By Mercedes Lackey
As with the previous two books, Changes manages to disarm the reader and surround them in a warm, soothing embrace - yes we are firmly in the realms of comfort fiction here, a feeling that is re-enforced by the authors way with descriptive narrative and lucid prose.
The story picks up pretty much where the last novel left, continuing with Mag's life as he learns what it is to be a Herald and at the same time a Kings own spy. Joining him are his friends Lena - trainee bard, Bear - trainee healer and the love interest Amily - daughter of the Kings own Herald (and Spy) Nikolas. As with Intrigues, Changes has a fairly relaxed atmosphere about it, this series is very much one to read for the journey and most of the novel is focused around the life of Mags himself rather than larger events and the larger story again doesn't move along as far or as fast as I would have liked (again mimicking the Potter series in that regard). It must be said though that the series is worth reading purely for the journey, the author's talent for descriptive prose is exceptional as his her ability to build breathable, likable characters.
I was a little disappointed that some of the story threads weren't continued in Changes, we don't hear anything more about Mag's family history, there isn't even any dialogue mentioning it which gives the feeling that it's either been completely forgotten about or never happened. I am sure that this will be continued at a later date but it would have been nice to at least know that the story arc is still bubbling away beneath the surface.
Changes is very much a case of more of the same and that's no bad thing, if you like the authors previous novels you will like this series. I do recommend reading the previous two books in this series first if you haven't already though. It's an almost guilty pleasure, a comfort read and a damned fine one at that.
Written on 8th February 2013 by Ant .