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Bastion (Valdemar: Collegium Chronicles #5)

3.77 of 5 stars 3.77  ·  rating details  ·  1,475 ratings  ·  174 reviews
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 th...more
Hardcover, 342 pages
Published October 1st 2013 by DAW Hardcover
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Sigh. As I come to the close of another disappointing Mercedes Lackey, I wonder why I bother? I always grumble at her leaden prose, at the somewhat colourless characters, at the rather smug and self-congratulatory attitude of all the Valdemarans - constantly telling themselves, and us, how clever and noble and generally worthy they are... So why? Why do I read them? It's not as if, particularly in the case of the latest Valdemar novels, the plots are all that good. They are mostly recycled versi...more
Kit Wilson
I just finished reading this. It answers most of the questions about Mags, but there are just enough unanswered that I can't decide if the series is finished or not. I enjoyed this book as much as the first (and more than #2-4). Despite the seemingly "leisurely" pace, the story does move quickly. There are some funny moments too.

My biggest complaint is "how" the questions are answered. It was just very neat and tidy and most importantly convenient. Instead of Mags finding the answers, the answe...more
This series feels like something Lackey just churned out to cater to fans who clamored for more stories set in Valdemar, keep a steady income rolling in without any effort, or both. From the start it's badly misnamed, as "The Collegium Chronicles" are really about Mags rather than about the first days of the Heralds creating their school. And I found the pieces about the conflict over whether the Collegium should exist much more interesting that the haphazard and often ridiculous setup of Mags'...more
Owlcat Mountain
I don't use star ratings, so please read my review!

(Description nicked—mostly—from B&

“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. Eve...more
This is the fifth and (presumably) final book in the rather ill-named "Collegium Chronicles" series. (Ill-named because it ought to be about, well, the collegium, but it's mostly not.) It's an improvement on some of the earlier volumes (book two, I seem to recall, was rather dull), but this is not the author's best work by any means.

It does contain much of what Ms. Lackey does well: lots of detail about what life is like in this world (something I love, though I can see that other readers could...more
Without fear of spoilers...
6 people, two horses, and two not-horses go on a camping trip during which Nothing Happens. For 250 pages. Finally, a long lost relative stops by for a real heart-to-heart. Still, aside from a dressing down of epic proportions, Nothing Actually Happens. Finally, in the last 30-40 pages, someone starts shooting real arrows.
What are we reading about in those 250 pages of non-events? Let me see. Well, we find out exactly how many shuttered windows are in a state-of-the-a...more
My first review on goodreads as I mostly lurk on here and it has to be a negative:(

So first in the series I was excited if bummed at how short it was. It got me hungering for more and I have faithfully bought each new one as they have come out, but the last few I felt should have been one book. Why was this 5 instead of 3 or 4 tops? What was going on with this book that talked so much about nothing leaving me almost to the end wondering when, if ever, the big bad enemy was going to show. I got t...more
Kat Cloaked
I am a huge fan of anything related to Valdemar, but this one is not my favorite of the Collegium Chronicles.

What I've enjoyed most about Mags is his perseverance, and there just is not a lot of struggle in this book. The most important issue seems to be whether or not he will be able to consummate his romance or not.

Yes, we learn more about his past and his ancestry. But in the end I just felt sort of apathetic.

I really wanted to like it. I will keep reading the series, which I imagine will hav...more
My 3-star rating really applies to the whole five book Collegium Chronicle set. Honestly, at times I thought it was terrible, but I somehow read all the books, must have had some redeeming qualities.

I've been hugely into Mercedes Lackey since a friend introduced me to the books in high school, and have read most of her books. The Valdemar books are generally my favorites, but this series really didn't do it for me. I think it would have worked a bit better as a trilogy, with less of the...more
Michelle Artlip
Apr 26, 2013 Michelle Artlip marked it as to-read
I really hope this new book is going to answer the questions that the last book left unanswered.! I am spool looking forward to this book!!
Neenah Lynch
Ok I'm ready for more of Bey's story and of his culture!
Mercedes Lackey has a fluid prose that lets a reader drop easily into the story she weaves. We gladly follow along with anything she chooses to write with ease and joy. I have read all of Ms. Lackey's books. All of them. Saying that, when I found out she was creating a story about the start of the Collegia, I was intrigued. In the beginning of Valdemar, when she wrote the Last Herald-Mage trilogy, Heralds were trained either one teacher to one student or one teacher for a two to three like-gifte...more
The book was "ok", not great like Mercedes Lackey's first sets of Valdemar novels, but not as bad as the previous two books in the Collegium Chronicles series either. I found that I just didn't care very much about any of the characters in this set. Bland would be a good term for the whole Collegium Chronicles to date.

The Good: This book actually has "stuff" happening through most of it and the plot goes somewhere.
No endless pages of kirball!

The Bad: Copy/paste fillers from previous books.
I didn't hate it, but for me it fell into the trap that Lackey's stuff sometimes does, where the hero/ine is just TOO PERFECT - skilled at everything they attempt, with interpersonal relationships that go alarmingly well and the ability to resolve completely preposterous conflicts within 75 pages. I really only read this because I'm a ridiculous completionist and couldn't bear only reading four books of a five-book series - but by the end I didn't even care about Mags' Secret Past except to feel...more
This is a sadly disappointing end to the series. There's no real conflict, aside from the inevitable fight against bad guys. The usual sense of hardship and loss-of-innocence Lackey usually includes in missing here.

Instead, characters receive or are revealed to have skills that normally take years of training, all the romantic loose ends are tied off and the new culture that is revealed is never mentioned again in the future chronology.

There were some interesting interactions, but the meanderin...more
This is a slightly odd entry in the Collegium Chronicles series, not only does very little of it take place at the Collegium, but there's no kirball. Well, it's mentioned a time or two, but there's no actual gameplay, and the book is the better for it, that device was getting rather overused. Finally, we get some answers about Mags origin, which probably makes this the concluding volume of the series. Although I've enjoyed it, I'm ready for it to be done, I want to see something new in the Heral...more
Many other reviewers have already detailed the many disappointments and occasional bright spots of the Collegium Chronicles, so I will try to avoid too much repetition, but I too am really struck by the difference between Lackey's early Valdemar books and her more recent ventures.

Remember when Lackey allowed characters to die in the course of the Herald's life that has continually been described as terribly dangerous? Remember the heart-rending loss of multiple characters in the Arrows of the Q...more
This series baffles me.

First of all: Is it over? If anyone knows, please comment!

I don't feel a burning need to read anything else in the series. It didn't end on a cliffhanger and the mysteries of the previous volumes are over. And yet if this is the end ... talk about an anti-climax! It practically whispered out of existence.

Yet paradoxically, even though I'm not sure this is over, I don't want there to be anymore books. There were already 2 books too many! Most of Lackey's series take plac...more
I sort of barreled through the five books of Mags because they were so good I couldn't stop reading them. Granted, Mercedes Lackey is my very favorite fantasy author, and I tend to barrel through all her books in the same manner, but Mags' story has definitely set itself among my favorites. I truly hope he's at least mentioned in a later book yet-to-be-written (I don't believe he's been mentioned as of yet; at least, I don't remember his name or his Companion's name, or any of his friends), perh...more
I am reviewing books 2 through 5 of this series in one lump because I checked them out from the library at the same time and read them in two days. They each only get three stars from me. I liked the story, but I had two major problems with these books. First is that everything seems too easy for Mags. On one hand he has the best luck of any character I've seen recently. He runs into just the right people or situation at just the right time. And on the other hand, due to his gift as a mind reade...more
Essentially, the problem with this book is that it feels like Mercedes Lackey is trying to recapture some of the magic of the early Valdemar books. We have blizzards that strand heralds, leaving them to get all snuggly. We have references to the Hawk brothers.

The story: It literally picks up right where REDOUBT leaves off, with Mags coming home. Then, for some reason, Mags, Bear, Lena, and Amily are sent away from the Collegia for their protection from Mags' newly discovered family... with a ba...more
hm... it seems this entire series has been more about Valdemar itself, as if Lackey has said all she wants to say about heralds and companions, and wants to focus on the land and people that make up the most of Valdemar. More detail and attention was given to the Fair, the locals, the life of Valdemar citizens than the supposed hero. Mags himself points out "ordinary folks, a muddle in the middle, just trying to get by with the least amount of pain and the greatest amount of joy." We don't get t...more
This book provided a satisfactory wrap-up of the open questions regarding Mags' origins and history. It was a light, reasonably enjoyable read. It was, and did, little more than that. Honestly, I felt that for much of this series, Ms. Lackey - and her editors - were rather phoning it in than not. Virtually nothing happens in the first half of the book. After Mags and his friends spend years trying to get into reds, greens and whites, they achieve this - with little more than a paragraph devoted...more
Probably my favourite in the series so far. We finally find out about Mags' connection/relationship with the mysterious foreigners, and where his parents come from. For those who are familiar with "The Valdemar Companion", you will be pleased to know that yes, it is included in the map contained in this book: a really nice touch (which, if it wasn't there, I would have been really annoyed about!). Enough information is included that it answers many of the questions raised in earlier books, and i...more
Marissa Patterson
The Collegium Chronicles just kept getting worse and worse. This story could have easily been told in 2 books, and yet we are treated to 5 novels where not much seems to happen. The characters are not well developed, and they have no flaws. I fell in love with Mercedes Lackey after reading the Arrows of the Queen and Last Herald Mage trilogies. Talia and Vanyel have both positive and negative characteristics, are put through terrible struggles, and you are rarely certain that all will come out p...more
I generally really enjoy Lackey books. This one had me cursing up a storm. The 1st four books were BARELY a year passing. Mags had a touch of empathy, that had to be trained by the healers, etc. This book... although directly following Redoubt, with no time lost, is somehow a FEW years later. Grrrr. Also, it uses a lot of cut and pasting from previous books in the series, which I find TRULY aggravating. I expect people to have READ the damn books, and not need pages and pages of reprints. His gi...more
Rena McGee
In Bastion, Mags does not get much time to recover from the events of Redoubt before he has to head out again. His experience with his captors has left him with a number of confused memories, new combat skills and only the slightest inkling of whom his captors were. (They are apparently some kind of secret clan of ninjas, from a desert country very far away.)

Read this review on A Wicked Convergence of Circumstances on Blogger.

Read this review on Rena's Hub of Random on WordPress.

The Speculative Post
Unlike the rest of the Valdemar books, Bastion and the rest of the Collegium Chronicles are not a duology or a trilogy. Bastion is book five in the cycle, and does not appear to be the last. In addition to being the fifth book in a series, Lackey has thirty other Valdemar books; if you haven’t read any of the Valdemar Saga before, do not start with this one. (I do highly recommend that you at least read The Last Herald Mage Trilogy.) I will also say that Bastion, and the Collegium Chronicles in...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I was delighted find this 5th book in the Collegium series, as it was supposed to finally answer the questions about Mags: who he is, where he came from, and why his parents were killed. (view spoiler)

This book was a chance for the younger set to see how they could handle living alone, but with guards on call if necessary. It felt more like a tale of a prince and his cronies going out with body guards just over the hil...more
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Mercedes Lackey r...: New Books ??? 4 29 Jan 02, 2014 02:20PM  
  • Treecat Wars (Honorverse: Stephanie Harrington, #3)
  • The Children of Kings (Darkover, #28)
  • Limits of Power (Paladin's Legacy, #4)
  • Esrever Doom (Xanth, #37)
  • The Given Sacrifice (Emberverse, #10)
  • Necessity's Child (Liaden Universe, #16)
  • Cast in Sorrow (Chronicles of Elantra, #9)
  • Mountain Echoes (Walker Papers, #8)
  • Mirror Sight (Green Rider, #5)
  • Soul of Fire (The Portals, #2)
  • Rex Regis (Imager Portfolio, #8)
  • Dead Letter Day (Messenger, #3)
  • The Diamond Deep (Ruby's Song, #2)
  • Autumn Bones (Agent of Hel, #2)
  • Requiem (Psalms of Isaak, #4)
  • The Key of the Keplian (Witch World Series 4: Secrets of the Witch World, #1)
  • Kalimpura (Green Universe, #3)
  • Bard's Oath (Dragonlord, #3)
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 &...more
More about Mercedes Lackey...
Arrows of the Queen (Heralds of Valdemar, #1) Magic's Pawn (Valdemar: Last Herald-Mage #1) By the Sword (Valdemar: Kerowyn's Tale, #1) Magic's Price (Valdemar: Last Herald-Mage #3) Magic's Promise (Valdemar: Last Herald-Mage #2)

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“He’d parted reluctantly from Amily, thinking again with envy of Lena and Bear. One thing that they hadn’t been forced to deal with during their courtship was other people . . . “keeping an eye on them.” He and Amily must have a hundred “eyes” on them at all times. Amily, after all, was the daughter of the King’s Own. Practically every Companion on the Hill was “keeping an eye on her.” Literally nothing they did was really private, and if he and Amily got beyond a little kissing and cuddling, it was absolutely guaranteed that within a candlemark her father would know about it.

Mags wasn’t entirely sure what Nikolas’s reaction to that would be. He had shown himself to be a reasonable man. His objections to Bear and Lena getting married on the sly had all been rational ones that had everything to do with political situations. Everyone knew that Mags and Amily were a couple. No one objected to that. There would be no political repercussions. . . .

But the difference was that Nikolas was not dealing with a couple of younglings in the abstract, he was dealing with his “apprentice” and his daughter.

From what Mags could tell, based on what his friends here said, things he’d read, and things Dallen had dropped, a man could be perfectly rational about a pair of younglings coupling, even give tacit approval (at least to the young man) right up until that coupling involved his daughter. Then rational thought went flying right out the window.

So . . . for now, kissing and cuddling was all he was going to get.

And, oh, how he envied Bear.”
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