Lavan is an unremarkable young man who doesn’t want to follow in his parents footsteps. Instead, his parents send him off to merchant school to see what can be made of him. Sadly, the bullying at the school is horrific, and poor Lavan can find himself getting angrier and angrier with no outlet. That anger has to find its own outlet somehow.
This novel (an old favourite) is everything that the Collegium Chronicles promised, but didn’t deliver. Lavan is fleshed out in great detail, you love hearing his perspective on things. The level of description is just right, and even if you’re familiar with the Valdemar series, you’ll appreciate the background that is thrown in.
One of the more skilful literary techniques in here is the foreshadowing. You hear very little from Herald Pol at the beginning, but that little bit is very important. A bit more between each of those characters, perhaps something from Elenor would be good, but overall I love this novel as much as the first time I read it.
I’m not sure the life bond between Lan and Kalira is that convincing and fits in with the other things in the series. Elsewhere it has been said that lifebonds only occur between those with a tendency to depression and the other partner who can save them. Lan just gets super angry, not depressed most of the time, although there are hints when his gift first begins to show.
This novel is just after the Herald Mage series and it’s obvious that Lackey has tried to tie it in as much as she can. So chronologically, it is between Magic’s Price and Oathblood. The cover on the left is not the one I have. I have one which fits in far better with the rest of my collection of the novels.
I’d probably say this one was suitable for older teens and adults. The ending is sort of depressing and uplifting at the same time.