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Alta (Dragon Jousters #2)

4.01  ·  Rating Details ·  6,691 Ratings  ·  103 Reviews
National best-selling fantasy legend, Mercedes Lackey created a vivid, dynamic fusion of the Upper and Lower Kingdoms of ancient Egypt with the most exciting, authentic and believable portrayal of dragons ever imagined.
In the second novel in Mercedes Lackey's richly-conceived Dragon Jousters series, the dragonrider Vetch escapes to Alta, the subjugated land of his birth.
Paperback, 434 pages
Published March 1st 2005 by Daw Books (first published March 1st 2004)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Debbie's Spurts (D.A.)
My ratings should be the only review of books from me showing on goodreads. They are my unincentivized, unconnected consumer product opinions.

The star rating reflects solely my subjective reading experience and resulting opinion of the book according to the rating scale used by goodreads. It's not intended to destroy anyone's livelihood nor to churn out book promotions for them — just my opinion/reaction shared with other readers and a means to track my reading, provide book comparison data and
Aug 26, 2008 Bill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
While I agree with the pundit and reader reviews, that the Dragon Jouster trilogy books seem simple, quick reads aimed at the teenage/young adult audience where everyone lives happily ever after, I think perhaps Lackey is attacking the current state of Gaia: the "War on Terror".

One can read this as an allegory with the Magi being Bush/Blair and their power hungry cohorts, the Dragon Jousters being those who fight to protect the civil liberties of all and the terrorists being everyone else who d
Dec 03, 2016 Rebecca rated it it was amazing
This installment was even better than the first with more danger, more intrigue, more dragons. Loved it.
Mar 19, 2017 Robert rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
Compared to the first book, this one is a huge step down. The formatting and style are vastly different which makes the plot and characters seem drab and flat.

A full review with all the details is available at
Mar 10, 2017 Nan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy-fiction
Not as good as the 1st one since you do not get to be inside of the main characters thought processes but it's nice to see good things happening to him and people valuing him. I like where this book is going & wish that the 3rd one was more thought out.
May 06, 2012 TheCosyDragon rated it it was amazing
I originally reviewed this book on my blog - The Cosy Dragon. For more recent reviews by me, please hop over there.

Little Vetch has grown into a man, named for his father Kiron. With his tame dragon Avetre he has fled from Tia t Alta, the land of his birth. He does not know what he will find, or what he will be able to do for Alta. When he arrives, he finds that there are more troubles than he could have imagined.

This is the second book in the awesome Dragon Jousters Series. I'm so very fond of
Feb 03, 2012 Hallie rated it liked it
Again, this is very typical Mercedes Lackey in all her tropes. Evil mages have taken over the government by corrupting the rulers using powerful blood-magic, and the young band of friends has a slowly-building plan to overthrow them from within. Plus, everybody gets a soulmate and they'll obviously be sorely tried before they fix everything to end the war. I still liked the dragons, and she spends a lot of time describing how each one differs in physicality and personality, and how each characte ...more
Rosu Aquabutts
"I liked it."

I'm not sure just how much I have to say about this book. It was better than Joust, but also a lot less fun. It was nice to see some of the old-fashionned Mercedes Lackey style 'killing off a character you never thought she'd kill moments after you thought everything was gonna be okay,' stuff showing its head because she's gotten a little soft in her old age. I was seriously shocked when that character died and couldn't believe it really had happened until they were actually buried.
Coleman Glider
Apr 20, 2010 Coleman Glider rated it really liked it
In Alta, Mercedes Lackey's sequel to Joust, the young serf Vetch has escaped from an enemy stronghold on the wings of a recently hatched dragon to his homeland of Alta, with vengeance filled hopes of sharing the invaluable secrets of dragon rearing and training with the Altan military.

Because of the nation of Tia's superiority with dragons and their riders (called Jousters), Alta has been slowly losing land and human lives for decades. If nothing is done soon, Alta will surely be defeated and a
May 08, 2013 Josh rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, high-fantasy
A surprising improvement over the first volume, which was far too much a "paint by numbers" coming of age heroic journey saga that really wasn't particularly original. In this one, Lackey takes things to a much more sophisticated an interesting level, layering Vetch's (now Kiron) struggles to assimilate into his long-lost homeland's culture and structure, with his efforts to train his dragon and add that training to his home, but also dealing with a corrupt and dangerous government and building ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Sep 27, 2010 Lisa (Harmonybites) rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fantasy Fans
Shelves: fantasy, fiction, novels
This is the second in the Dragon Jouster's series that began with Joust, which you should read first.

The series is centered on Kiron (in the first book known as Vetch) who is an appealing figure. In the first book he came across as angry and bitter (but with good reason, so he never came across as whiny.) In this book he comes into his own and to a position of leadership as he tries to teach his compatriots the secrets of raising tame dragons. The new, supporting characters in this tale of his
Jan 02, 2017 Nightwings81 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book and the entire premise of the series. I have read it multiple times because it is one of those nice and easy books that you can grab when you just have to have a book in your hands, but don't have the energy to attempt anything new.

The only reason I didn't give this five starts was the horrific editing--either by the author or the copy editor. There were many cases where ages, colors, and even character names changed. One particularly annoying case had the main charac
Rena Sherwood
Mar 28, 2015 Rena Sherwood rated it really liked it
Shelves: otherworldly, animals
Pleasing sequel to Joust, yet not quite as good. I'm not sure I'll continue with the series as this have an ending of sorts and Mercedes Lackey is not exactly my favorite writer.

Although Lackey could never be accused of having a lot of action in her books, this one has the most action of any Lackey I've read. (Believe it or not, that was a compliment.) Lackey tends to have most of the action be "off-screen", so to speak. She concentrates on how her worlds are organized, what colors the dragons a
Kristy Halseth
Mar 19, 2016 Kristy Halseth rated it really liked it
Book two is even better than book one. The only thing keeping this series from getting 5 stars is that the books suffer from the same flaw as her other books. The main characters never make mistakes and have to suffer from the consequences. They always make the prefect decisions for any situation. They are always reacting to events that happen to them and always seem to have just the right tools to deal with what is happening. Having said that, and admitting that this is another reread, I couldn ...more
Apr 02, 2012 Maria rated it it was amazing
As good or better than the first in the series, it starts out with Vetch, now Kiron, having a much easier time in Alta than I expected and then progresses to the sturm und drang of a city slowly slipping into upheaval and evil with only the jousters and the dragons standing between the people and eventual annihilation. The worst point in the book for me was a death that I really didn't expect and which sent me reeling for pages after. With so much magic I was convinced the death would be "undone ...more
Jun 18, 2007 Dawn rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 23, 2014 Birgit rated it really liked it
The story of Vetch the serf continues. Follow him and his dragon Avatre on their journey to Alta, his homeland, and see him making new friends and help Alta train dragons to beat the enemy. But...his saviour, and friend Ari is among the enemies - does that mean that one day Vetch has to fight Ari and his blue dragon? And - is everything really as it should be in Alta? Are Ari and his fellow countrymen really the enemy?
Mercedes Lackey continues the tale she started in "Joust", and I found it diff
Feb 02, 2012 Christina rated it it was amazing
Plot: 6/7

How do you follow an almost perfect coming-of-age story? By letting the main character grow from a follower into a leader of men (and women). Kiron and Avatre take their almost unique skills and mindset to Kiron/Vetch's homeland of Alta, where all is not what it seems. We get to learn more about the Magi (the sea-witches from book #1) throughout, and the ending is so perfect. I can't wait to see what happens in book #3!

Writing Style: 7/7

A little more grown-up than the last book, as Ve
Sep 03, 2014 mirba rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, dragons
If you love dragons, this is the correct series to read. This three books are so filled with dragons and flying jousters that you'll feel the wind on your skin while reading it.

These books are a really good coming of age story, but also the world building, the politics and the society overall are very good.

Only thing that doesn't get a five star for me is that there are a lot of external characters, but these characters are sometimes forgotten, and sometimes it makes you feel that the book sho
Sep 26, 2008 Kerri rated it really liked it
This is a sequel to Joust, the first book in Lackey's Dragon Jousters series, and follows former slave Kiron and his dragon as they start a new life and train a new wing of dragons in Alta. Even though these books take place in a setting similar to ancient Eygypt, and the dragons and their riders share no telepathic connection, readers of these books probably can't help comparing them to a more famous and in my view, better set of dragon/rider tales by Anne McCaffrey. Alta was better than Joust, ...more
Oct 04, 2013 Elizabeth rated it really liked it
I liked this book more than the first, but I am not saying that the first was bad by any means. The characters are more complex now, there were twists and intrigue. I can't wait to read the next two in the series. I highly recommend this book and the whole series for an easy sci fi/fantasy read. The only complaint that I have is the names of the characters. First, there are a lot of them. Second, they are not names based on anything familiar so they can get kind of confusing. But if names are th ...more
Jade Lauron
Apr 27, 2013 Jade Lauron rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy-scifi
Okay, NOT as expected. A rehashing of more dragon raising, and the start of a veritable dragon army. This series is certainly getting milked for all it's worth. So, dragon raising, plus a bit of 'boy growing up and starting to find girls interesting.'

Again, still good tripe, and I'm probably a bit odd in that I could read endlessly about minutia of mythical creatures, but even I grow a bit weary of training liturgy. If the third book doesn't see quite a bit action vs. dread, I'm going to find it
Feb 28, 2016 Karen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, fantasy
It's been at least four years since I read Joust, but after the first three pages, I was completely immersed in Alta. It's kind of wonderful how it can be so real and so reminiscent of ancient Egypt and at the same time so fantastically about dragons. Only the occasional pesky grammatical errors kept me from being completely sucked into the story (hopefully the editors will catch those by the next printing); as it was, I finished within a day anyway. =P
Jul 29, 2015 Mia rated it really liked it
The danger heightens, nerves rise, more dragons, friendship, and responsibility for Kiron aka Vetch! This book is a great example of what a sequel book should be like. More development and growth and new challenges without ridiculous or incredulous means that some authors use! Very awesome! I highly recommend it to all CSU-if fans, dragon fans, Mercedes Lackey fans, and Vetch and Avatre fans, though I advise reading Joust first.
Jun 25, 2016 Abby rated it it was ok
NOWHERE on this book did it state that it was #2, and after reading the first few chapters of Alta, which were basically just a summary of book 1, I realized that I'd missed all of the events that had intrigued me in the first place. There was just nothing all that unique or attention-grabbing about this book. It didn't seem poorly written, just not all that original in the whole dragon-riding theme. Did not finish at 72 pages.
Jean Gill
Oct 31, 2011 Jean Gill rated it liked it
Drags a bit. I was still obssessing happily about dragon training when a key character died and livened things up. Then I thought, 'I'm not supposed to feel things have livened up when one of the good guys dies!' Some good plot elements but not enough time spent on these compared with dragon care and air tactics. I enjoyed the ending and I'm still interested enough to read Bk3 but am reading other books before that.
Feb 12, 2012 Cloud rated it liked it
Shelves: own
I will admit that I liked this one a bit more than the first book. I still think the short story that book 1 is based off of is better, however this one had the plot moving along at a decent clip. Met new characters and learned more about the land and the people and how they live on the other side of the river so to speak. I'm pleased with the chacters growth through out this book and I'm looking forward to book 3. I would say better than book 1 for sure.
Apr 22, 2010 Krystal rated it liked it
Shelves: series
Vetch has grown up and is now known as Kiron after his escape from Tia where he was a dragon boy. He is originally an Altan and has returned to Alta to offer his services using his expertise with the dragons.
Tia and Alta have always been at war. The jousters are the means of defense on both sides. When Kiron learns of an evil plot within his own people, he rallies the young jousters he has been training to find out just what could have been the reasoning behind the war in the first place.
Jan 09, 2017 Cat added it
I loved the first book, and this one did not disappoint. Mercedes Lackey created a world familiar yet different. The characters are well fleshed out and very likable or very dislikable. Kiron (Vetch), pulls you into his story and had you rooting for the good guys. But are all the good guys really good guys. Well told story as are all her books. I am anxious to read the next one.
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Mercedes entered this world on June 24, 1950, in Chicago, had a normal childhood and graduated from Purdue University in 1972. During the late 70's she worked as an artist's model and then went into the computer programming field, ending up with American Airlines in Tulsa, Oklahoma. In addition to her fantasy writing, she has written lyrics for and recorded nearly fifty songs for Firebird Arts &am ...more
More about Mercedes Lackey...

Other Books in the Series

Dragon Jousters (4 books)
  • Joust (Dragon Jousters, #1)
  • Sanctuary (Dragon Jousters, #3)
  • Aerie (Dragon Jousters, #4)

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