August 27, 2015

Review: Arrow’s Flight

Arrow’s Flight (Arrows of the Queen, book 2) by Mercedes Lackey

arrow's flight

Genre: Epic Fantasy
Edition Reviewed: eBook
Amazon: Paperback | Kindle
Goodreads: Arrow's Flight

Set in the medieval fantasy kingdom of Valdemar, this unique and exciting novel continues the story of Talia. Having mastered the powers necessary to a guardian of the kingdom, she faces the final preparation for her initiation as adviser and protector of the Queen.


Talia's 4-5 years of Herald training has come to an end and she's finally getting into her whites.  Now all that's left is her 2 year circuit riding where she's partnered with a Senior Herald and learns to dispense justice.  As suits her upbringing she's put on a circuit that's right on the border of Valdemar near the Forest of Sorrow where the legendary Vanyel died and laid a curse upon the woods.

Talia's partnered with pretty boy Kris who is Talia's opposite.  He was born to a privileged elite family and is sheltered in the manners of border life and the hardships that the people have to deal with.  The two balance each other out nicely and Talia is good and knocking Kris off his pedestale of "women worship."  Kris has some inner depth that made me forget how conceded he could be at times.  Their relationship is put to the test as Kris tells Talia about some rumors about her misusing her Empath gift.  Spiraling her into a destructive state of mind that sends her emotions and powers against her.

It's definitely a good read dealing with the laws that need to be upheld in the rural areas.  Things as mundane as taxes to sadistic raping fathers.  Those scenes where thrilling and kept me guessing as the mundane and life threatening issues popped up to test Talia.  The thing that really slowed this read down—probably making it one of the less appreciated book in Talia's trilogy—is that a vast majority of the novel takes place in a Herald waystation where Talia and Kris are snowed in with their Companions and pack animals.  The two's relationship clearly grows and becomes something beautiful.  Looking back on my previous re-reads of this book I confess I never really appreciated the time spent with Talia getting retrained in her gift.  At times it can be a bit boring as they dig themselves out, survive getting snowed in, and the stress of Talia's out of control gifts and self-esteem.

Another thing that was fantastic about Arrow's Flight is the sexual relationship.  Lackey shows readers that love can develop between two people/characters with out it being some kind of huge "soulmate" thing.  They share something sweet and endearing, but still can manage to remain friends.  It was one of the first love scenes I had read, up until then male authors I had been reading had kisses then implied that the two had a slept together.  Even today I will say that the love scenes are nicely done.  They don't have the graphic detail that some of todays writers go into detail about, but it definitely gets the deed done.  Lackey doesn't gloss over the bits about Talia's lost virginity nor does she paint her ladies who enjoy a little bedroom time as sluts.  After all a little randiness among Heralds is quite fine.

Just like in the first book Lackey uses her page time wisely.  Characters from the previous book still get page time and their stories told even if they never make an appearance.  The plot may not be as complicated as the first book, but this one still manages perfectly with the political drama even though the two are out in the middle of no where.  Key things are still being setup even if there was some isolation time for the characters.

This may be the slowest book in the Arrows of the Queen trilogy, but it's still well worth the read.  Talia's journey to become Queen's Own is finally truly beginning, and the emotional growth helps to show Talia that she needs to accept help from other people.  The adventure clearly shows the tough decisions that Heralds have to deal with even if they aren't the Queen's Own.  It also emphasizes the different types of love that people can feel for friends with out turning into a soap fest.

Sexual Content: There is no mistaking what's going on, but it's clearly not as graphic as some of the newer books out there.  Again there are some homosexual themes, though not with the main character.

4/5- Great! Really enjoyed it.

Previous book(s) in series:
Reviewed on BW: Amazon: Goodreads:
Arrows of the Queen (1)
Arrow’s Flight (2)
Arrow’s Fall (3)
Arrows of the Queen (1)
Arrow’s Flight (2)
Arrow’s Fall (3)
Arrows of the Queen (1)
Arrow’s Flight (2)
Arrow’s Fall (3)

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