Monday, May 8, 2017

Owlsight - Mercedes Lackey

Mercedes Lackey
Daw Books
Copyright: 1999

The product description:
It has been four years since Darian saw his village sacked and burned by barbarians. Taking refuge with the Hawkbrothers, he soon finds his life's calling--as a Healing Adept. But even as he learns the mystical ways of this ancient race, Darian cannot escape the dangers threatening his future. Another tribe of barbarians is approaching. The time has stand up and fight.
Owlsight is the second book in this trilogy, sequel to Owlflight. I did read and review Owlsight a few years ago now, but it's been a while. Although this is one of my favorite Valdemar novels, I'll admit that my main impetus for re-reading it now is the Valdemar Challenge I'm both running and participating in.

I'd wanted to get it read and reviewed back in April, but a camping trip interrupted. I don't like taking hardcover books camping - too much chance of damaging them, and this book already has a bit of damage from the time I tripped and fell in the mud while walking to work. No need to add any more to it.

Owlsight picks up four years after the ending of Owlflight, but starts out introducing us to a new set of characters in the village of Errolds Grove. Keisha is the new viewpoint character, and she quickly becomes a favorite as we see more of every-day village life through her eyes. I have to admit one of the reasons I like this book so much is all of the little details of fiber-arts scattered through it - comments on spinning, discussions of dyes and a look at the dying process, a couple of scenes with knitting etc.

As I noted in the first book, one of the things that makes the Owl trilogy stand out is that the Heralds are secondary characters at best. Instead, in this book, you've got a trainee Healer as one of the main characters of the story. If you want to see more of how the every-day person lives, and even the Tayledras every-day lives without an immediate crisis breathing down their necks, this is a good book for you.

My one complaint with Owlsight is just how quickly the story ends up winding down. Most of the book is leading to the build-up, and it feels as though only a few pages are devoted to the climax of the story.

Sadly, if my memory serves right, Owlsight is also the last book in the Valdemar world with full-page illustrations, one of the things I really enjoyed in the other books. I do know that Owlknight has little illustrated strips at the top of each new chapter, but that is all. Still, thanks to the illustrations, this is a book worth having in hardcover.

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