cover image Storm Warning

Storm Warning

Mercedes Lackey. Daw Books, $21.95 (432pp) ISBN 978-0-88677-611-4

In this first volume of The Mage Storms trilogy, the prolific Lackey's fantastic themes, while not especially distinctive, are nonetheless deployed in entertaining and comfortingly familiar fashion. Picking up where The Mage Winds saga concluded, this story follows the novice cleric Karal and the young wizardly Adept An'desha as they struggle with adult responsibilities. In fact, while many meetings are held to discuss the threat of a nasty political takeover and an overwhelming evil, very little action ensues--the plot is almost completely concerned with the protagonists' personal growth. An'desha is afraid to sift though the nasty memories left behind in his brain by a diabolical Mage. When these memories become the key to solving the terrifying waves of magic that are wreaking havoc in the Kingdom, good-hearted Karal must help his friend find the internal strength to overcome his fears. Lackey populates her tale with wise adults and engaging magical animals, but ultimately delivers little that's new or original. Her book feels like a series of moral lessons (know thyself, do good works, etc.) from Saturday morning cartoons. (Aug.)