Author: Mercedes Lackey
Series: Valdemar: Collegium Chronicles (Book 5)
Publication: DAW Hardcover; First Edition edition (October 1, 2013)
Description: Mags returns to the Collegium, but there are mixed feelings--his included--about him actually remaining there. No one doubts that he is and should be a Herald, but he is afraid that his mere presence is going to incite more danger right in the heart of Valdemar. The heads of the Collegia are afraid that coming back to his known haunt is going to give him less protection than if he went into hiding. Everyone decides that going elsewhere is the solution for now. So since he is going elsewhere--why not return to the place he was found in the first place and look for clues? And those who are closest to him, and might provide secondary targets, are going along. With Herald Jadrek, Herald Kylan (the Weaponsmaster's chosen successor), and his friends Bear, Lena, and Amily, they head for the Bastion, the hidden spot in the hills that had once been the headquarters of a powerful band of raiders that had held him and his parents prisoner. But what they find is not what anyone expected.
My Thoughts: BASTION ends the five-book story arc that tells Mags story. From abused mine slave to Herald of Valdemar is quite a journey and it was fascinating watching him grow up and come into his own. Throughout the whole series we have watched Mags search for his history. In this episode we finally find out about his people.
Mags has escaped from the people who kidnapped him but he is afraid that he brought trouble back with him to the Collegium in Valdemar. He is very worried about Amily, the young woman he loves, and his friends becoming targets. He did gain a promise from his kidnappers to stop trying to assassinate the Crown that Mags is sworn to protect.
So a plot is hatched. Mags will go out on circuit with a mentor as most young heralds do and along the way he will "die." His friends will also get out of town for various reasons of their own. They will meet up and hope to elude the assassins. The will be patrolling the north of Valdemar including the Bastion which used to be a bandit hide-out. The same bandits who killed his parents. Mags is hoping to find some clues about them.
He and his mentor weren't expecting to find an area that was hostile to heralds and many problems to solve. Nor was he expecting to find the family that he had wondered about for years. His cousin Bey is a fascinating character who tries to convince Mags to come "home" with him and be part of the assassin's guild that Bey hopes to take over.
This story had romance as Mags and Amily finally get together. It had danger as Mags and company had to fight off assassins who also wanted to take Mags home with them. It was a nice conclusion to a story arc.
:That I've had t'grow up?: he replied, feeling just a trifle irritated.I bought this one. You can buy your copy here.
:That is exactly what I'm saying: came the reply. :Trust me, no one likes being forced to grow up. It's damned unpleasant. You learn you're never safe. You learn that people you depend on to protect you might not be able to. Not even me. You learn all sorts of things you would really rather not have known. I hated it. You hate it. Everyone hates it.: