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Publisher's Summary

In this new series, set in the bestselling world of Valdemar, Heralds Mags and Amily must continue to protect the realm of Valdemar while raising their children and preparing them to follow in their footsteps.

Mags, Herald Spy of Valdemar, and his wife, Amily, the King’s Own Herald, are happily married with three kids. The oldest, Peregrine, has the Gift of Animal Mindspeech—he can talk to animals and persuade them to act as he wishes. Perry's dream is to follow in his father's footsteps as a Herald Spy, but he has yet to be Chosen by a Companion.

Mags is more than happy to teach Perry all he knows. He regularly trains his children, including Perry, with tests and exercises, preparing them for the complicated and dangerous lives they will likely lead. Perry has already held positions in the Royal Palace as a runner and in the kitchen, useful places where he can learn to listen and collect information.

But there is growing rural unrest in a community on the border of Valdemar. A report filled with tales of strange disappearances and missing peddlers is sent to Haven by a Herald from the Pelagirs. To let Perry experience life away from home and out in the world, Mags proposes that his son accompany him on an expedition to discover what is really going on.

During their travels, Perry’s Animal Mindspeech allows him to communicate with the local wildlife of the Pelagirs, whose connection to the land aids in their investigation. But the details he gleans from the creatures only deepen the mystery. As Perry, Mags, and their animal companions draw closer to the heart of the danger, they must discover the truth behind the disappearances at the border—before those disappearances turn deadly.

©2018 Mercedes Lackey (P)2018 Audible, Inc.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

enjoyable

very good, great book. only issue I have is the description that audible has for this book is completely wrong, name's, plotline everything.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great continuation of the series!

First, a note about the comments that "the description is wrong!" Apparently, until some last-minute point, some of the characters had different names. I got the hardcover from my library (the audio wasn't available yet!) and even the dust cover of the book got the main character name wrong ("Justin" rather than "Peregrine.") The current Audible description is accurate, so I assume Audible changed it - and that they originally used the description the publisher gave out before it was published.

I am a huge fan of all things Valdemar, and this book didn't disappoint. My first instinct was to encourage people not to start with this book if they're new to the series or to the world, but on reflection, I think it would still be a fine place to start. Yes, many of the characters have been in the 8 most recent books (Collegium Chronicles series and Herald Spy series), and a lot of Mag's motivations are much richer if you know his past, but this one actually could serve as an entry point to the world of Valdemar if someone wanted to start here and then work backwards. You don't actually NEED to have read/listened to the others first, thought I do recommend it.

Another thing - which I see as a plus rather than a negative - about the Valdemar books is that they tend to fall into one of two writing styles. None of them are "adult" in the sense of being particularly sexually explicit, but some of them take a more mature and intricate rich approach to things like politics, relationships, philosophy and fantasy world-building, and even sexual orientation, and others take a more "lighthearted romp in this established world" approach - the distinction that people would make between Heinlein's "major works" and his "juveniles," or that more modern readers might make between the tone of Jim Butcher or Ben Aaronovitch on the one hand, and the tone of, say, Rowling's Harry Potter books, on the other. I'd say this book, and the two series that precede it, fall into the second "lighter" category.

Think of it as delicious and well-prepared "fast food" rather than elaborate and refined "fine dining." Other series within her world of Valdemar are everything a fan of more elaborate storytelling could want. I recommend them all. This book (and the series it begins) won't replace The Last Herald Mage or the Mage Storms series in my heart, but it's a great read nonetheless.

I loved it.

Without going into spoilers, one of the things Lackey did here, that she often does so well, is lay the groundwork for the reader/listener to assume that things were heading in a particular direction with an "obvious" resolution, including where the story was "of course" going to take the lead character, and then, without playing any cheap tricks or cheating, take the story in a delightfully unexpected direction that, in retrospect, works beautifully and organically. Several "Didn't see THAT coming" shifts along the way. And, looking back, she laid in the hints in advance for each and every one of them.

One of the things she does to keep the various books fresh is to use characters that have different "gifts" - comic book fans could think "superpowers" or "mutant abilities" - and she doesn't always pick the ones with the strongest of flashiest ones to focus on, and sometimes does a great job of setting things up so that the people WITH those super-strong abilities are actually at a disadvantage in the particular situation. This is a great example of that. Exploring all the ways in which the less common, "weaker" or less obviously useful gifts can be used to great advantage is one of HER superpowers.

If you love Valdemar, this one won't disappoint. If you don't know Valdemar, this would be one way to find out what the fuss is all about. THEN go back and explore the rich world she's created.

The reader does an excellent job once again. The wrong reader could ruin the joy of these books, and Podelhl remains a great choice for this ongoing sub-series within the world of Valdemar.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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The tale of Herald Mags Book 9

Nick Podehl once again does a marvelous job bringing to life the world of the Heralds of Vademar. In this book, Misty weaves a tale of the trials of what it means to be a parent, and to be a Herald. To have two jobs of great importance that whose duties may conflict, and how a man who was once a mine slave and raised without real parents handles being a father.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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I love Mercedes Lackey books. I just wish she'd <br />

write faster. Of course I want the quality to stay the same. I, also, enjoy the people she gets to read/perform her books. They are perfect for each story.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Book Love<br />

I just love this series. I am so glad she has continued on with Mag's life.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Amazing. False description though

I loved the book. I have read all of the Collegium Chronicles and Herald Spy books and this was a welcome surprise. However the audible description is completely wrong. While it is about Mags and his son, the description gets the entire plot wrong. Including the name of Mags’s son, which is Peri ( I don’t know spelling because it is an audiobook), short for Peregrine.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Dongho
  • Alta Loma, CA, USA
  • 08-06-18

Great continuation

While this is a new series, it is just a continuation of the last two series featuring Mags. I really enjoyed this new adventure with new characters as well as returning old characters. I am looking forward to the next in the series, focusing on the other kids as they get older and go on adventures as well.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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The magic is back

I like all of these Vladimir collegium books,but I think this one is even better than the last few in the series.plenty of new directions to go, lots of action.New characters.this is just the way I would have expected mags to raise his kids.the oldest boy peregrin is a great character to get to know,not just baby mags.The growth/change in mags' character in the story also add interest.The villain in this story is pretty vile and relentless.The new characters are not all human which makes it great.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Ms. Lackey again does not disappoint!

I loved this book from start to finish! The story line is stand alone or takes me back years ago when I read Mercedes Lackey's about mage Van!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Barb
  • Bountiful, UT, United States
  • 07-25-18

Loved it!

A great story added onto a great series. I was afraid it would be a little weaker as some time stories get the longer they go on but this one was great.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful