Closer to Home
Herald Spy series #1
Daw Books, 2014
313 pages, eBook, Hardcover, Paperback, Audiobook, MP3 CD
Purchased at the current price
The cover art is still as spectacular as ever on Ms. Lackey’s Valdemar books. Jody Lee has not lost the touch to capture the magic of the kingdom and its Heralds and Companions. This cover captures the season as well as the feelings felt. With the winter upon them, everyone was feeling the cold and it is referred to many times during the story, especially during the nerve stretching moments of the incident on the bridge when Mags sees the man swept over and hears the familiar Mindvoice. Ms. Lee has also caught the stress and the fear of those moments in her art both with the colors and the position and motion of the Companion. The art within the shield depicts the city and all the pressing problems as they crowd around to be dealt with as they reach the boiling point. The Herald with the masks is Mags as he changes his look to appear as a Herald in his Whites on his Companion, Dallon, or as Magnus the low-level rich boy who tries to keep things calm, or as Mags who runs youths as spies throughout the city and houses them with Auntie Minda. Who is the real Mags? Is he just one person?
Ms. Lackey has written another Herald-Companion adventure with the expected drama of her previous series The Heralds of Valdemar, The Last Herald Mage, and others. However, it doesn’t quite reach the scope the others do. It somehow seems a bit smaller, maybe because it all takes place right there in the capital rather than ranging all over the kingdom as so many of the others do. And it is only among the citizens rather than among multiple nations and species. It just doesn’t have quite the same excitement. There are two other books in this trilogy, Closer to the Heart and Closer to the Chest. Both sound pretty good and have gotten good ratings. I recommend this series based on my reading of this book.