Lair of the Geek

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Intrigues the second book in The Collegium Chronicles


Author: Mercedes Lackey
Publisher: TitanBooks
Price: £7.99
Review by: Emsy

‘Intrigues’ is the second book in The Collegium Chronicles set in Mercedes Lackey’s wonderful world of Valdemar. If you read my review on the first book ‘Foundation’ you will know that I very much enjoyed it and was particularly fond of the protagonist Mags. Mags is just an all-round loveable, kind-hearted character and as such I became very protective over him.

Unfortunately this is exactly what made ‘Intrigues’ difficult for me to read. In the first book he does not really encounter too many tribulations after his initial liberation from the mine, and any he did come across were very trivial and easily resolved. This is not so in ‘Intrigues’ and poor Mags is subject to a number of really unpleasant (to say the least) situations, and being the fragile young thing that he is, he is not very adept at handling them. It felt to me as though Lackey was toying with the reader’s emotions by purposefully hurting him, and it seems a little unnecessary.

My issues aside, the book is, as the first was; well written. The to and fro between Mags and his companion Dallen is humorous, and as stated in my previous review the style is very much suited to a younger audience. That is unless you are a huge fantasy book fanatic like myself or a follower of Lackey’s tales of Valdemar; which I cannot currently comment on, but will soon rectify after finishing The Collegium Chronicles.

I mentioned before that elements of ‘Foundation’ reminded me somewhat of Rowling’s Harry Potter series and I could not help but be reminded of a certain witches and wizards favourite sporting pastime when being introduced to “Kiriball”. Now I have no idea whether this has appeared in Lackey’s other Valdemar books, but it had definite quidditch flavours about it.

Overall, it was an enjoyable read, although nowhere near as enjoyable as ‘Foundation’ in my opinion. Now whether that be due to my distaste for Mags’ struggles, or due to what I saw as being a lack in story progression I am not sure. It did read like a bit of a filler book, and there was a lot of time spent on back story and interaction between the children but ultimately it did what any book in a good series is supposed to do; made me want to read the next one.

So yes, I would recommend this book but only if you have read the first one, and if you have book three ‘Changes’ to hand as you may need, like me, to have some resolution to some of the circumstances that transpire in this one. I’m sure you’ll be seeing my review on ‘Changes’ very soon!

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