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Review: Joust (Dragon Jousters #1) by Mercedes Lackey

Joust

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For the first time ever, national best-selling legend Mercedes Lackey draws from her extensive knowlege of animals—and her professional background as an avian expert—to create something truly special…

The most exciting, authentic and believable portrayal of dragons ever imagined.

It is a richly conceived, fully realized vision, inspired by the culture of ancient Egypt, the legends of Atlantis-and the science of animal behavior and biology. This is how dragons would live, breed, hatch, hunt, and bond.

The first book in this thrilling new series introduces readers to a young slave who dreams of becoming a Jouster-one of the few warriors who can actually ride a flying dragon. And so, in secret, he begins to raise his own dragon.

Joust, the first book in Mercedes Lackey’s Dragon Jousters series, is a wonderfully rich re-imagining of ancient Egypt. The story follows a young serf, Vetch, as he slowly gains agency.

Vetch is an Altan serf. He became a serf when Alta lost a major war with their neighbor Tia. Vetch’s father was murdered and the rest of the family were turned into serfs and bound to the land they once owned.

As a serf – which are considered less than slaves – Vetch was severely mistreated. He was beaten, starved and overworked by his master. During one of the many miserable days in which Vetch lived this spirit-breaking life, Dragon Jouster Ari happens to see him. Ari – noticing that Vetch was being mistreated – decides to take him and make Vetch his dragon boy. Dragon boys live in a complex with their dragons, Jousters and support staff. Dragon boys were not mistreated, overworked and they were fed well and regularly. For Vetch, starved as he was, it was like he’d almost reached Heaven.
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Intrigues (Collegium Chronicles #2) by Mercedes Lackey

intrigues

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Magpie is a thirteen-year-old orphan chosen by one of the magical Companion horses of Valdemar and taken to the capital city, Haven, to be trained as a Herald. Like all Heralds, Magpie learns that he has a hidden Gift-the Gift of telepathy. But life at the court is not without obstacles. When Mags is “recognized” by foreign secret operatives whose purpose is unknown, Mags himself comes under suspicion. Who are Magpie’s parents-who is he, really? Can Mags also solve the riddle of his parentage and his connection with the mysterious spies-and prove his loyalty-before the king and court banish him as a traitor?

I liked this book, as I like the majority of Mercedes Lackey’s books, but there were a few things about the book that disturbed me. The suspicion that Mags deals with is nothing new to Lackey but the horrible fights between Mags and his best friends felt out of left field. There is no reason given why his friends would abandon him, no reason given as to why his friends are angry with him. The arguments Mags had with his friends seemed to be purely plot movers so they felt false and forced.
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The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett

the wee free men

“Another world is colliding with this one,” said the toad. “All the monsters are coming back.”

“Why?” said Tiffany.

“There’s no one to stop them.”

There was silence for a moment.

Then Tiffany said, “There’s me.”

Armed only with a frying pan and her common sense, Tiffany Aching, a young witch-to-be, is all that stands between the monsters of Fairyland and the warm, green Chalk country that is her home. Forced into Fairyland to seek her kidnapped brother, Tiffany allies herself with the Chalk’s local Nac Mac Feegle – aka the Wee Free Men – a clan of sheep-stealing, sword-wielding, six-inch-high blue men who are as fierce as they are funny. Together they battle through an eerie and ever-shifting landscape, fighting brutal flying fairies, dream-spinning dromes, and grimhounds – black dogs with eyes of fire and teeth of razors – before ultimately confronting the Queen of the Elves, absolute ruler of a world in which reality intertwines with nightmare. And in the final showdown, Tiffany must face her cruel power alone….

In a riveting narrative that is equal parts suspense and humor, Carnegie Medalist Terry Pratchett returns to his internationally popular Discworld with a breathtaking tale certain to leave fans, new and old, enthralled.

I really enjoyed this!

My friends have raved about Discworld for years…but every time I tried to read The Color of Magic I found myself dying of boredom.

One of my friends recommended that I start with The Wee Free Men…thank you! This was quite cute and I really enjoyed it. That’s 1 Discworld down, only 5,895,986,856 to go.

Four Stars!

If I Pay Thee Not in Gold by Piers Anthony and Mercedes Lackey

if i pay thee not in gold

In the age of the Mazonians women rule through magic – and men suffer what they must. Magical creations only last for a single day (magical food is great for dieting), but that is quite long enough for casting a giant wet blanket (if you’re feeling kind) over a would-be rampaging male – or a block of granite (if you’re not). No uppity males in Mazonia!

But then as now some people rise above what they’ve been taught. One such is Xylina; somehow she has always understood that being of the wrong gender, or even lacking magical power, is no reason for stripping a human being of dignity. How ironic, then, that the Queen has ordained that in order to avoid execution Xylina must use her magic to publicly conquer the most glorious male Mazonia has ever seen – and how doubly so that together he and Xylina will transform their world.

This book…is pretty bad. On all accounts. The humor is not really there. The world-building is close to non-existent and the attitudes toward women is…disgusting. Its hard to imagine that two best selling novelists managed to put out this dreck and not have mud all over their faces.
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