Review: Mercedes Lackey – The Herald Spy Series

The Herald Spy Series
Mercedes Lackey

Mags and Amily are ready to get married, but there’s a plot afoot that may have Valdemar at war with its previously peaceful neighbours (Closer to the Heart). Mags and Amily will have to divide and conquer to save the monarchy. Or perhaps they will need to combine forces to overcome a preaching bunch of misogynistic men (Closer to the Chest).

If you couldn’t tell from my introduction to this series, I’m thoroughly unimpressed with it. The characters are sketchy, the concepts have been overworked (see ‘Take a Thief‘ for something better) and enough of that darn dialect! Mags, you should know better by now. Sure, play it up when you’re in character as a ruffian, but the rest of the time, please use language that I don’t have to decipher first!

There’s loose plot ends everywhere here. There’s lots of references to Violetta, who I only vaguely remembered, and some things that I was like, when did I miss that happening? Mags is sometimes so self-absorbed that I found myself wondering why Amily put up with it. I feel like this is one of the only series where there are two protagonists where both are Heralds, but so much more could have been done with their partnership. Every time it looked like things might be difficult Mags subsides into Amily’s arms in bed… and then there were no words.

Lackey seems to be pushing an agenda here by pulling out story lines that make women seem like they are pathetic and have low self-esteem that causes them to throw themselves in a river. Or have nothing better to do than get married. I’d hope for a useful commentary or a way to actually take this down in modern life, but there isn’t one. Even Amily spends half the time accepting that Mags has to be able to save her. Pathetic.

So I spotted the second two novels in this series at the library during an URGENT drop in for a 4th book in a series for my 9-year old reader. Eh, I thought to myself. I haven’t read the first one, but the latest Lackey books have been underwhelming, so I bet I can get along without them. Then I got to Goodreads, and it turns out I did read the first. And gave it a pathetic 2 stars. These were an ok way to pass the time while trying to ignore my anxiety about a job interview! But nothing special that I feel like I need to own or reread. 3 stars for being passable.

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