things about this book though are the black-and-white pictures at the beginning of each chapter. I know though, and this is unfortunate these days, that these illustrations show themselves at their best in the hardcover editions of the books.

I can't forget the scene where Darian is thinking about the villagers who tend to harangue him and what that says about them, either. It's one of my favourites in the book. Also the variation on the "road to hell" proverb makes a whole lot of sense too.

Mercedes Lackey's novels are some that I keep coming back to over and over again. She's also become one of two authors I'll buy in hardcover on release day, no matter how tight my budget. Honestly, I have yet to read one of her Valdemar books that I haven't loved! They've taken on the status of "old friends" that I can nearly always fall into and enjoy, no matter what's going on in my life at the time.

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