Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Two by Mercedes Lackey

Mercedes Lackey, who goes by "Misty" to her friends and fans, is an amazingly prolific author. She's got dozens of books out in many different genre, and doesn't appear to be slowing down at all when it comes to publishing fantasy series and SF books. I read more than a few of her Valdemar series, and several of her other books, and I enjoyed most of them tremendously. Lackey's prose is usually zippy and fun, without any real jargon or too much exposition. She generally has nice, brisk plots, too, and hearty, realistic characters who fascinate the reader. Roughly 5 years ago I ran across her "Elemental Mages" series, and became riveted by the idea of having male and female mages of earth, air, fire and water getting involved in various historical milleau. I loved the fact that she had mages from various social strata and ethnic backgrounds saving the day and finding their soulmates. The latest in this series, "Wizard of London" was sublime, full of the usual riveting characters and interesting situations. My only qualm was the rather anti-climactic ending, in which one expects the warriors to vanquish the evil foe, only to find that she is swept away by that which she's sold her soul to, and her henchman, though he's a dolt, gets off scot-free for his part in the drama. Sad and limp, as endings go. But, even a limp ending can't ruin a book that good. I also read the second book in the Diana Tregarde series of paranormal mysteries, "Burning Water" which was written in the 1980s, and is just a bit dated because of that. Still, it was a fun read, and though I liked the first book, "Children of the Night" better, it was just as engrossing and enjoyable. Tregarde and psychic policeman Mark Valdez are on the trail of Aztec mass-murderers in this tale, and though there are some horrendous and gross descriptions of dead people, including dead children, the intrepid duo finally do track down the killers, only to let them go, and find out later that the main bad guy was killed, but again, evil female hench-women get off scott free for their crimes, which was upsetting. I can only think that Lackey has plans for them in some other volume of the Tregarde series. "Jinx High" is being ordered by my library, so I won't be able to read the third book until it comes in, but I look forward to hearing about Tregardes next adventure. I just hope she doesn't let the bad guys/gals get away this time!


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