Lisa (Harmonybites)'s Reviews > Joust

Joust by Mercedes Lackey
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Jul 07, 10

bookshelves: fantasy, ultimate-reading-list, young-adult, novels, fiction
Recommended for: Fantasy Readers
read count: 1

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 best--they might even be my favorites. Joust, however, comes to a satisfying conclusion and can stand on its own.

The story begins in a vein very familiar to Lackey readers, with a seemingly orphaned boy, Vetch, in intolerable circumstances who only in leaving home finds his destiny. What separates Vetch from most Lackey heroes though is his anger and bitterness, and it makes it all the more interesting to see him grow and change in this book.

Besides that, instead of the usual pseudo-medieval European setting you get in most fantasy, including Lackey, these books are set in a land reminiscent of Ancient Egypt. And with dragons! Dragons just as winning in their way (but very different) than those of McCaffrey's Pern. I enjoyed how Lackey developed her dragon lore, the magical touches, the societies akin to Egypt and legends of Atlantis and the characters are appealing. This book and series is just as enchanting and full of heart as Lackey's best.
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