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Intrigues (Valdemar: Collegium Chronicles #2)

3.94  ·  Rating Details ·  6,888 Ratings  ·  347 Reviews
"Spellbinding storyteller" (Rave Reviews) Mercedes Lackey continues her epic Valdemar series.

Magpie is a thirteen-year-old orphan chosen by one of the magical Companion horses of Valdemar and taken to the capital city, Haven, to be trained as a Herald. Like all Heralds, Magpie learns that he has a hidden Gift-the Gift of telepathy.

But life at the court is not without
Kindle Edition, 348 pages
Published October 5th 2010 by DAW (first published October 1st 2010)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jan 09, 2011 Crystal rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, read-in-2011
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 11, 2010 Dorri rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I went into this book loving Magpie as a character. Some people are broken by things that have happened to them in life, but it is how you learn to survive those breaking to become what you are suppose to be. No, it's not always easy, but then who said it was suppose to be?

I'm glad I didn't read a single review before devouring this book. It makes me angry when I read things like: "At one point, I was fairly certain Mags IS Harry...well, emo medieval Harry, complete with wannabe quidditch." and
Mar 07, 2011 Azurehart rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: don-t-re-read
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 08, 2012 Steven rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Ah, the Collegium Chronicles, also known as "Lackey rewrites Harry Potter". Let's list the similarities:

In the first book:
Young, callow, orphaned male protagonist is rescued from a horrifically abusive situation and whisked off to a school for kids with supernatural powers. There, he becomes great friends with a boy and girl (who, spoilers, fall for each other), forming a power trio. He is obsessed with finding out about his parents.

In the second book:
Everyone is convinced that the hero is actua
Mercedes Lackey, I am disappoint.

It's been a bit since I went through my Valdemar binge, and in the interval I've looked back on the series and seen some of its flaws: the worldbuilding isn't all that creative, the characters generally caricatured, the plots rather uninspired, the angst overexaggerated. That doesn't mean I didn't enjoy them, and doesn't even mean they won't stand up to a re-read - it just means they're not on my 'bucket books' list, and that's really fine. A lot of good books th
Sep 03, 2010 Rami rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
As a long-time Mercedes Lackey fan, I found this book to be fun at times, but mostly dreary and very reminiscent of prior Valdemar novels. Foundation, the first of the trilogy, was gripping with the character's unique origins and perspective in the Collegium. However, Intrigues was like a cross between Vanyel's span as a beggar with a heavy focus on the woe-is-me, everyone-hates-me aspect from the Herald-Mage trilogy, the roof-walking lowborn aspect from Take A Thief, and the relationships betwe ...more
Kris Irvin
Feb 27, 2011 Kris Irvin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: re-read, 2017
It physically pains me to give a Lackey book 2 stars. Ouch. But this book just didn't deserve any more than that. Okay, maybe 2.8 stars.

Let's be honest - I don't remember hardly anything that happened in "Foundation." I do vaguely remember getting very bored of Mags' constant "wow I was so poor and now I am so excited about everything yay!" It was overkill. Lackey tones it down - a little - in Intrigues, but the obnoxiousness is still there. I felt like she beat me over the head with constant y
Jul 13, 2012 Melyssa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 14, 2012 Jana rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Intrigues is the second book in The Collegium Chronicles. It follows the character Mags as he takes his place in the Heralds Collegium, a school where the Chosen go to learn to be Heralds. This should mark the end of serious drama in Mags's life, but the three Collegia are in a state of change and all is not well in the capitol city of Haven.

(view spoiler)
Jan 27, 2011 Shiloh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I am a huge Mercedes Lackey fan, but I must admit I'm a bit disappointed with this series so far. I kept reminding myself that the middle book in a trilogy is almost always the weakest, but then I realized that I wasn't incredibly impressed with the first one, either.

I think the issue is that Lackey passes over the most interesting thing (to me) in the books--the founding of the Collegia--and tells the story from the point of view of someone who knows nothing about the mentor-system they're leav
Jen A.
Oct 09, 2010 Jen A. rated it really liked it
As always, I'm quite happy to delve back into Lackey's Valdemar, complete with Heralds, Companions, Bards, Healers and bad guys. Intrigues is a follow-on to Foundation, in which we're introduced to Mags, an orphan/slave who was Chosen by Dallen, his Companion; plucked from the horrid conditions of the mine and sent to live at the Collegium and undergo Heraldic training. Mags has to bear the double burden of not feeling like he belongs and trying to catch up in his studies.

It's been a long while
Oct 31, 2011 Nicole rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fant
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 31, 2011 Amy rated it liked it
Shelves: 2011
The last half of this book was excellent. The beginning good. The middle sucked.

Mainly: Too much kirball. I began to loathe that game. At first, there wasn't enough description so I could even picture what was happening. It seemed like Misty was being sketchy of the details because she didn't want to be copying another famous game that shall not be named. And there was all this talk of the dangerous game field, yet during every game, it seemed like the terrain never came into play.
And speaking o
Dec 27, 2010 Josie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Here's what I think she was thinking when she wrote this book: "Hm...I like that Rowlings lady's books. That Quidditch sure is a good idea. I know, I'll write a series that is pretty much like the best selling series I've ever written, but with QUIDDITCH! Oh, wait. I have to call it something else, don't I? about Kirball? YES!"

In a nutshell...bah. And If I notice that the third in this series comes out,I'll probably still read it. Sigh. Such is the nature of series. Even mediocre ones t
Used to love Lackey's books, but everything she's written for at least the last decade is formulaic as hell. Is it that her writing's changed, become less fresh? Or is it that I've grown past enjoying reading about angsty teenagers with magic horses?

Ah well.

Lackey's style is still straightforward and very readable, but this has basically the same plot as her last few. Same slow beginning, same angst-ridden subplots in the middle, same rushed ending.

Only this time, there's Quidditch.

Well, that's
Jan 31, 2012 Julie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of the reasons I liked this book as much as I did is because it varies from the typical "down and out apprentice wins over his colleagues and teachers and is a huge success" story.
Mags comes under suspicion of the college when farseekers have a vision of a death and the king with Mags present. Everyone thinks he is responsible for the death of the king and the pressure on Mags mounts to the point that he makes some bad decisions and hurts himself and those around him.
Even though the storm and the foreigners have passed there is still trouble. Mags has been looking for more information about his parents when he finds something. His parents were captured by bandits and were unknown to the Guards. This means that he is foreign blood and a possible danger, although Dallen knows Mags is no such thing. But there are things that have made him doubt, the foretellers have had visions of one with foreign blood standing over the King with blood on their hands. This mak ...more
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Oct 09, 2010 Lisa (Harmonybites) rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fantasy Fans
This, just released, is the second book of a trilogy centered on Mags, one of the first Herald trainees to be schooled though the Collegium. So you should definitely read the first book, Foundation first. I'd go farther than that--I wouldn't recommend this book as an introduction to Lackey or her Valdemar books--instead I'd pick up either the first published book, Arrows of the Queen centered on Talia or the earliest chronologically, Magic's Price, centered on Vanyel.

If you're already familiar w
Lackey's latest installment of 'The Collegium Chronicles' continues the tale of Herald trainee Mags as he goes about his schooling, even as he searches for information about his parents. Unfortunately his relatively peaceful existence is interrupted when ForeSeers predict a dire scene involving "a foreigner" - something Mags had recently learned he was. Malicious rumors spread throughout campus, and Mags comes under serious pressure. Can he help uncover the truth behind the seers' vision?

For th
Oct 16, 2010 Jeffrey rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Valdemar fans who have missed the old series and wish for new adventures
Shelves: fantasy, read-in-2010
This second volume in the Collegium series follows more adventures in the story of Mags, a herald trainee from the poorer side of tracks who used to be a mine worker.

Mags has continued to be used by Nicolas, the King's Own rider (basically a war chief and chief advisor and spy master all rolled into one) as a spy because of his scruffy appearance and his natural ability to blend into his surroundings. Also Mags is taking classes at the Collegium and interacts some more with his friend Bear, a he
An Odd1
Oct 02, 2011 An Odd1 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
"Intrigues" (Collegium 2)are primarily minor school trials for our boy and pals healer Bear and bard Lena until a final assassination attempt on the king while the Companions' stable burns, trapping injured Gallen. Mags' ex-slave allus ain't accent has too many apostrophes and interrupts the flow for me, as does his italicized colonated (?) mind-speech. Seer visions (I never like this literary device) of Mags, the king covered in blood, and sensations of death, escalate general disdain to reject ...more
Jan 21, 2011 Daniel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
So I think Mercedes Lackey was my version of YA literature when I was a teen. I started reading her in 8th grade when Katie Huber let me borrow Winds of Fate and then I devoured them. Anyway, most of the stories involve children becoming Heralds in Valdemar, and then continue on into their adulthood. So it starts off as YA literature and then transcends it. It's still very comforting to read, but I'm afraid I'm going to have to re-read some of the "classics" because while I enjoyed the two books ...more
Oct 21, 2014 Dee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars

Reread megathon part 2 peeps (for part 1 that's my review)

Mags is settling in, he's got friends, he's happy and warm and fed, the dodgy mercenaries scarpered, woo hoo! There's a new complicated sports game he's getting involved in that's making him popular, he's helping out the King's Own with important matters then KAPOW! He finds from looking into his background he's foreign born and there's a bad premonition involving foreigners and the king.
Apr 04, 2014 Gemma rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I feel that "Intrigues" could be classified, along with "Foundation", as a young adult novel. Whether this is a recent trend for Lackey, or just something I have noticed having been a long time fan (I first started reading Lackey's stories when I was 13) and now a mature (!) adult (according to my drivers license lol), I couldn't say. The writing is once again beautiful, drawing the reader back into the world of Valdemar, and is one of the reasons I quite happily keep returning to Lackey's works ...more
Oct 20, 2011 Sherry rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
'Intrigues' was disappointing to me. I really enjoyed the first book in this series, even if the character came off as a little bit similar to Skif in ‘Take a Thief’. This one, though begins as if no social progress has been made, in spite of the fact that we left Mags in a pretty good place at the end of the last book. Throughout, his friends seem dramatically more immature than they were previously (teenage angst perhaps?) and he himself keeps thinking about how fortunate and grateful he is to ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 28, 2010 Becky rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like Lackey's writing in general. The constant, recurring theme of desperate trouble which only one (or a few) people can solve, using their unique gifts/powers/talents, can get a little old. I do understand the need to motivate young people to work hard, use what they have, and believe in themselves, however, so that there are at least forty? books out there that stress that over and over is not a bad thing, and certainly not when paired with the idea of being accepting of others and their be ...more
Jun 05, 2013 Erin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Shockingly glad I stuck with this series. Where the first book was completely painful and contrived, this one was fresh and entertaining. The beginning hundred pages almost made me give up completely, but towards the end, Mags becomes his own character and I actually started being interested in his story. I will probably read the rest of the Collegium series and hope they are more like the second book than the first.
(Reread in 2016 because Valdemar comfort reads are awesome.)

(Full review here:

Honestly, most people could skip right past this one and move right to the third book without missing anything, and anything vital tends to get recapped in short order anyway.
Karen Dransfield
The second in the series. This follows Magpie and his friends lives as they continue to learn in the various Collegium's set up in the Palace grounds. And some old enemies haven't forgotten Magpie so read the story to see what happens :)
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Madison Mega-Mara...: Intrigues 1 4 Jan 06, 2012 01:57PM  
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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

Valdemar: Collegium Chronicles (5 books)
  • Foundation (Valdemar: Collegium Chronicles, #1)
  • Changes (Valdemar: Collegium Chronicles, #3)
  • Redoubt (Valdemar: Collegium Chronicles, #4)
  • Bastion (Valdemar: Collegium Chronicles, #5)

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