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‘Changes’ third book in The Collegium Chronicles

Collegium3_Changes_cover-3Review By: Emsy
Author: Mercedes Lackey
Publisher: Titanbooks
Price: £7.99

‘Changes’ is the third book in The Collegium Chronicles series written by Mercedes Lackey. Now I mentioned in my reviews of the two previous books that I really enjoyed ‘Foundation’, which was in fact, a good foundation (geddit) to the series, and a great introductory book, but that I had less enjoyment from the second, ‘Intrigues’ due to what I felt was a bit of a lack in story progression.

Unfortunately ‘Changes’ read more like the latter. Don’t get me wrong, Lackey is obviously a talented, seasoned writer; her descriptive lexis is flawless, and she paints a fantastic picture with her words. However the lack of story progression that I noticed in ‘Intrigues’ becomes even more apparent in this book. In all honesty it feels like these books, rather than be a series, could have been just one. From a business point of view it is great planning as anyone reading the books will have to get the next one to try and get some kind of resolution.

This book, as the others in the series is very PG/13, and once again I will state that it is very much suited to a younger audience. The relationships between characters appear to have blossomed, but I feel like I missed how or why they came about. On numerous occasions I found myself looking back in this book, and ‘Intrigues’ to see if I had skipped over anything. Without spoiling to much, I don’t really agree with the couple choices. They make sense on paper I suppose, but something just doesn’t feel right.

There’s plenty more Quiddi- I mean Kiriball in ‘Changes’ with which the Harry Potter familiarity is not helped by Mags teammate “Gennie” (no kidding). The whole first chapter is dedicated to this fantastical game, not unlike Rowling’s ‘Goblet of Fire’, but without the shocking, exciting climax.

It is a real shame because I feel like I have become somewhat disillusioned with this series. They are very easy reads, nice books, but not riveting ‘I can’t put you down’ reads. If you haven’t read any other of Lackey’s Valdermar based books, and were thinking of starting with these, I would recommend against it. If you have already invested your time by reading ‘Foundation’ and ‘Intrigues’ then you might as well read ‘Changes’.

I will of course be reading the fourth book in the series ‘Redoubt’ but unless it is absolutely phenomenal then I’m afraid The Collegium Chronicles will not be being re-read, and as a big fantasy fan that’s a pretty sizeable disappointment. You never know, maybe something incredible will happen to link everything together and completely redeem this series for me. I will keep an open mind, and let you know if this is the case in my next review!

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