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Tuesday, December 8, 2015

4/5 Review: Closer to the Heart: Book Two of Herald Spy (Valdemar: The Herald Spy) by Mercedes Lackey




Mags was a Herald of Valdemar. But he had once lived the brutal life of a child slave. When he was Chosen by his Companion Dallen, his young life was saved, and he slowly adjusted to being well fed, educated, and treasured as a trainee in the Herald's Collegium at Haven. Singled out by the King's Own Herald, Mags would thrive in his secret training as a spy. His unusually strong Gift—an ability to Mindspeak and Mindhear anyone, not just others who were Gifted—made him a perfect undercover agent for the king.

Sequel to Mercedes Lackey's Closer to Home, this adventure continues Mags's journey as Valdemar's herald spy


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I was very close minded about this story.  At first I decided that it wasn't for me, not my style, the writing was too out there for me.  I am happy to say that I was completely wrong.  After taking a breather for a day and starting with a whole new look at the book, I must say I'm impressed.  This has turned out to be a great book that took on a life of its own inside my head.  Once I got used to the dialect and made it passed the first chapter, I was not putting this book down.  My sincerest complements to the author.  

What can I say about the characters in this book other than I love them.  They are all complex in their own right but I do love the interactions of the couples, Mags and Amily, and Lady Dia and Jorthun.

Amily is the King's Own,.  She is the daughter of Nikolas, the former King's Own and Mags' spymaster.  Mags is her fiance and a Harold.  She is quite a female.  She does not look nearly as deadly as she can be.  Mags says that's one of the things he loves about her.  Harold Mags is a spymaster.  He rescues orphans and teaches them his trade.  They learn, are well taken care of and are trained to be his eyes and ears.  Amily wants to form a team of spies of her own and recruit the help of Mags, Lady Dia and Lord Jorthun, who was Nikolas' spymaster and is Lady Dia's husband.

I won't tell too much about the story as I don't wish to include spoilers but I must say I was fascinated by this world.  If I didn't stop myself I would have rambled on about it and ruined it for many.  It is a definite must read for those who enjoy stories with horses who can communicate mentally with their owners, called companions, kings, lords, ladies and countrymen, errand boys and gifts such as mind speaking.  Those who do read this will not be disappointed.