Hemning Sternberg (moonshadow) wrote,
Hemning Sternberg

Foundation: Collegium Chronicles Book One, by Mercedes Lackey

For several years, I've been looking forward to a book that Lackey said she was planning to write about Baron Valdemar, the first Heralds, and the creation of Valdemar. It was supposed to be called Foundation.

This is not that book. It is a good book, a tasty treat of a book, but it is not that book. It is set during the founding of the Herald's Collegium, a few generations after Vanyel and Stefan lived.

Mags has spent his whole life working. He is told he is "Bad Blood," that he was found orphaned in a bandits' camp and this proves he is destined to be wicked. Every day he works in the mines, hunting for "sparklies." He shores up his portions to prevent cave-ins, and shares his food and rags with those smaller than him. If he finds enough sparklies, he gets a piece of bread with his thin broth. (Yeah, yeah, I know, it's a little over the top.) But then Heralds come to the Big House where the owner of the mine lives with his family. They are looking for a very special boy. Could Mags be the one?

This book is in the tradition of "classic Lackey." Recently Lackey has been writing some books set in Valdemar that have a YA feel to them - a bit less graphic violence and sex than her initial works - but overall read much like the books that some of us grew up on - the Last Herald-Mage trilogy, The Queen's Own. I think this is a vast improvement over some of her Valdemar books (like the Gryphon and Winds series). I found the book enjoyable and am curious to see where she will go with the inevitable rest of the series. Four stars (B- in the new system).
Tags: books 2008, fiction
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