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Book Review: Brightly Burning

Reviewed By: Harriet Klausner

[4.5 stars]

Brightly Burning     Amazon US PB Amazon US HC Amazon Canada PB Amazon Canada HC
Mercedes Lackey
Class/Genre:   Fantasy
Series: Valdemar History
Daw, May 2000, $24.95, 416 pp.

Being industrious, cloth merchant Archer Chitward and his needle-working wife Nelda move their family from the wooded village of Alderscroft to the big city of Haven. The two adults and three of their children (Sam, Macy, and Feoden) are extremely pleased with the move because their ambitions lie with the Guilds. The other child, teenage Lavan hates leaving behind his beloved woods, especially since he wants nothing to do with the family business.

Lan is enrolled in the Collegia, an exclusive school where the wealthy older students bully and humiliate the newcomers. Lan detests the school and loathes the pupils, who constantly pick on him, until he explodes and causes the emission of a monster blaze. Lan, who loved pretending to be a Herald, has the potential to become the greatest of them all, but no one seems to want to train him how to control his fiery nature even with war imminent.

BRIGHTLY BURNING is a wonderful addition to Mercedes Lackey’s Valdemar universe. The characters, especially the angst-laden Lan and his companion Kalira are fully developed and intriguing characters who make this fantasy world seem like an actual society. The story line is exciting, but tries to showcase too much, never deciding between an out of control Carrie-like rage vs. the problems and controversy of inter-specie relationships. Still, with the talent of Ms. Lackey, fans of the series will feel that the newest book burns brightly.

Harriet Klausner

Reprinted with permission. Do Not repost without permission from the author, Harriet Klausner

Please Note: Books reviewed are usually provided by the publisher, author, or an agent. Reviewers usually get to keep the book.

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