Arrows of the Queen by Mercedes Lackey
Read by: Anna/Copley Teen Room
This is the story of thirteen-year-old Talia who is given an ultimatum by her people: either give her life to the Goddess and become a cloistered young woman, or get married and produce as many children as she can to keep the population going in their rough environment. Talia wants neither one. What she wants is to become a Herald, someone with magical gifts, who helps the people of the land in all matters that are important. Because her people dislike Heralds, Talia doesn’t understand what it means when Companion Rolan chooses her to become his Herald. (A Companion is a horse with special powers that bind them to their Heralds.) However, once Rolan takes her to the Collegium, she learns a lot more about herself than she ever knew possible. She also discovers people who aren’t abusive like her own family, and begins to trust others and herself, until bullies trying to keep her from becoming the Queen’s Advisor, called Queen’s Own.
This is the first book in a trilogy and I have to say I read this faster than almost any of the others on my summer reading list. The first three quarters of the book fly by like nothing. It keeps you engaged and wondering what will happen next with each turn of the page. The last quarter of the book I felt was a simple summary of her second two years of schooling, where the author told us what was happening rather than showed, using the characters actions. I can’t speak for the second and third books in the series yet, but I’m hoping that they will make up for the rushed ending of this first book.
Once I read the next two books, I’ll be sure to review them all for those of you who might be interested. The second book is called Arrow’s Flight and the third book is called Arrow’s Fall.