My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I really enjoy Mercedes Lackey’s books, especially her early Valdemar books (the Herald-Mage series and the Oathbreakers series). I so wanted to really like this book and, while I do like “Foundation,” it has some serious flaws that prevented me from enjoying the book as much as I would have liked.
To begin with, this book takes place shortly after the Herald-Mage series and before all of the other Valdemar books. The writing is vintage Lackey–she writes fluidly and the characters are well drawn. The plot is generally good, but it’s with the plot that I have the biggest issues.
Clearly, this series was plotted out as a multi-book series from the beginning. As a result, rather than having a self-contained plot within the book with a narrative arc that reaches beyond the one book, there is no self-contained plot to speak of. Or, rather, the plot leaves the reader hanging, with many unanswered questions and unexplained plot points that are presumably answered in subsequent books.
I am a curmudgeonly enough reader not to want to read the subsequent books because of my annoyance at being left hanging. I like multi-book series well enough, but I don’t think it’s too much to ask the author to make each book in a series stand on its own as well.