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Changes: Volume Three of the Collegium Chronicles (A Valdemar Novel) (Valdemar: Collegium Chronicles) Hardcover – October 4, 2011
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"Lackey makes a real page-turner out of Mags’ and the collegia’s development.... This book’s outstanding characters, especially Mags, will greatly please Valdemar fans."—Booklist
"Lackey’s back doing what she does best, and the result is affecting and compulsive reading."—Locus
"Series fans will enjoy the variations on a familiar theme, while enough information is presented for first-timers to discover a world of high adventure and individual courage. Highly recommended."—Library Journal
"Leaves us simultaneously satisfied—and longing for more. Not an easy feat.... Once you jump into this world, you’ll find yourself immediately involved, surrounded by new friends, and glad you made the trip."—Realms of Fantasy
"Lackey is a spellbinding storyteller who keeps your heart in your mouth as she spins her intricate webs of magical adventure."—Rave Reviews
About the Author
Mercedes Lackey is a full-time writer and has published numerous novels and works of short fiction, including the best-selling Heralds Of Valdemar series. She is also a professional lyricist and a licensed wild bird rehabilitator. She lives in Oklahoma with her husband, artist Larry Dixon, and their flock of parrots. She can be found at mercedeslackey.com.
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I like Ms Lackey's fairy tale books but have noticed that they, too, are starting to get a little less magical.
Her books are getting to be like assembly line productions with repetition, loose ends and in need of quality control.
Maybe she should write fewer books more carefully and be better edited. Please bring back the magic.
The book is better than the first two with some of the mysteries being, at least partially, solved and others remaining for the future. The solutions do not necessarily result in happy ever after endings but provide realistic resolutions to the problems involved. Sadly, we see less and less of the Collegium and more of the city of Haven.
There are, however, some matters that keep this from being on a par with earlier works by this author. 1) The matter of Bard Marchand is handled almost as an afterthought, as if the author was just tired of him and decided to make an end. There really is not sufficient explanation of his motivation in the actions he took (I am trying not to spoil this book for those who have not read it). 2) Mags' age? Mags was 11 or 12 when he was chosen. We have his own word for the fact that he had not yet reached puberty. He came to the collegium in the fall and the unusually cold winter started at the beginning of that book. The second book covered the balance of that winter and into spring. For the most part, we see Mags as an exceptionally mature young boy throughout. The third book starts with the exceptionally hot summer that follows so Mags should be about 12 or 13, maybe 14, at a stretch. But he is now acting and is being treated as if he were 17 or 18. The romance with Amilly is between young adults and not children and Amilly's father is treating Mags as an approved suitor. Ridiculous. 3) Mags' accent. When he came to the collegium, Max spoke with an uneducated accent and vocabulary. Perfectly natural, but it should be something the collegium is seeking to train him out of, not tacitly condoning. He should be required to use proper diction and vocabulary just to give him much needed practice in using the language properly. Heralds are required to interact with the nobility, to act as judges and to represent the crown. Failure to speak well will be a handicap when he becomes a young man but nobody seems to be doing anything about it.
In the end, I have given it four stars but I think there is a decline in quality overall.
For the rest, the book was fair and I am looking forward to the next - final? - volume.
The other thing that dampened my enjoyment was Mags' dialogue. This is the third book into the series and, if anything, his accent was worse. And that made reading difficult sometimes as I had to stop to puzzle out exactly what it was that he was saying. I understand the point behind the accent, but it was almost unreadable at times
My Recommendation: While this is not my favorite book in the series, I still feel that it is an importa part of the saga as hold. It is also a necessary read for the next two in the series.