Author: Mercedes Lackey
Series: Collegium Chronicles, Bk 1 ; a Valdemar book
Obtained: personal copy - paperbackswap.com
I can't imagine what took me so long to read this - I really can't. I was worried because I was at a later point of time in Valdemar's history and didn't really care to be jumping back. But timeline-wise this comes after the Last Herald-Mage Trilogy I just skimmed through. Perhaps that made the difference. Whatever the case, I found Mags a very likeable character. I was pleased for him whenever he made new friends and showed his growth.
This felt more like a YA to me than Mercedes Lackey's books usually do, even when featuring children around 12 or 13 years old. Perhaps that's because she's also been writing an actual marketed-as-YA series. Perhaps there was some influence. Either way, that certainly didn't make the story less enjoyable.
If I was looking for something I wasn't as pleased about, it's that there wasn't as big a conflict for Mags to overcome. I mean, he comes from poor circumstances, and he has some other bumps along the way. But I'm fairly certain the "big" conflict is something that will cross throughout the series and become more prominent as time goes on.
Since I did take so long to read this book I have some catching up to do. I've requested books 2 through 4 (Intrigues, Changes, and Redoubt) at the library and should be able to read 2 and 3 soon (Redoubt is still on order). I'll also obtain personal copies eventually, but can afford to be patient as long as I can read them soon.