Sunday, September 24, 2017

Arrows Flight - Mercedes Lackey

Arrow's Flight - Mercedes LackeyArrow's Flight
Mercedes Lackey
DAW Books
Copyright: 1987

The product description:
Follows the adventures of Talia as she travels the land as a Herald of Valdemar in the second book in the classic epic fantasy Arrows trilogy

Talia could scarcely believe that she had finally earned the rank of full Herald. Yet though this seemed like the fulfillment of all her dreams, it also meant she would face trials far greater than those she had previously survived. For now Talia must ride forth to patrol the kingdom of Valdemar, dispending Herald's justice throughout the land.

But in this realm beset by dangerous unrest, enforcing her rulings would require all the courage and skill Talia could command—for if she misused her own special powers, both she and Valdemar would pay the price!
Arrow's Flight is the sequel to Arrows of the Queen, Mercedes Lackey's introductory book in the world of Valdemar. It's also a book I've read and re-read many times. The most recent re-read can be found here. I should also note that I chose to re-read this one now for the Valdemar Reading Challenge that I run every year.

Either way, the last few times I've picked up Arrow's Flight, I've found more and more that there are parts of the book that irritate me a bit - mostly the fact that much of it seems to be misunderstanding central - and yet, each of those misunderstandings seems to build logically off the of the last. Of course, there are also plenty of amusing moments and we see Heralds on circuit in detail.

There were a few details that had me going "how is this supposed to work?" on this read through, one of which was the "fumigation bombs" that Kris and Talia use in the waystations. I couldn't help but think of the possibility of one setting the place on fire inadvertently if it landed in the wrong place/something had been knocked over and the like. Other than that, as someone else pointed out, much of the book is two people talking about a third person not currently with them - mostly foreshadowing for the third book.

Other than that, it was neat to see the Queen relaxing, and to get a first glimpse of Eldan, who we see primarily in parts of By The Sword, and also IIRC in Owlsight. I have to say, this is also the book that makes me want to hear some of the music described - namely Sun and Shadow. Think I'm going to have to head for YouTube to see if I can find some recordings of this or some of the other music that goes with the world of Valdemar. It's a bit hard to believe, but I've been reading these books for more than twenty years now, known about the music for a while, but never taken the time to go hunting for any of it before.

Arrow's Flight is definitely a "middle book" if you know what I mean, and sets up some of the situations for the third book, Arrow's Fall. Still, it's a read that I enjoyed, and I'm quite disappointed that part of the cover of my copy fell apart on this read. And I've since discovered that part of the cover on my copy of Arrow's Fall is missing too - I'm a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to the condition of my books.

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