Monday, September 8, 2014

Aerie (Dragon Jousters #4) by Mercedes Lackey | Epic Fantasy | Book Review

Mulluane | 12:00 PM | 5 Comments so far

In the fourth and final novel of Mercedes Lackey's Dragon Jousters series, Kiron, the man who had once been a dragon-boy called Vetch, has united the dragon riders and managed to rid their world of both war and magical domination. But are the evil Magi really gone for good? As Kiron tries to build a new civilization at the site of an abandoned cliff dweller's city, called Aerie, conflicts arise, and he soon realizes there is a vast conspiracy at work, which includes individuals who have infiltrated every walk of life-even his own family. Once the heads of the Magi, these conspirators are determined to regain their sinister control.

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Aerie (Dragon Jousters #4) by Mercedes Lackey | Epic Fantasy | Book Review

| Author: Mercedes Lackey
| Genre: Epic Fantasy
| Content: Witchcraft, Sorcery, Dark Magic, Dragons
| ISBN-10: 0756404266
| ISBN-13: 9780756404260
| Publisher: DAW (October 2, 2007)
| Mass Market Paperback: 448 pages
| Cover Artist: Jody A. Lee
| Source: Personal copy
| Rating: 4/5 Stars
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Aerie (Dragon Jousters, #4)

♥ Mini Review ♥
There is a great evil stalking the land. An evil that far exceeds that of the Magi who were merely its pawns. An evil that was myth but now has become all too real. Now a question just begs to be asked. Will the jousters and their dragons prove strong enough to defeat this new threat?

Epic Fantasy Book Review by Mulluane

♦ My Thoughts.  Now I know why this series felt like it had way more questions than answers. I never got the feeling that the war was finished and the people of Alta and Tia were truly free. And I was right. I also came to another conclusion. The focus was never on the war or even the characters. The events that took place in Alta, Tia and Sanctuary were simply a backdrop for those wonderful, beautiful, talented, and extremely lovable, dragons.

Ah what marvelous dragons they are too. Mercedes Lackey took her expertise in falconry, combined it with her love of animals and created what I consider to be the most honest dragons I've ever seen. They are not magical. They are not even mystical. They don't talk and they don't breathe fire. They are simply intelligent, really large, exceptionally colorful lizards, who fly and hunt like birds of prey. The remainder of the story was simply background noise as she focused on building up her beloved creations.

♦ What I Liked. This book takes a sharp right turn into new territory with a speed that sent me reeling. I'll admit it. I did not see where this series was going. I had pretty much given up on it going anywhere.

Boy was I wrong.

What happens at the end makes for a much stronger conclusion than I had hoped for.

♦ What I didn't like. Despite the strong finish and several surprising twists, this story just plods along at the beginning. Again there was a change in location. Again there was a process of settling in and creating new homes. Lets see if I can elaborate a bit without tripping over the spoiler line.

Book one started out strong with Vetch as a sympathetic character. Tia was a vibrant land teeming with culture and tradition. Plenty to learn and experience. Book two lost a lot of the bond with Vetch/Kiron but the introduction of Aket-ten as a strong female lead helped to make up for that. Again we got to explore a new culture and as a bonus got to compare it to Tia.

Then we come to book three. Now the story centers around Sanctuary, an abandoned city of unknown origin out in the middle of the desert. This place has no culture. There were a few discoveries of interesting architecture, but still fairly boring compared to Tia and Alta's rich heritage. Even worse, I found myself completely uninterested in Kiron and Aket-ten.

Book four moves on to Aerie, which sadly is just as uninteresting as Sanctuary. Nobody has any idea what purpose this place served so again, no history and no culture. Fortunately the fumbling around and trying to make this new home livable doesn't last too long. The action kicks into high gear and the story becomes fascinating again.

♦ Conclusion. I actually put this book down several times as I just couldn't get behind the slow process of relocation for the fourth time. I'm glad I finally pushed through to the end. The conclusion was strong and decisive; not to mention a complete surprise. Not Mercedes Lackey's best, but the dragons were priceless.

I am having a hard time rating this one. The first half was at most a three (average) but the conclusion ramped things up to a five (awesome).  Best thing I can do is split the difference and go with four (good but not great.) Definitely an awesome take on dragons even if the story, in my opinion, was pretty weak prior to the surprise ending.

♦ Additional Reviews ♦

Series Summary ~ Joust #1 ~ Alta #2 ~ Sanctuary #3

Ratings, Reviews, Similar Reads, Buy Books, Affiliate Links

Librarything 3.72/5

Amazon: 3.6/5
(49 customer Reviews)

What Should I Read Next?
Kindle: Aerie: Book Four of the Dragon Jousters

Audible: No

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Already read the book? Please share your own opinion!

Epic Fantasy Review of Aerie (Dragon Jousters #4) by Mercedes Lackey
Reviewed by Mulluane on November 3 2014
Rating: 4 of 5

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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Old Bat's Belfry - Witty Wacky and Wise Quotes


  1. Sounds like the ending is worth the stuff before. I'm glad. {SMILE}

    Anne Elizabeth Baldwin

    1. Anne! I was worried about you. Alot of bad stuff happening in your part of the planet. Glad you are ok :>)

      The ending pulled the series' fat out of the fire as it were. You can look at the time it took between the reviews and tell how long it took to make myself finish the book. Glad I did. It was a truly epic ending.

      Even though the series lost its appeal over time I still think it was worth it just to experience her take on dragons. They are exceptionally crafted to say the least.

    2. You should have dropped me a line if you were worried. I plain forgot that the news I was sharing wasn't in the right place to get over to you. I AM sorry about that. {apologetic smile}

      Yes, there's a lava flow on my island threatening to do much more than it has so far. Fortunately, it's a little over an hour's drive from my house, on the neighboring volcano. Unfortunately, it's threatening to not just eat houses in Pahoa village, but cross the highway, which is the only decent road out of that peninsula. So not just the almost 1,000 residents of Pahoa are liable to be inconvenienced, but the almost 10,000 residents of the lower Puna area. Hilo, where I live is the biggest nearby community by a long shot at 43,000+ residents. We've got growing pains as those people evacuate, and they're liable to get worse. However, we're coping as best we can, and we really aren't in danger. {Smile}

      Yes, it does sound like the ending made up for an awful lot. I'm glad it did. {Smile}

      And I love the idea of a new take on dragons. Those have been done so many ways, it's sometimes hard to imagine something really new being done with them. That would be worth seeing. {SMILE}

      Anne Elizabeth Baldwin

    3. Thank heavens! Though it does seem like a stressful situation, even if you aren't in the path of the lava. There was a hurricane I was worried about too.

      The dragons are the most realistic I've ever run across. If pterodactyls had survived and evolved into something that could have lived in ancient egypt, they would have resembled Lackey's dragons.

    4. The hurricane caused more damage near where the lava flow is now than here. Trees fell across the street, but that's a vacant lot because it's far too swampy to build there. So they didn't damage any people or houses.

      Yes, the lava flow is pretty stressful, but fortunately, there's no direct danger to us. It's not like I'm looking for a house. We can probably blame recent heavy traffic on it, but anyone living in a big city would laugh at what we consider heavy traffic even now. {SMILE}

      Wow. I'm going to have to check out those dragons more carefully. Fortunately, Mom has the series. It's now higher on my TBR list. {Smile, wink}

      Anne Elizabeth Baldwin


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