cover image Intrigues: Book Two of the Collegium Chronicles

Intrigues: Book Two of the Collegium Chronicles

Mercedes Lackey, DAW, $25.95 (336p) ISBN 978-0-7564-0639-4

In the ongoing exploration of the early days of her popular Valdemar series, Lackey (Foundation) continues the tale of Mags, an orphan Chosen by the telepathic, horselike Companions to train as a Herald. Eventually he will be responsible for keeping the peace, enforcing the laws, and serving the crown. The learning curve is steep, the training rigorous, and the extracurriculars downright lethal, especially when Mags is picked by a high-placed Herald to act as informant and secret agent. Already an outcast due to his impoverished background, Mags is all but ostracized when flashes of the future link him to a potential assassination attempt upon the king. The tone, characterization, and rampant angst recall Lackey's earliest Valdemar books, while the themes of magical orphans and sports conjure up more modern images of Harry Potter. While not ground-breaking, this is a worthy entry in the overall saga. (Oct.)