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Eye Spy

(Valdemar: Family Spies #2)

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  1,605 ratings  ·  191 reviews
In this second installment of the Family Spies series, set in the bestselling world of Valdemar, the children of Heralds Mags and Amily must follow in their parents' footsteps to protect the realm.

Mags, Herald Spy of Valdemar, and his wife, Amily, the King’s Own Herald, are happily married with three kids. Their daughter, Abidela, dreams of building upon her parents’ legac
Kindle Edition, 368 pages
Published July 9th 2019 by DAW
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Debra Abi is 14 at the start of the book and 18 by the end.

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Average rating 4.13  · 
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So, I paused in my Priory read because “Oh My Gosh the new Lackey book is out.
I even did a reread of The Hills have Spies in order to be ready. I’m sorry Mercedes, but this is literally my least favourite of all of your books. And I have read every single one. I still love you, and I loved not only having an asexual main character, but a disabled character who is not miraculously “fixed” in order to become insanely powerful and respected and one of the highest powers in the land.

The Mags books
Kathy Martin
Jun 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Abi is the daughter of Herald spymaster Mags and his wife Amily who is the King's Own Herald. She has grown up with the children of the king and queen. She has been trained by her father to be dangerous, to be another layer of protection for the royal children. She has also been trained to be observant. She sometimes wonders if that will be enough for her to be a help to her father and her kingdom since she seems to lack any magical gift.

One day, while on an errand with her best friend Princess
Jul 13, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, fantasy
Enjoyable but it has some flaws. I liked the characters. The plot was interesting -- a little unusual -- until the ending, which was contrived and rather anti-climactic. I was also annoyed by Mags continued use of the accent he had as a child. After many years living and working with the upper classes of Valdemar, he would not have retained that working class accent in normal speech, though he would likely have been able to assume it at will. That kind of foolish detail really bugs me. For fans ...more
Jul 14, 2019 rated it liked it
Those gifts keep morphing!

A new gift! Queen's spymaster Mag's daughter, Abi, finds herself with a different gift, seeing and feeling abnormal stresses in constructions. A bridge is about to collapse and Abi is able to save the day.
Off to School of Artificers, for her, with training in construction and with a talented healer. Stresses in bones and illnesses being likened to stresses in architecture.
Of course there's a conflict with a snotty nosed highborn but given her background, Abi has more th
Jul 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Usual caveat for a Mercedes Lackey novel. She is past her prime and has been phoning it in for about 10-15 years.

Still, if you're like me and you read Lackey as a source of comfort, this may do the trick. Our protagonist Abi has a very comfortable life with a loving family and extremely close-knit relationship with the royal family. She is incredibly intelligent and competent, asexual, and for some reason we're just going to shrug and accept the fact she's a fantastic knife fighter without viewi
Meandering and nothing much happens. Still enjoyable to spend time in Valdemar.

(view spoiler)
Jul 16, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

More like 3.5

What impresses me the most about Eye Spy is how Lackey manages to balance a girl learning about her magic, with a carefully constructed and gripping plot. Abi has an unique set of magical abilities, but even more than that, she's grown up in an unique family full of characters who are courageous, smart, and driven to help their society. If you ever grew up reading a
Aug 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
I enjoy reading books that build on a group of characters like this, because it allows the most possible character development. Of course, Mags' family is a family of rare gifts (of various sorts.) Abi is the middle child, and not quite sure how she fits into the world, when conveniently, she displays a rare Gift. This kind of plot point happens a lot in Valdemar, so I expected it. I didn't expect the LGBTQ+ rep, so that was a nice surprise. I'm curious to see what the youngest child shows (some ...more
John Piper
Jun 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-favorites
I really enjoyed this book! Valdemar is one of my favorite universes, and the Family Spies series is awesome! Abi's book is filled with intrigue, action, great dialog and writing, and wonderful characters! I can't wait to see what happens in the next book! Mercedes has hit a home run with this book and I highly recommend checking it out! I would start with the Collegium series and read the series in chronological order. It's very worth the read!
Aug 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Originally published on my blog: Nonstop Reader.

Eye Spy is the second book in the Family Spies series of interrelated stories set in Mercedes Lackey's Valdemar. Released 9th Aug 2019 by Penguin on their DAW imprint, it's 336 pages and available in hardcover, paperback, audio, and ebook formats.

These are nice stories, set in a world with a magic system and mythology rich in history developed over several decades (the first book set in Valdemar came out in 1994, I believe). They're mostly aime
Eileen Lynx
Aug 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another good story in the series. This one is about a builder.
May 27, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, middle-grade
"Eye Spy" is a fantasy novel for tweens and teens. While the story works as a stand alone novel, you'll better understand some of the references made in the story if you've read more of the Valdemar series. Frankly, this story felt fragmented--like it was several short stories about Abidela put into one book. She's confronted with a bully but immediately took care of that threat because she's smart and talented. She needed to learn to use her Gift, yet that's more summarized than seen, so not mu ...more
Paul Peden
Aug 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is unusual for the series in that it is topical. She built in a referendum on Trumpism and it's my favorite thing ever!
Everyone has to resist the rising tide of Fascism, and Mercedes did it here.
Judge Bader Ginburg? Dudley Remp?
Werk Mss Lackey! I loved it.
Cant wait for the next one
Jul 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Eye Spy is Abi’s story. Her older brother has had an adventure and is working closely with Mags. Abi still doesn’t know what she wants to do with her life when she senses a bridge about to fail. Now she has to train her gift and figure out how to turn it into something useful. I loved watching Abi grow into her own skin and realize that she is special just being herself. I really liked Abi and was rooting for her throughout the story. Action and adventure aplenty this is a terrific addition to t ...more
Jane Ashford
Jul 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
I really enjoy Lackey's series abut Mags and his family.
Jul 10, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, series
Abi, is growing up in the Palace, daughter of the King's Own and the King's Spymaster. She doesn't have magic until one day, she realizes that the sick feeling she gets on a certain bridge is the magical warning that the structure is collapsing. Que dramatic rescue and the need to train her Gift in classic Valdemar style.

Why I started this book: I have a couple of books that I should be reading... so of course I ignored them and picked up something fun.

Why I finished it: Interesting perspective
Part of my 2019 PopSugar Reading Challenge: A book written by a musician
I just have such grabby hands whenever a new Mercedes Lackey book, especially in the Valdemar-verse. I love following the continuing adventures of Mags and his family. I do miss the Heraldic shenanigans, especially the companions (I mean, Dallen was not even mentioned in this book; he didn’t even cameo. SEVERE DISAPPOINTMENT). Overall, this book felt a lot more serious and focused than other books. There weren’t as many come
Rachel Brown
Nov 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a great book. It starts off with lots of excitement and a good plot. It gets into school type problems with bullies and such and is well written. The second half of the book is set 4 years after the first as Abi is finishing school then goes on an adventure. It almost seems like two different story lines. But they are very exciting and great to read even if it gets a little slow in the middle...... SPOILER WARNING.... However Lackey ends up making the bully from the first part as the vil ...more
The second book in Lackey's new series features Abi, whose brother starred in book 1. A pattern is emerging. Abi discovers quite by chance one terribly rainy day that her long dislike and unease around a particular bridge is symptomatic of an unusual gift she has--she can see weakness in structures, and when the bridge collapses, she knows exactly why. As the daughter of the King's spy, she will be able to put her gift to good use, and eventually, is asked to. Trademark Lackey writing and plotti ...more
Kathy Davie
Aug 15, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, young-adult
Second in the Family Spies subseries that's part of The Collegium Chronicles series, which is itself part of the Valdemar universe and revolving around Mags and Amily and their family. The focus is on Abidela, the middle child.

My Take
It's all about justice! And I love it. Although I do suspect that all this justice takes away chunks of conflict and tension. Although, oh, baby, if only we could have a justice system with access to Truth Spells!!

Abi has been floating along, wanting some daring s
Nov 10, 2019 rated it liked it
I'm a sucker for Valdemar stories. This one was pleasant, but not phenomenal. At least this series hasn't been ruined as is the case for the Elemental Masters. Poor proofreading and an annoying regression to a hick accent for Mags, as noted by others. Some slow or descriptive passages which I skimmed. Besides Mags, we have to decipher the accents of an animal and some rural folk. We have delightful passages recounting the play of children and the lives of teens.
After Perry's time to shine in the
Tim Lucier
Apr 06, 2020 rated it liked it
TL/DR: It's not her best, but it still feels like home?
Note: If you are not familiar with Valdemar, or Lackey's work... Go look up Exhile's Honor/Valor, Arrows of the Queen, Magic's Pawn and stay far away from this book until you've run out of her older works. This review isn't going to sell you on it.

For the first time in my memory, I had trouble getting into a Valdemar-based Mercedes Lackey book. I started reading Eye Spy when it came out... And put it down for nearly a year.

There is a lot to
Aug 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 19, 2019 rated it it was ok
This wasn't very good.

Abi is a boring character. She starts the story as a master fighter. We are led to believe she could kill anything that gets in her way, she is trained to be the princess's bodyguard, so it makes sense, but we see none of her struggle to get here or the need for it until the very end where it would have been more dramatic if she WASN'T a fighter.

Abi quickly finds she has magic powers, cool, I can get behind that, it is common in this world. She then proceeds to use them . .
Ria Bridges
May 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
It’s nice to read stories about people with Gifts who aren’t Heralds. For the longest time, it seemed like any character that had a Gift in Valdemar was going to be chosen, and for all the author talked in interviews or extra materials about Valdemar that it was most common for Heralds to have no Gifts, we really didn’t get to see much of that actually in the novels themselves. Here, we may not have a Herald with no Gifts, but we do have another characters with Gifts who isn’t a Herald.

Once agai
Aug 09, 2019 rated it liked it
About 3.4, because while I liked Abi and several of the secondary characters, it just never really particularly gripped me.

Like Perry's story (FS#1: THHS), it's a bit YA, especially the first part where I believe Abi is only 14. The bad guy is merely an entitled bully, and there's lots about school (the Collegium, though this time mainly among the non-trainee "Blues"), classmates, and siblings (including the royal offspring, who are nearly like sister and brothers to Mags and Amily's kids). Abi
Jul 19, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow - what a disappointment! I have been waiting for this book for a year after reading The Hills Have Spies, which I really enjoyed. I usually always give Mercedes Lackey books a five star rating because I enjoy them so much, especially the Mags books. I love the characters and their stories and interactions. I just couldn't do it on this one. I am not really interested in engineering, but that wouldn't have affected my overall rating. That part was fine because I can always learn about new thi ...more
Rachel Raisor
Jun 18, 2020 rated it liked it
Honestly, I've been watching her books go down in quality the last few years and that is a huge disappointment since I LOVE her worlds. This book should have been two short stories or had the content expanded to two novels. The four year gap was a huge break in things. Plus school years first half of novel and then traveling second half? Definitely felt like two story ideas mashed together. Also, the statement "they'd never really seen anything smaller than a horse and larger than a chicken" rea ...more
Jul 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's been years since I'd read a fantasy novel by Mercedes Lackey, so it was a treat to rediscover her work. Eye Spy is the second novel in the Valdemar Family Spies series.

If you're new to the world of Valdemar like I was, it is easy to dive into Eye Spy and fall in love with the characters and that world. The lead is a young woman who was not Chosen to be a Herald but instead shows a rare gift and great promise. Abi is the daughter of Mags (the Spymaster & Herald) and Amily (the King's Own He
Jo Oehrlein
Sep 09, 2019 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Play Book Tag: Eye Spy by Mercedes Lackey - 4 stars 1 8 Jul 17, 2019 03:56PM  

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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 & M ...more

Other books in the series

Valdemar: Family Spies (3 books)
  • The Hills Have Spies (Valdemar: Family Spies #1)
  • Spy, Spy Again (Valdemar: Family Spies, #3)

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There's something great about a paperback book: They're perfect book club choices, you can throw them in your bag and go, and they've been out in...
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“No, it’s not you,” Abi managed to interrupt her. “Actually, it’s not anyone. Not even my best friend Kat. Or Rudi or Emmit or Brice or—well, it’s not anyone. It’s never been anyone.” 0 likes
“People who were not already divided into factions would make factions given the chance, and they would always want the most important people to belong to their faction, whether the person in question agreed with that or not.” 0 likes
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