Thursday, September 18, 2008

Arrow's Flight (Heralds of Valdemar: Book 2)

A Fantasy Series Book Review

By Mercedes Lackey

Genre: Sword and Sorcery, High Fantasy Series, 13+
ISBN: 0886773776
Publisher: DAW Books (September 1, 1987)
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
Talia is now 18 and has been granted her full whites. In order for her to become a full Herald The only task that remains is an 18 month tour out in the field. She is to be interned to Kris, a Herald with farseeing abilities and the face of an angel. Not that Talia is impressed, a fact that amazes Kris to no end. Their circuit will take them to the Borderlands, as far north as the kingdom of Valdemar goes, all the way to the Forest of Sorrows. But as potentially challenging as her internship will be, its fated to become much more complicated. Thalia can feel the tension surrounding her in the Council and its source will destroy both her already shaky self esteem and control of her gift.

This book is not as strong as the first in terms of drama but it isn't intended to be and I enjoyed it for what it was. I've always been interested in empathy as a magical gift and this story explores exactly that. Thalia has to discover not only how to control her gift, which unfortunately no Herald has ever had before, she also struggles with its uses. When is it ethical to interfere with someone's emotions? Is it even ethical to read emotions and use that information for or against that person? Has she been misusing it all along? What guidelines should she follow? Thalia is basically working blind because before being chosen, empathy was a gift restricted to healers and healers do not advise a queen or administer justice.

There is also a romance that made me wonder how nice things would be if it was perfectly acceptable to make love with someone based purely on friendship, which is a form of love after all. Thalia and Kris do provide a bit of entertainment as they both fear that the other may be reading more into it then that (neither are) which gave me a chuckle or two. Meanwhile they are both exploring the idea that Dirk could possibly be her soulmate, a fact that pleases Kris because he cares for them both. But it still made me think, and maybe dream of a world where an expression love is just that, same sex, opposite sex, or just friendship, its all good. But I digress.

If you set out to do three things, you'll enjoy this book.

1.) Enjoy a coming of age story and watch Thalia grow up and come to terms with herself and her gift.
2.) Enjoy a sweet romance between two good friends who genuinely care for each other.
3.) Want to learn about the origins of the HUGE Valdemar series and its writer.

Its not the best edited book I've ever seen, the grammar and spelling mistakes are actually humorous if you aren't a purest and whoever told her the use of Italics in every other sentence was a good idea should be shot. And please don't get me started on capitalizing everything! Ignore all that stuff, sit back and read the story. Its actually not that bad.

As I mentioned before, there are a few sex scenes but they are lacking in detail, there is some profanity but just common everyday words (nowadays) and there is some violence but that isn't overly graphic either. I stand by 13+ but thats borderline, depends on the teen. Was a nice light trip back to the beginning of Valdemar and sometimes it is just fun to revisit old friends, or discover new ones that you can grow with.

Series Summary
Other books in the series

Ratings, Reviews, Similar Reads, Buy Books

Shelfari 4/5 Stars

Librarything Rating 3.96/5

Amazon Rating 4.0 out of 5 stars
(32 customer reviews)

What Should I Read Next?
Kindle: Arrow's Flight

Ebook: Ereadable

Buy Book: B&N - Powells

Amazon: US Canada UK

Mulluane is a 56-year-old proud grandmother of 4, who is passionate about her pets, blogging, traditional fantasy, and tinkering with webdesign. She is obssesively photo shy but she uses an avatar that accurately represents her dreams. ♥ You can also find her on:

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