Saturday, March 05, 2011

Review: _Owlflight_ by Mercedes Lackey

Valdemar is one of the most popular worlds of the Fantasy genre. Author Mercedes Lackey has written many novels set in this world of her creation. Many novels have centered around the Heralds and their magical Companions. Owlflight is the first book of a trilogy that focuses on different cultures of Valdemar through the eyes of new characters. This book is entertaining because of its sympathetic characters, suspenseful plot and a vivid setting.

Ms. Lackey has a talent for creating interesting characters. The characters in this book are very sympathetic, making them likable. Darian is an orphaned teenager living in the village of Errold’s Grove. He is rebellious because the villagers treat him like an outcast. Apprenticed to the old mage Justyn, Darian must grow through his pain. Help comes from a young Hawkbrother named Snowfire who befriends Darian. Several other characters such as the griffin Kelvrin and others round out a group that keeps readers interested in the plot. The author has interesting nonhuman characters as well with the deer-like dyheli and intelligent lizards called the hertasi.

The suspenseful plot begins with an attack by Northern barbarians on the village. Young Darian flees into the forest followed by some of the raiders. Snowfire saves him and brings Darian to his camp. While Darian slowly makes friends, the small contingent of Hawkbrothers must decide how to save the villagers. The barbarians have a powerful mage working for them while the Hawkbrothers have little access to magic because of the Mage Storms. In the end, it comes down to Darian making important decisions to save his people. Plot elements are woven by the author into - the story of a troubled young boy to create a plot that keeps readers turning pages.

Finally, Ms. Lackey’s vivid setting brings the story to life with realistic descriptions. The forest world of the Hawkbrothers is fascinating with their culture. They have large hawks, owls, falcons and other birds that bond with them. A reader can imagine the great forest trees surrounding them like Darian. Descriptions of the village and the Hawkbrother camp are detailed, making the story more suspenseful with them.

Owlflight by Mercedes Lackey is another entertaining addition to the Fantasy world of Valdemar. Sympathetic characters, a suspenseful plot, and a vivid setting hooks the reader into the interesting story of Darian as he comes of age. This book is a good beginning to another trilogy of Valdemar.

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