Saturday, October 12, 2013

Bastion-Mercedes Lackey


Mercedes Lackey

Daw, Oct 1 2013, $25.95

ISBN: 9780756409449

Having been rescued from kidnappers, bone weary Mags the orphaned Herald trainee returns to the Collegium filled with concerns about whether his staying there will bring harm. Still in spite of his depression, Mags feels at home when he sees Haven and stops at the nearby Harvest Fair. Mag’s Companion Dallen escorts him to the Collegium where he is interrogated before they allow him to relax. He knows he is no longer a member of the South team as Kirball adequately replaced him and is told that he is suspended from classes. Instead he works with herbs and weapons training of other students alongside Amily.

King's Own Herald Nikolas and Dean of the Heralds Caelen send Mags, accompanied by Valdemar Herald Jakyr, on a mission. Soon afterward, his friends Healer Trainee Bear, his wife Bard Trainee Lena and Dean of the Bardic Lita, followed by Mags’ beloved Amily, leave the Collegium too. They rendezvous with Mags and Jakyr at Waystation before heading to the caves of Bastion to fake the trainee’s death in order to fool the assassins and to seek clues about his missing parents who were once held there.

The latest Valdemar Collegium Chronicles fantasy (see Redoubt) is an enjoyable entry though much of the pre-trek adventure comes across as anecdotal preparation and Mags’ seemingly PTSD. The storyline accelerates once the band of merry travelers meets up at Waystation while the quest cleverly contains gloom and joy simultaneously.

Harriet Klausner

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