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Alta: Joust #2 (Dragon Jousters) [Kindle Edition]

Mercedes Lackey
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $7.99
Kindle Price: $7.59
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Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC

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Book Description

In the second novel in national best-selling legend Mercedes Lackey's richly-conceived new Joust series, the dragonrider Vetch escapes to Alta, the subjugated land of his birth.  There, he hopes to teach his people to raise and train dragons-and build an army that will liberate his homeland.


Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

As in its predecessor Joust (2003), a clear, uncluttered style marks Lackey's latest light entertainment about wizards and dragons and social struggle. Vetch (aka Kiron), the hero of Joust, has escaped from the oppressive dragon riders of Tia with Avatre, the crimson female dragon he has secretly raised. In his native Alta, the former serf finds his fate interconnected with the destinies of Orest, youngest son of the Lord Ya-tiren, and the girl Aket-ten, a "Winged One" in training capable of speaking with animals. Vetch begins a new career teaching other Altan males how to bond with dragons from the egg. Vivid depictions of mythical creatures and a pastoral, casual approach to magic enliven such emotionally charged themes as cultural displacement, alienation and search for self. The crises of individual characters with easily identifiable conflicts nicely mirror larger catastrophes of plot. Full of adventure, romance and political intrigue if low on moral complexity, this highly readable fantasy will appeal particularly to young adults. Fans of Anne McCaffrey's Pern series will also be happy.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Young Vetch, former serf turned dragon boy in Joust [BKL Mr 15 03], and his hand-reared dragon, Avarte, escape from Tia and cross the deadly desert to Altan-controlled lands. Back among his own people, Vetch becomes indispensable because he knows how to tame newly hatched dragons, which then don't need to be drugged into submission. All is not well with the Altans, however. The Magi, who work their will on the world, have great powers they use to prolong the war that is raging for their own benefit. There's plenty of dragon lore as Vetch, now known as Kiron, teaches a close-knit cadre of young jousters how to bond with dragonets and train them for combat in the hope of ending the war. Rife with intrigue and dangerous counterintrigue, the story continues a classic quest-for-good-against-evil plot development while beautifully maintaining the world, society, and characterizations established in Joust. A very satisfying sequel with an ending that begs for another episode because the final battle is yet to come. Sally Estes
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Product Details

  • File Size: 1095 KB
  • Print Length: 448 pages
  • Publisher: DAW (March 1, 2005)
  • Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002IEUUV0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #96,094 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not too deep, but enjoyable April 20, 2004
Format:Hardcover
I read both Alta and Joust (Volume 1 of this series) over the weekend. So I obviously enjoyed the books! I think that some of the other reviewers have fairly characterized the books as a little light (for young readers), but that doesn't mean they're not a fun read.
Alta picks up almost exactly where Joust ended (give or take a couple of months). Vetch is getting ready to leave the desert and enter his homeland of Alta. He gets some final advice from the "Mouth" of the desert nomads that he should start thinking of himself as a dragon rider instead of a serf or he'll lose his dragon. So right from the start Vetch becomes Kiron.
The novel is all about his first year or so in Alta. The dust cover would have you believe that he faced all kinds of difficulties, but in truth his reception is pretty smooth.
The story is fairly linear without too many twists and turns. No great surprises. The characters are pretty interesting, but they're not too fleshed out. There's eight boys who make up Kiron's finding squad, and although you're introduced to each, they don't all really come alive in the story.
The violence and challenges that Kiron faces are about the level of a Harry Potter book (i.e. you're never really worried that anything too bad will happen to Kiron or that he won't ultimately succeed).
Overall though I'd like to stress that this is a fun enjoyable read. Fairly light perhaps, but every novel you read doesn't need to be ultra dense with all kinds of political maneuvering.
You don't absolutely have to read the first book (Joust), but you'll have a much greater appreciation for the relationship between Kiron and Avatare if you do. Plus it will give you a lot of beneficial background.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For dragon lovers March 2, 2004
Format:Hardcover
The war between Tia and Alta continues because of the Jousters and their dragons, the first line of offense on the borders. Although Tia has more Jousters and dragons Alta has the magi which sends bad weather into Tia so that the dragons cannot fly. Kiron, a former serf made dragon boy to jouster Ari and his dragon Keshet discovers that he is the only one who besides Ari who does not have to drug his dragon to get him to obey him. In a daring move, Kiron steals an egg, empresses the dragonet when it hatches, trains it and flies back to Alta to try to end the war.
He believes he can show the Altan Jousters a better way of fighting with the undrugged cooperation of their dragons even though his country men have less trained jousters. Kiron is accepted on to Altan training grounds and has eight youngsters impress their dragons and the nine become one wing united in their love for their dragons. There is a powerful shadow group in Alta who doesn?t want the war to end and will use horrific methods to achieve their goals. Kiron and his followers must prepare for the day that the enemy will want the Jousters dead.
In JOUST, the prequel to ALTA, readers are shown the culture of Tia and how the ongoing war affects the conquerors, the serfs and the Jousters. ALTA shares the viewpoint from the other side and how one escaped serf gives hope and a plan of action to the demoralized Jousters. Mercedes Lackey, one of the great fantasists of our time, writes a coming of age story that is memorable and enjoyable.
Harriet Klausner
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fun, but simple March 17, 2004
Format:Hardcover
I've always liked books that went into the day to day details of life in a fantasy world, so I enjoyed the first book in this trilogy, Joust. It was a little fluffy -- despite all the obstacles in Vetch/Kiron's path, there was rarely any sense that he was in danger. Still, I could read about the care and feeding of dragons without getting bored for quite a long time, so an afternoon with this book was not ill-spent.
The sequel Alta is more of the same. All those worries at the end of the Joust about what Kiron's reception might be when he flits back into Alta with a dragon? Waved away. Before you know it, the teenager is in charge of training a whole clutch of dragons with the remarkable new philosophy of actually taming them from birth rather than drugging them into submission. We're to believe that up till now there has only been one other person in the two warring countries who's willing to go to the bother, which seems absurd, given that the tamed dragons are exponentially easier to control and handle. I don't think I'm giving away much if I say that of course Kiron is right about everything. This book is not exactly tense and exciting. It's hard to fear the bumbling Magi, who can be scared away when a gay man swishes at them. Even the inevitable scene where Kiron ends up opposing Ari in battle doesn't get my pulse moving. We're two-thirds of the way through the trilogy and I've never even been slightly worried about Kiron's fate.
But I've still enjoyed the dragons, and that's what I came for, so I am not unhappy with the books. I do have some stylistic issues: it's classic Lackey, so if you don't enjoy her Valdemar books chances are slim that you'll like this one. The font of the book is highly distracting, and I wish Lackey would rein in the italics already...
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From the Frying Pan Into the Fire April 27, 2004
Format:Hardcover
Alta is the second novel in this series, following Joust. In the previous volume, Vetch the Atlan serf dragon boy had stolen an egg, hid it in an unused pen, and, after it hatched, raised the dragonet in secret. When she flew for the first time, she headed for the hills with Vetch onboard. They outran all of the Tian Jouster pursuers except his friend Ari, who actually helped them to escape, paying the Bedu in gold to guide them through the desert to Alta.
In this novel, Vetch reaches Alta and is no longer a serf to the Tians, but is instead Kiron, son of Kiron, a Jouster in training. As he and Avatre near Alta City, they rescue a noble girl from an irate river horse, but Kiron is badly injured and blacks out. Upon awakening, he finds himself in the home of the noble Lord Ya-Tiren. Both he and his daughter, Aken-ten, express their gratitude for his timely rescue; in fact, Aken-ten has been tending him while he was unconscious. Later, her brother Orest visits to express his gratitude as well.
Aken-ten is a Nestling Winged-One, a priestess in training and a possessor of certain talents, including the ability to speak the Silent Speech with animals. She and Avatre have become friends while he recovered from his wounds. Kiron is very interested in her ability to actually communicate with his dragon.
Orest is very fascinated with Avatre. Although the traditional approach to taming a dragon fails to interest him, the thought of actually bonding to a dragon excites him. This idea also appeals to several of his friends and Lord Khumun-thetus, the Jouster in charge of training, becomes intrigued enough with the possibilities to form a new unit to pursue the training practices used to raise Avatre.
In this story, Kiron begins to suspect something is wrong in Alta.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
I like all her books....
Published 18 days ago by Kindle Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars I've read the book so many times now
This review has been crossposted from my blog at The Cosy Dragon.com. Please head there for more in-depth reviews by me, which appear on a timely schedule. Read more
Published 24 days ago by The Cosy Dragon (Rose Herbert)
5.0 out of 5 stars great book, great author
Fast shipping, great book, great author.
Published 3 months ago by W. Bock
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
It was great. Loved it. I got the whole series
Published 4 months ago by Jonita C Taggart
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
a cool read, perfectly fits as the next book in the dragon series
Published 5 months ago by rose
5.0 out of 5 stars I love this book/series I have read it several times and ...
I love this book/series I have read it several times and will probably reread it in the future! Mercedes Lackey does a wonderful job of creating a world that you can see existing... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Non-stop Adventure and Intrigue
Mercedes Lackey fans will definitely enjoy this series of dragon books. Be sure to read Joust first. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Karen R. Cooper
4.0 out of 5 stars Alta
Realistic viewpoint of hardship in a young lad's life,showung how resuliency and even anger can add to survuval and thriving.... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Pen Name
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it!!
Awesome series!! Had a hard time putting it down! Great story! Keeps you turning the page's. Wish there were more of this series!!!
Published 9 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
As advertised!
Published 13 months ago by Rebekah Mullins
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More About the Author

Mercedes Lackey is the acclaimed author of over fifty novels and many works of short fiction. In her "spare" time she is also a professional lyricist and a licensed wild bird rehabilitator. Mercedes lives in Oklahoma with her husband and frequent collaborator, artist Larry Dixon, and their flock of parrots.

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