Thursday, September 15, 2011

Conspiracies by Mercedes Lackey and Rosemary Edghill

Conspiracies is the second book in the Shadow Grail novels and appears to be book two out of four (according to the plug for the first book in the series anyway) - and picks up right where the first novel left off.  Without giving away too much of the first novel for those of you who like to read things in order, Spirit still appears to be the only student at her boarding school for young magicians who doesn't actually appear to have any magic, and the mysteries that are swirling around the school still seem to be swirling rapidly towards some unknown destiny. 

While friendships are discouraged at Oakhurst Academy, Spirit and her friends are managing to hold on to each other and the strength their friendship brings, but outside forces are at work and soon even their strong friendship will be tested in brutal ways.  A war is coming to Oakhurst, and event though Spirit remains suspicious and watchful, others around her are not so careful - and when at war the worst thing you can do is relax and let your guard down.

Mercedes Lackey is one of my favourite authors and has been since I was a teenager myself, and with this series she brings her skill as a writer to younger readers with a series that is both fast paced and dynamic, and dripping in mystery that is teased out over the course of a novel.  To be honest I had to work a little to get into this book, but that is partly because it has been some time since I read the first book and the details get a little fuzzy when you read the number of novels that I do over any given period of time (the ones that I review here are a) the ones I actually finish, and b) the ones that I think are worth bringing to other peoples attention). 

Once I was into the story it was hard to put down, mainly because Lackey has a deft touch with teasing out human emotions and human dynamics - the magic is often just a bonus.  While this series won't appeal to everyone because it blends together several broader genre/type books (the supernatural, the boarding school story, a thriller, a destiny, etc...) it is an enjoyable read that doesn't cheat the teen reader by talking down to them, and it will also appeal to adults because of how well written it is.

If you like this book then try:
  • Legacies by Mercedes Lackey
  • Marked by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast
  • Raven's gate by Anthony Horowitz
  • The demon trappers daughter by Jane Oliver
  • Across the nightingale floor by Lian Herne
  • Arrows of the queen by Mercedes Lackey

Reviewed by Brilla

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