Joust (Dragon Jousters Series #1)
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Joust (Dragon Jousters #1)

3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  6,745 ratings  ·  162 reviews
The Barnes & Noble Review
From Mercedes Lackey, renowned for her Valdemar novels (Exile's Honor, Exile's Valor, et al.) that feature the intimate relationship between human Heralds and their sentient horselike Companions, comes an exciting new saga about dragons and the courageous men who train and ride them. Vetch is a young Altan serf working his fingers to the bone f...more
ebook, 448 pages
Published March 2nd 2004 by Penguin Group (USA) (first published March 2nd 2003)
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Jul 18, 2008 Allison rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People new to stories involving dragons
Recommended to Allison by: :( Fond memories of other series
When I picked this up, I expected to really enjoy it. After all, I like Mercedes Lackey's writing, and it had been a long time since I had read any good dragon-focused fiction. Sadly, it seems as if Lackey lifted this story from one of my favorite series of all time- The Pit Dragon Trilogy by Jane Yolen.

Although I will admit that the whole dragon and his boy theme is old as dirt, reading Joust was more like deja-vu than I ever could have imagined. Both stories take place in dry, arid locations...more
Nov 21, 2007 Joana rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fantasy and dragon lovers
As a dragon enthusiast I jumped for joy when I found this book on the bookshelf at my local bookstore. After I read it I couldn’t help but think that this was what a dragon book should be. Mercedes Lackey has always been one of my favorite fantasy writers and in this book she proves why she deserves all of the praise that she gets. Fans of Anne McGaffry’s Dragonriders of Pern series will not be disappointed in this book. Despite the fact that Joust revolves around dragonriders, referred to as Jo...more
Have you ever gotten that feeling, after finishing a book? That amazing feeling, of "wow." Simple amazement, and knowledge that what you have just read will remain with you forever? That's how I felt after gently closing the cover of Joust by Mercedes Lackey. Interestingly, if you ask me for a list of my all-time favorite books, fully half would be written by Lackey, while the other half is pulled from every author, genre, and intended audience. This book was certainly one of my very favorite....more
Sarah (Inklings Read)
Jun 25, 2011 Sarah (Inklings Read) rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of The Pit Dragon Chronicles by Jane Yolen
Shelves: favorites, own, ebook
Vetch, a serf working for a terrible and abusive master, knows nothing but servitude until Jouster Ari comes along. Taking Vetch under his wing, he gives him no more work than he can handle, teaches him the ways of dragons, and trusts him with the care of his dragon, Kashet. Soon after, Vetch has dreams of raising a dragon of his own.

I must address an issue here before I start my review. Many people see this series as comparable to The Pit Dragon Chronicles by Jane Yolen, and in many ways it is…...more
I was something of a Mercedes Lackey fan when her earliest books came out -- not a fanatical fan by any means, but I read and sought out the subsequent Valdemar books as they came out. Somewhere along the way I moved on to other things, and the reviews on her later offerings didn't motivate me to return.

I picked up Joust recently, in part because I was looking for a book of a certain length to read at a 10-12 pages a night from mid-August through September. This turned out to be an ideal book fo...more
This story was really good. It's set in a world composed of two kingdoms (or at least it only mentions two) Alta and Tia. Kvetch is a Altan serf to a cruel Tian master who owns the land that Kvetch's family used to own. Kvetch is rescued by Ari, a Tian jouster and dragonrider. Ari gives Kvetch the job of taking care of his dragon. Kvetch is fascinated by the dragons and tries to learn all he can about them... Tian (and later you find out Altan) society seems to resemble ancient Egypt (dress, set...more
A little boy separated from his family during a war is made a serf by the enemy and lucky to be saved from maltreatment from his present owner by one of the Dragon Jousters, who takes him into service. Follow the tentative friendship developping between these two "enemies", suffer with Vetch, the serf, who so wants a dragon of his own to escape back to his homeland, but it means to leave Ari, the Jouster, who has become a friend.
Mercedes Lackey, as usual, writes a brilliant tale, of friendship b...more
Just under 4 stars, actually. ;)
This is the first in a 4-book series, set in an alternate history of ancient Egypt, where there are dragons used in warfare. The book follows the story of young Vetch, a starved and beaten serf (basically a slave with fewer rights) who is 'requisitioned' by a dragon riding jouster, named Ari. Vetch becomes Ari's dragon boy, charged with taking care of both man and dragon. His new life is light-years better than his old, but he still has to serve his enemy. But Ari...more
Mercedes Lackey is one of my all-time favourite authors, so even though I didn't know anything about this world besides it featuring jousting dragonriders, it was comfortable and easy to slip into.

The beginning was a bit slow, easing us towards the plot and the world as a whole. The dragons, I loved- despite being a huge Pern fan, I do appreciate the notion of them as large, hungry, and smart while remaining non-sentient beasts. The blending of cat, hunting hound, and falcon traits in their nat...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I haven’t read that many Mercedes Lackey books, even though she’s one of the most popular and prolific fantasy writers today. I picked up Joust for $1 during a Borders closing sale. The plot follows Vetch, a young serf plucked from his cruel master’s yard to become a dragon boy to the jouster Ari and dragon Kashet. The world is Ancient Egypt with a little magic and a few flying serpents.

The beginning is slow. Very slow. It takes 23 pages for Vetch to fetch a bucket of water. Of course, if someon...more
Rosa Aquafire
"I liked it."

Finished this one a while back as well. This is one of the few Mercedes Lackey universes that I HAVEN'T ever read before, so this was my first time in the world, and I have to say I really enjoyed it.

It was different from a lot of Lackey's other books in that I didn't care so much about the characters, but I really enjoyed the world. It was a really cool, different, unique sort of world, and it seemed that the book was more just a tour through that world than anything else. It didn'...more
A solid, competently done coming-of-age fantasy story. There's nothing terribly unique here, but it's very well executed. Lackey knows what she's doing and has developed a fully-realized world with easily visualized locations, lifestyles, and of course dragons.

It's primarily a set-up book, introducing the world, the players, and the dragons. There's good potential for the next volume as well.

A few quibbles: it really isn't very original. Jane Yolen probably wonders where her royalty check is. Th...more
Tabitha Ormiston-Smith
This book has Ms Lackey's usual theme of a young person in distress rescued to a better life. And there's nothing wrong with that - it is a theme that never grows old, and resonates for everyone, whether their own circumstances be fortunate or unfortunate. We all love a bit of Cinderella and I believe this is one of the things that makes Ms Lackey's work so enduringly popular.

Of the competence of the writing I need say nothing. Ms Lackey is a very seasoned, well known writer and it would be impe...more
Rosemarie Herbert
I originally reviewed this book on my blog - The Cosy Dragon. For more recent reviews by me, please hop over there.

Vetch is as Altan serf labouring under a cruel and unjust master. Suddenly, Vetch finds himself swept up onto dragon-back and into the Tian dragon complex. Vetch is willing to work hard, but he is always consumed with anger against those who have killed his father and destroyed his rightful home.

Vetch is a fantastic character. Small and frightened, yet with a core of resiliency, he'...more
I first read Joust several years ago, when it was just a short story in a dragon anthology. It was my favourite story of the group, so I was overjoyed to learn that Lackey had expanded the story into a full-length book. And when I read it for the first time, I loved it.

I picked it up again, several years later, and I'm just not as in love with it as I used to be. It's a testament to Lackey's ability that she can make it interesting to read a year's worth of the character doing the same things ov...more
Carol Gibson
This is the first book in this series. It is a fantasy set in a world that strongly resembles ancient Egypt. The book hero is a serf named Vetch who is rescued from an abusive owner to serve as a dragon boy. Dragon boys take care of the dragons that the jousters ride in combat.

The world is fascinating with the gods being real, divine magic and dragons. Lackey knows birds both parrots and birds of prey and she uses this knowledge in the taming and training of dragons so that it comes across very...more
Tim Greaton
An enchanting and gradually building tale…

Mercedes Lackey is more of a hit than miss author, and though she does slow down she doesn't disappoint with this first book in "The Dragon Jousters" series.

Having lost his entire family to Tian marauders, who killed his father and sold the other members of his family as slaves, Vetch is forced into servitude under Khefti, a lecherous and cruel Tian merchant. Only a tiny boy, barely larger than a toddler, Vetch silently curses Khefti but endures his seve...more
Lisa (Harmonybites)
I'm generally a fan of Lackey's Valdemar books, but felt she was suffering from tired blood around the time Joust came out, so I didn't pick it up when it was first published. Recently I went on a nostalgic binge of rereading her books, and finding a lot of my old favorites like Magic's Pawn and Oathbreakers still stood up. So then I went back and tried Joust. I was pleasantly surprised--this book (and the three that follow in the series, Atla, Sanctuary and Aerie) are just as good as Lackey's b...more
Coleman Glider
Vetch is an Altan serf owned by a Tian master. His family once owned the farm on which he now lives as a serf. When the Tian army came, they killed his father and took the farm. Then they parcelled out the land to their own people, along with all the remaining members of Vetch's family, as Tian law states that no one may own land that does not own a serf who was originally tied to that land. However there are no Tian laws governing the treatment of such serfs.

Vetch has a miserable existence, ove...more
For the first time ever, national best-selling legend Mercedes Lackey draws from her extensive knowlege of animals and her professional background as an
avian expert-to create something truly special…

The most exciting, authentic and believable portrayal of dragons ever imagined.

It is a richly conceived, fully realized vision, inspired by the culture of ancient Egypt, the legends of Atlantis--and the science of animal behavior and
biology. This is how dragons would live, breed, hatch, hunt, and bon...more
A fantasy following the fortunes of a serf called Vetch, Joust is the first book of a four book series, all of which are available. In the first novel, Vetch is a land-bound free-born slave who is being worked to death by his owner, until he is stolen away by a Jouster – a dragon-riding elite warrior called Ari. So begins Vetch’s new life as a dragon-boy.

Mercedes Lackey is far from a favourite of mine. Something about her style grinds at me. I have read several of her earlier works, but it is J...more
Usually, I'm not a fantasy fan. I was never able to finish the Lord of the Rings trilogy. I had to resort to the cliff notes so that I could sound as if I'd read it. I suspect I'm not alone in this.

Joust, however, differs in that it's fantasy world resembles ancient Egypt, a rarer setting than the usual medieval period. It's a Cinderella story, starting with a starving serf boy named Vetch, who is taken from his cruel master by the sympathetic jouster Ari and made his dragon boy. Like all such h...more
This book is the first in a series of novels set in what I can best call "fantasy Egypt." This isn't heroic fantasy, though, but a more earthy kind. The magic in the book is all of a religious nature, generally without flashy effects. And, of course, there are dragons. These dragons are animals instead of the sentient creatures seen in some other series, and the book is about the experiences of a young boy who, though no desire of his own, ends up as the 'dragon boy' to a jouster. Dragon boys ba...more
A Misty Lackey book with some nuance? Wot? It seems that, with the loss of inspiration for the Valdemar series, she's regained some of her energy and opened her new mini series with an oomph that I'd felt has been missing in her work for quite some time.

That is not to say she no longer writes with a formula in mind. She holds quite true to her formula. But in this volume, I see some honest attempts to shake things up a little, and even if this tale is something I feel as if I've seen or read man...more
Mar 10, 2012 Saphirablue rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Saphirablue by: Goodreads
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
My friend introduced me to Lackey's books, and they're usually pleasant and enjoyable, although not the best. This book to me seemed especially dry, however. It was hard to get through it, although I did get through the first two. I may read the last two, but I'm not especially compelled to...
well, first off i will say that i did enjoy the book. i did. but ... i also skipped pages in the book because i got bored at times. why did i get bored? one reason: was it really necessary to explain the same thing over and over again in great detail throughout the book? I was like 'okay, i got it, can we move on now?' it was like the author was just trying to make her book longer and decided to go on and on and on about the same thing, just phrasing it differently each time. it insulted my inte...more
When I first picked up Joust, I wasn't really sure what to expect. I had read several Mercedes Lackey books in the past and knew that I liked her writing style, but had long put off buying this particular book in favor of others. The main character, Vetch, goes from being angry and un-trusting of everybody to somewhat content and un-trusting to panicked and you guessed it un-trusting. This is understandable, but it makes it a bit hard to connect to him. Couple the lack of ability to make that co...more
Read in 2012/2013. I could not get into this book and I suspect it was due to her previous series as I wanted Valdemar around me once again and just couldn't get into the new landscape.
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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 &...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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