|Submitted by Christopher Ware |
(Jun 07, 2001)
After reading all the rave reviews about this book on this site, I was expecting an intense, compelling book that I would be unable to put down. What I got was a well crafted, enjoyable story with vivid characters. I just couldn't give it 4 stars because, IMHO, it just isn't up there with books from Martin, Goodkind, Jordan, or Rawn. It was slow in parts, took a little too much suspension of disbelief in others, and didn't focus enough on some of the more interesting elements, such as Kero's interaction with the sword and her reluctance to use her Mindspeaking abilities. Not that I didn't enjoy the book. I enjoyed it very much. Lackey's characters are always engaging, even if they are painted in either black or white a lot of the time. Very rarely does she use any grays in her characterization. Still, she is a master of character interaction. That is probably the most enjoyable part of her writing and she doesn't let the reader down in this book. The story Lackey weaves is an enjoyable romp, but I was expecting it to have a little grittier of an edge to it. I mean, she's a mercenary, but we never see the hard edge that these people carry. Guess I'm just spoiled from having read Elizabeth Moon's DEED OF PAKSENARRION trilogy, which was a hard core mercenary book. I know Lackey writes for younger readers, but it would have added a touch of realism and tension to the book to have the danger of being a mercenary a little more real. All in all, though, I enjoyed reading the book. It was a fun romp through the world of Valdemar, while not actually taking place in Valdemar. Fans of Lackey's work will enjoy this book, but don't go in expecting anything other than her usual fare. As a final note, can anyone tell me if Kerowyn stars in any of the other Valdemar books? I'd love to read about her adventures after this.