With a royal wedding at the Palace, the Palace grounds and the Collegia are packed with extra people there for the ceremony and the entertainment. It is a lavish three day affair that means Mags and the rest of the students from the Collegia are free to spend (most) of their time anyway they like, except for the few times when they have to appear in demonstration games or play musical instruments. It is a time for relaxation and spending times with friends, and even though Mags is enjoying the break, he does feel a little bit guilty that he is not working hard in support of Nikolas and Valdemar.
When he is given the chance to return to the pawn shop it is a welcome relief, especially when Nikolas sets him up on his own and leaves him in charge of the shop. All the hard work doesn't leave much time for a social life, but even with work and study he manages to find some time to spend with those he loves. When he begins to feel as though he is being watched when he leaves the store, he doesn't pay it much heed, except to take evasive routes until the feeling goes away - but then it builds to the point where he can't stand it anymore. Then one day he wakes up and realises that he is not where he is supposed to be, and that he is travelling farther and farther from home with each day.
Mags has always wondered where he came from, but as he has built up a family at the Collegia it has weighed less and less on his mind. The strangers who have come to Valdemar seem to be more than a little fixated on him, but it hasn't made sense so he has tried to ignore them and what their interest might mean - but now he is far from home and his friends, and he can't even reach Dallen. Far from home, and with no ability to make contact with his friends and allies, Mags must find a way to survive and get back to the only "home" he has ever known.
This is the fourth novel in the series and the action is moving forward, providing more background for who Mags is and where he has come from. His past has been hinted at in the earlier books, and this feels very much like a bridging novel, a book that bridges the past (being the first three books) and it is now moving into the present, or at least heading where Mercedes wants the story to go. I have been enjoying this series because you don't know how many books are going to be in the series, so I can't sit there going this is the second book in the series so the next one will finish it off - you just have to wait and see what happens!
I have to confess that the icing on the cake with this book was the dedication - to Anne McCaffrey - thank you Mercedes for recognising the lose of one of the great talents of fantasy and science fiction.
If you like this book then try:
- Arrows of the Queen by Mercedes Lackey
- Magics pawn by Mercedes Lackey
- Winds of fate by Mercdes Lackey
- The Elvenbane by Mercedes Lackey and Andre Norton
- Dragonflight by Anne McCaffrey
Reviewed by Brilla