This book is probably best suited for young adult readers. I enjoyed it. I would have enjoyed it much more when I was 16.
My criticisms..Show More » are: The viewpoint of the storyteller is that of a very young person. For example, a 17 year old character talks about something that happened to him when he was "a child" as "very long ago." References to "school" seem more like American High School (Lunch for example) then something from Heroic Fantasy. There is nothing wrong with this, but as an adult reader, I stumbled over it and lost my "suspension of disbelief" for a moment. Also, there are so many contractions in the story that the narrator seems to stumble over them. (I didn't so I couldn't.) I counted 7 in 3 short sentences at one point. I think that this is something that we ignore in print but notice in audio book versions much more readily. Also, references to magic spells as if they were something you can look up in an encyclopedia (I tried to cast "Mage Shield" but I failed) come off like Gaming references. I wish the author had invented unique or "magical language" names for these things to avoid that.
Mercedes Lackey seems to be more of an editor then co-writer with "The Phoenix Unchained." She has a very distinct voice, and it does not present itself very often. Her masterful ability to "pace" a story does come through.
Taken as a whole, it was entertaining, and I'll read the sequel.
The other reviews seem to get hung up on the "whining" of the main characters. I think what they are forgetting is that the main characters are just ..Show More »teenagers that have had the task of saving the world thrust upon them. They have recently (less than a year) found out they both have magic and have no real idea yet how exactly to use it and not a lot of help figuring it out. I don't know about anyone else but I get more whining from my teenagers about doing chores than the two main characters exhibit. This is a realistic reaction to the situation they have been thrown into and I think it makes it a more plausible storyline.