When Van stood up to his father.
The end but I don't want to spoil it.
A well done production spot on. Homosextual main charactor done with such care that you could even let a young adult listen to it.
it's still an awesome story now and this performance was fun to listen to while keeping my hands busy.
Main Character needs to grow up
Savil Ashkevron. She was strong enough to not care about what others thought.
Would have been if... (see additional comments...)
The narrator paused when he shouldn't have and didn't pause when he should have. This could have been editing. Sometimes there was a pause when there should not have been: "he climbed down the back........ stairs" (listener starts to question how anyone can climb down a back and finally the sentence is completed. Oh, okay. He climbed down the stairs!!!).
There were not pauses between separate segments when there definitely should have been. Whenever there was a scene change, the lack of separation created confusion in the mind of the listener.
This broke the flow of the story and made it difficult to fully enjoy.
I love this book, but the lack of a simple pause when there is a scene change takes away from the story.
This is one of Mercedes Lackey's best series. I wish it had been given the attention it deserves.
Sometimes a weak narration ruins a book, other times it just makes it less... sparkly. This falls somewhere in between.
If you're a fan of the Valdemar stories by Mercedes Lackey then you might not mind listening to this while doing chores or whatever. Especially if you own the kindle version so you can buy the audio version for 3.99.
If you haven't read the series before this audio version might well turn you off. The narrator is not awful, but his character voices fluctuate quite a bit so that oftentimes it's not clear which character is speaking. I particularly disliked the Companions' voices, which came off as insipid. Overall, I felt like the narrator didn't even like the book and was just trying to get through it.
This book is almost a four. The only thing holding me back is the annoying narrator (I listened to it on Audible.com), really. I think reading the book is probably even more satisfying than the audiobook.
The development of the protagonist from unhappy boy to powerful mage is fraught with conflict and missteps, like any person at this age, no doubt, but so much more complex due to the family and societal values and norms forced upon him. It's fantasy but it's also a metaphor for life today for any young person who doesn't fit in with mainstream life. The underlying homosexual themes are important to the story but do not overwhelm it.
Unfortunately, the next two books in this series have the same narrator, so I will forego the audiobook option on those.