Saturday, October 25, 2014

Romeo and Juliet and Companions

bookcover of  CLOSER TO HOME (The Herald Spy, #1) by Mercedes Lackey

Two families, both alike in dignity, in fair Valdemar where we lay our scene.

Lackey takes on The Bard's most famous tale in the first book of her new Herald Spy trilogy. Mags is in Whites, finally, and ready to take on the full responsibilities of a Herald and King's Spy, as if he hadn't been doing that in the five book series covering his time as a trainee. Incidentally, if you have not read The Collegium Chronicles, do. This book picks up right after book five of that series ends, and you will need the backstory.

It is love at first sight for young Violetta, when she spies the handsome stranger at the ball, a love so strong that she is shattered to learn that stranger is the son of her father's worst enemy, born into a family with whom her family has a generations long bitter feud.

But when he sneaks into her father's party masked and dances with her, declaring his undying love, she is certain their love can conquer anything. We are treated to a balcony scene with dialog that is somehow poetic without being corny, and to a desperate attempt at a wedding against the wishes of both families. It's worth it for the balcony scene alone. We even get the flighty nurse.

We don't get to see Bear or Lena in this, which is a little disappointing, but we do get a delightful new group of characters. Amily comes into herself in a host of different ways.

It's hard not to compare any Herald to Vanyel, arguably her most popular character, and while Mags isn't nearly as serious, and the series had a substantially lighter tone, he is every bit as compelling. My only complaint is that it is way too short and I'm impatient for the next one.

1 comment:

  1. Somehow I completely missed this Valdemar series - where have I been!