Boston Public Library
Teens

Posts Tagged ‘Mercedes Lackey’

Arrows of the Queen – A Review

Posted on August 14th, 2012 by Anna in Books, Reviews - Staff

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.

My Summer Reading List for 2012

Posted on May 29th, 2012 by Anna in Books, Reviews - Staff

I know most of you reading this will have to read at least one or two books over the summer for school, right? I might not be going back to school next fall, and teachers might not be handing me a list of books I have to read this summer, but a lot of the books on your list are great books. And so, I’ve decided to join you in reading books/authors from the Boston Public Schools list for 2012. Some of the books on this year’s list are books I’ve already read, by authors I love, so instead of rereading the same books, I’ve chosen related books that I’ve been meaning to read for awhile but haven’t gotten around to.

As soon as I’ve finished reading a book, I’ll post a review of it here in the blog so you can check out my progress and see what I thought of each book.

 What am I reading this summer? Here’s my Summer Reading List:

 FICTION

 The following are on, or are related to, books on the BPS Summer Reading List for Grades 9-12.

 -Childhood’s End by Arthur C. Clark (Sci-Fi/Fantasy list)

The Overlords came to Earth and brought peace and prosperity with them… but then they began to take the children away from their heritage in the first step to eliminate the human race!

 This is a classic science-fiction novel that I’ve been told all sci-fi writers need to read. Thus, it makes sense that even those who don’t write sci-fi, but love to read it, should read this book too. I’ve never read anything by this author before, but occasionally I like to dabble in writing sci-fi stories, so I’d like to check it out, and hopefully improve my writing by enjoying a good book.

 

 -Doomwyte by Brian Jacques (Sci-Fi/Fantasy list)

A young mouse, Bisky, and his friends seek a fabled Redwall treasure: the jeweled eyes of the Great Doomwyte Idol, which leads them to the realm of the fearsome Korvus Skurr, the black-feathered raven…

 This is book 20 in the classic fantasy series Redwall. Brian Jacques is my favorite children’s/YA author, and the prequel to this series,  Mossflower, is the book on the official Summer Reading list. It is also my favorite, and most read, book in the entire Redwall series. As I have yet to read Doomwyte, I’ve chosen it for my summer list. When reading this series, there are a total of 22 books, and it does not matter in what order you read them!

 

 

 -Arrows of the Queen by Mercedes Lackey (Sci-Fi/Fantasy list)

Chosen by the Companion Rolan, a mystical horse-like being with powers beyond imagining, Talia, once a runaway, has now become a trainee Herald, destined to become one of the Queen’s own elite guard. For Talia has certain awakening talents of the mind that only a Companion like Rolan can truly sense. But a conspiracy is brewing in Valdemar against the Queen by unknown forces. Talia must protect her and the heir, before danger can strike!

 The official reading list includes Magic’s Pawn, the first book in The Last Herald Mage trilogy by the same author, which I read and loved immensely.  Arrows of the Queen is the first book in her trilogy The Heralds of Valdemar, and while only a few of the characters are the same, it is set in the same kingdom of Valemar as The Last Herald Mage trilogy. I’ve been curious to see if it’s as good as the other, which is why I’ve chosen this book.  

 

 

 -Odd Hours by Dean Koontz (Mystery/Suspense list)

Odd Thomas is a young man with a faithful companion in his dog named Boo. Though they are anything but ordinary. Odd can see the spirits of dead people who are reluctant to move on from this world. And Boo is one such spirit. In the past he has been haunted by nightmares that have come true. In the small California town where he’s currently living, he’s been having the same repeat nightmare. Will it lead to someone’s death? Or will Odd be able to save another’s life?

 The Mystery/Suspense list includes Odd Thomas, the first book in the Odd series about a 19-year-old boy who can see dead people. Odd Hours is the fourth book which I have yet to read, thus, it is one of my reading choices this summer.

 

 NON-FICTION

 Three of the non-fiction titles I’ve chosen were on a Summer Reading List in 2011 when they caught my eye. Since then, I’ve been looking for an excuse to dive into them, even though they are no longer required reading for school. Those books are:

 

-A Rumor of War by Philip Caputo

A memoir of the Vietnam War.

 

-Black Hawk Down by Mark Bowden

A minute-by-minute account of the first sustained firefight involving American troops since the Vietnam War in 1993.

 -Lost in Shangri-La by Mitchell Zuckoff

This is a true tale of survival, adventure, and the most incredible rescue mission of World War II.

 

A Little Big Life by Dean Koontz

This was a last-minute addition to the list in place of The Iron Jackal by Chris Wooding, which is not in print in the states yet. This book is a “Memoir of a Joyful Dog” and is written by the author of one of the fiction books I’m also reading, so I thought it would be fitting to read this joyful little tome.

 

So, in total, I have chosen to read 8 titles this summer between June 1st and August 31st. I’m not sure how far I’ll get, or in what order I’ll be reading them, but check back here for any reviews I post to see where I am in this list and what I have left to go.

The Last Herald Mage – A Review

Posted on December 27th, 2011 by Anna in Books, Reviews - Staff

This is the fantasy/gay romance trilogy by Mercedes Lackey which begins with the book Magic’s Pawn, which I’ve previously reviewed here. All three books contained in this large, single volume are these: Magic’s Pawn, Magic’s Promise, and Magic’s Price.  Now that I’ve finished all three books, I cannot speak highly enough of all three. Mercedes Lackey is one heck of an amazing author. All three books deal with many serious issues (such as rape, death of a loved one, suicide, and others) in a straightforward way. Some issues can be hard to deal with in a real life setting, and she shows just how hard they can be even in a magical place. Yet, at the same time, you won’t find these books hard to read. The characters are easily relatable, and most of the magic is easily understood. Here, there are no wands or Harry Potter-like magic. Within the world, the magic used is commonly referred to as “mind magic”. Hard to explain, but once you read it, it makes perfect sense.

This trilogy is roughly twenty years old now, but it’s no worse for the passage of time. If you enjoy fantasy books and like gay romance, you will thoroughly enjoy this book. Hands down.

Magic’s Pawn: A Review

Posted on December 3rd, 2011 by Anna in Books, Reviews - Staff

 

 

I started reading this book before I really knew what I was getting into. I knew it was a fantasy book written over twenty years ago now, and it had been recommended to me by a friend of mine who had mentioned something about gay romance in the book. I was a little interested, and unsure where it would go, considering the age and content of the book.

I have to say I was very surprised by it and once I got into it, I simply could not put it down. Please don’t let the cover fool you. It might look aged, but this is a truly ageless book. It is fantasy after all.

This is the story of a young man, 16-years-old, who is destined to take the place of his father in charge of the keep where they live. The only thing is, Vanyel doesn’t want that job. He wants to be a bard, to play music for others. He doesn’t want to fight, and the armsmaster who teaches him is ruthless and cruel to boot. But when he gets shipped off to his aunt who happens to be a herald mage, he finds that his life doesn’t have to be so boring. He falls in love with a fellow male student there, and it is this love, which he’d once thought forbidden, that changes his life forever. Young Vanyel has strengths he never knew he had, strengths he’ll need to learn to control, if he’s to survive, and save the country.

This is the first book in a trilogy, entitled The Last Herald Mage by Mercedes Lackey, and if you enjoy fantasy novels and gay romance, you’ll love this book! I don’t know what else I can say about it, other than it’s a book you need to check out today.