Mercedes Lackey & Larry Dixon
Darian’s Tale: Book 1
I… remember nearly zilch about these books. Under the spoiler cut I’ll say what I do remember, but by and large, this book seemed very fresh and new (insofar as a Mercedes Lackey book can be new, considering how many of her books I’ve read, which is nearly all of them). For once I’m almost as unprepared as Mark of Mark Reads.
Owlflight is about Darian, an 13 year old orphan who his village insists must be grateful to them, because they have—against his wishes—apprenticed him to the elderly wizard Justyn. His village is Errold’s Grove, on the far northwest border of Valdemar, on the edge of the Pelagiris Forest. Darian’s trapper parents were viewed with suspicion by the villagers, so as a result they speak ill of them often, which makes it hard for young Darian to grieve properly, as you might imagine. However, his troubles soon escalate when a marauding band of barbarians, the Bear Clan, come attacking Errold’s Grove.
Many issues the Storms books had are not present in Owlflight. We’re tightly focussed on Darian, and later, his Hawkbrother mentor Snowfire. That’s all, apart from a brief section in Justyn’s head. Tight characters, and they actually do things. There’s actually action!
That being said, this novel felt much more like a very padded short story to me. Much of the action’s tension was drained away not so much by endless exposition, as in the Storms books, but by telling the action in two point of views in separate sections. This overlapping largely occurs near the beginning. Still, this book doesn’t really plod. It’s not long enough to plod.
BEYOND THIS POINT THERE BE SPOILERS