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The Hills Have Spies

(Valdemar: Family Spies #1)

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  1,478 ratings  ·  183 reviews
In this new series, set in the bestselling world of Valdemar, Heralds Mags and Amily must continue to protect the realm of Valdemar while raising their children and preparing them to follow in their footsteps.

Mags, Herald Spy of Valdemar, and his wife, Amily, the King’s Own Herald, are happily married with three kids. The oldest, Peregrine, has the Gift of Animal Mindspeec
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Hardcover, 360 pages
Published June 5th 2018 by Daw Books
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Michelle Maybe because she enjoys writing about the history of Valdemar at that time and we enjoy them? My Dad and I really enjoyed Mags and his life story and…moreMaybe because she enjoys writing about the history of Valdemar at that time and we enjoy them? My Dad and I really enjoyed Mags and his life story and while I really loved the book today I was sad that he wasn't here to read it too. I hope she keeps letting us visit Valdemar and their family many more times. (less)
Sandy on my copy from the library, it wasn't just the name Justyn on the inside of the jacket - it was also a different plot! But nothing about a hedge…moreon my copy from the library, it wasn't just the name Justyn on the inside of the jacket - it was also a different plot! But nothing about a hedge wizard.(less)
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4.18  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,478 ratings  ·  183 reviews


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Marilyn Fisher
Jun 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The synopsis for this book is incorrect. I think this is a much better story. Frequently the author's focus is on Heralds and Companions. The young man at the heart of this story is never going to be a Herald, even though I was thinking that he might. This is a great coming of age story, with a lot to be learned by both parents and children.
Tim Lucier
Jun 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What starts out as a typical "Heralds of Valdemar" book introducing a new young protagonist, half-way through picks up the magic of previous great entries in the series.

I need to remind myself every time I start a new Valdemar book... that I'm going to need to budget time to return to other favourites in the series afterwards because it Never Fails to give me a craving for more that can't be satiated with any other books.

I have to admit, I've not loved Lackey's latest additions to the Valdemar b
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Debbie
May 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, ya
The book description is inaccurate. More accurate: Peregrine has the Gift of animal Mindspeech and his dream is to follow in his father's footsteps as a spy. When reports of an unusual number of missing people reaches Mag's ears, he decides to take Peregrine with him (disguised as traders) to discover who or what is behind the disappearances.

"The Hills Have Spies" is a fantasy novel with an adult and a 13-year-old main character, so it may appeal to tweens and teens as well as adults. It helps i
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Jennifer
Jun 10, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This was a fun adventure with appealing characters. This was a pleasant surprise, because I *really* did not like the last five Valdemar books released by Mercedes Lackey, but I continue reading them in the hopes that a little bit of the magic that made me fall in love with the world will be present. That magic *is* present in this volume, and unlike the Mags books, I actually want to read the stories in the subsequent books, which I'm guessing will focus on Mags and Amily's other children.
Melissa Jane
Jun 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars and surprisingly good. I stayed up way too late reading this and I couldn't put it down. I just had to finish the book. I was impressed with Mags oldest son, Peregrine, and how he used his Gift during their adventures. I loved the father/son dynamics at play and was very glad he bonded with a Kayree instead of a Companion (although I adore them personally). You need to have read the Collegium Chronicles to truly appreciate the story in full and I suggest you read all the series written ...more
Wendy
Aug 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Set in the world of Valdemar, “The Hills Have Spies” opens when Mags, the King’s Spy warned by a retired Herald living in a village along the border of the Pelagirs about disappearances and missing peddlars sets out for Whithern with his thirteen-year-old son Peregrine (Perry) who has the Gift of Animal Mindspeech and has been training for years to follow in his father’s footsteps. Disguised as traders they quickly fit into their roles exchanging merchandise for garnets and learning about an inn ...more
Lara
Jun 19, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Okay, so first of all, while I have no doubt that others before me have pointed this out, what in the seven hells happened with the jacket copy? There is no one named Justyn in this book, no one joins a traveling carnival, the Hawkbrothers are referenced but nobody meets one, and the plot definitely does not center around someone fomenting racist unrest against them. Was this book drastically revised between the first plot summary and its actual publication? Does Misty have the next two or three ...more
Kirsti
Oct 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think it is the pure wholesomeness of Valdemar that keeps me coming back over the years. the simplicity of characters that want no more than warm break, stew and a soft bed. I feel lulled by these books, rocked by the familiarity. It's not to say they aren't exciting and/or dangerous at times, but the good guy always wins or dies trying basically. What's not to love about that?

I didn't actually finish Mag's story, the series before this one, but I don't think you need to in order to appreciate
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eyes.2c
Jul 23, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, library
A solid read for Valdemar fans. Mags' son Perry is thrust to the fore. Animal mind speech is his talent, a welcome one when danger sits on Valdemar's doorstep.
musa b-n
This was one of the first Mercedes Lackey books I've read in a while, and I enjoyed it! I got pretty absorbed in it, and I love all the animals, as always.

I thought it wasn't quite as interesting as I remembered a lot of these books to be. It doesn't go as in depth into worldbuilding (explanations of magic, politics, culture). This was an element I've greatly enjoyed in the other books, and I missed it a little here. But the protagonist is a 13 year old boy, and it does make sense for perspectiv
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Hannah
Jun 08, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: teenagers, Tamora Pierce fans
Shelves: fantasy, spy
So I only discovered Mercedes Lackey as an adult and this is the first Valdemar book I've read. I gather this is the latest in a vast series. Yet how could I resist a book about spies with a pun title?

The great thing about not having read her early work is I don't need to complain about her writing going downhill. It's a fun fantasy but not startlingly original. Problems do seem to be solved rather quickly; not one animal will refuse to help. Animals are helped with haste. Humans sometimes recei
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Marina
Jan 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
We are back in the world of Valdemar continuing the tale of Herald Mags. Now his a dad with 3 kids and this story is the beginning tale of his oldest son Perry. This was very fun to read. I loved the kyree, new bondbirds and firebirds that appeared. It was nice to revisit old characters from short stories in the series too. I give this 3.5-4 stars.

I hope the next books will be about Perry's siblings and their adventures. =0)

P.S. Everything in the story was nice and tidy. I'll attribute this to
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Betsy
Jun 21, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Die-hard Valdemar fans
[June 21, 2108]
First in a new series that picks up with Mags and Amily several years later, when their eldest son is 13 and doing well training in the family business of spying. Mags and Perry go off on a trip to assist an elderly Herald living near the Pelagirs. While there, Perry goes off on his own to find out more information and gets caught up in a very dangerous situation he can't get out of.

This was an enjoyable adventure, filled with other sentient species that are able to help Mags and
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Imogene
Jun 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, magic
Very enjoyable seeing Mags and his world expand into the adventures of their children.
I also like how the rest of the world seems to be becoming more a part of the recent Valdemar.
No spoilers, but even coming right back to the beginning and mentioning the creation of the Gryphons and Hertasi etc by Urtho.

Luckily Lackey is a very prolific author, because I’m looking forward to the next one. Which I suppose may be th next sibling in line
Book_joy
Jun 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mags and Amily now have children. This is primarily a story of Mags and son, Perry (Peregrine), who seems to have been called Justyn in some of the blurb. Also Mags and Perry pose as traders with just one caravan, not part of a performing troupe which is also mentioned in the blurb. Mags and Perry (and Dallen) are not in Haven, but in the wilds of Valdemar, in/near the Pelagirs, where Perry's animal mindspeech becomes very useful more than once. I won't give spoilers, but it is Perry's animal mi ...more
Laura
Nov 23, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I will forever love the Valedmar series and world for being so important to a formative young me, so I will read each one. It was fine. I like Mags ok and Perry was a relatable and interesting character. And give me kyree etal every day. The big bad mental mastermind right outside the border is a tried and true, though well-trod and worn, plot device. Popcorn without being more meaningful personally.
Jane Cordingley
Jun 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not the best of Mercedes Lackey, but it was a very pleasant read.
Jack
Jun 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Finally

While I’ve been a huge fan of the Valdemar series for a number of years, I’ve been slightly disappointed with the last couple of books. But this one was a great return to the kind of writing I expect from Ms. Lackey.

The story was great from beginning to end. We get a deeper glimpse into Mags adult life, get to know his oldest child and his gifts, and personality. We get to see other beings mentioned in other stories in the world of Velgarth.

A well encapsulated story that hopefully will
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Eileen Lynx
Oct 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Interesting story.
DemetraP
I preferred the other Valdemar books. This one was too simple. Plots were better in other books.
Gloria
Jun 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I love the Valdemar books, and have been following Mags since the first book he appeared in. We have no progressed to the point that he and Amily are the parents of three children. This story focuses on Mags and his oldest son, 13 year old Perry, who can mindspeak with animals like his mother. The adventure they have is daunting, and the 13-year-old grows a lot from it. All of the things I love about this series are in this book. Great characterization, a compelling plot and of course, the Compa ...more
Kathy Davie
First in the Family Spies subseries that continues on from The Herald Spy and ninth in the Collegium Chronicles, and fifteenth in the Valdemar fantasy universe for Young Adult (and upper-middle-grade) readers with this subseries revolving around a grown-up Mags with his family. The focus is on Perry and his father, Mags.

My Take
Whew, that opening hook certainly caught my attention. 'Cause, I mean, who the heck is Perry, and why does this sound so much like a way younger Mags? Then I got to wonder
...more
Al Lustie
Jun 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This moves the saga a ways ahead of where I "left off", making me want to discover any books between this one and the last "Mags" book I read. That said, this is a good story of growth, maturing, adventure, righting wrongs and spy craft. As with almost ALL books by Ms. Lackey, I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Sue Lyssa Stone Shaffer
Oh my!!

Mags has always been a part of Valdemar worthy of tales. His life and adventures are full, well crafted tales. Unafraid of exploring both the best and worst parts of humanity the author leavens it with magical beings, wisdom and wonder.

I can only hope for more Family Spies adventures and for Kee to earn a special book on becoming a mind healer in the mode of Talia.
Elizabeth Harless
Enthralling - As Always!

Misty Lackey never fails to entrap you in her wonderful web of words, and never disappoints you in your expectation of a delightful and engrossing tale. This latest in the Valdemar series is no exception. I can never put down one of her books until I finish it, and always am hungry for more!
Ann
Jun 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Best sequel

The relationship between a grown Mags and his son is 3 dimensional, and believable. I love the man that we watched grow up. The plot is worthy of the characters but solution was unfair.
E.M. Farmer
This story is NOT what it is purported to be

The synopsis says that the main character is Justyn (not true; his name is Parry). He is Mags and Amilys child (true). He is going on a trip (true) with a troup of players (not true; he goes with Mags pretending to be Traders). And there is enough other things that just make this book FRUSTRATING to try to read. I usually read one of Ms. Lackeys books in 3 to 4 hours. I am in my 6th hour and am only half way through. I sure hope it gets better!
Norine Luker
Jun 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great new series

It was fun to revisit Mags and Amily as adults. The story is really around their son, Perry, who is more than you could wish.Mags takes Perry on a journey to check out some disquieting rumors and spend some father son time in the way that only a master spy and Herald would do. Perry leads them into a grand adventure with some truly amazing allies and enemies. Can't wait for more!
Angela
Jun 07, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
On the whole I did like the story but I'm not sure I'm liking the direction these books are taking. I am curious to see what the next book is about but remain somewhat skeptical about how well this trilogy or family series will do.
Lindsey
Jul 18, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
Nostalgia read. Not great but the nostalgia factor was pretty good. 2.5 stars.
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Play Book Tag: The Hills Have Spies by Mercedes Lackey - 4 stars 6 22 Aug 24, 2018 06:01AM  
Madison Mega-Mara...: #111 - The Hills Have Spies 1 1 Jul 13, 2018 11:05AM  
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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

Other books in the series

Valdemar: Family Spies (2 books)
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