Intrigues - Mercedes Lackey The storyline moved much faster than the first one, but the angst got turned up to eleven. I have a high tolerance for angst, particularly in a Mercedes Lackey book, and I will admit to thinking that Mags' reaction to things was not that over-the-top given what happened to him. He is forgiven.

But dear Lord, I will never ever forgive Lena and Bear. Ever. And I have this horrible feeling that I am supposed to, somehow. Their behavior towards someone they considered a friend was appallingly self-centered and nasty and hypocritical and genuinely reprehensible. I have never like Lena--she was tolerable, but pathetic. At best I felt faintly sorry for her. But Bear, Bear I expected better from. He is not generally that stupid.

On top of those two, the idea that everyone in the whole Collegium would suddenly forget everything that Mags had done and also the fact that he was *chosen* and proceed to act like a group of middle schoolers just felt...wrong. They brought up Tylendel, which was a completely different thing, and then proceeded to act in a way that was *likely* to alienate Mags and potentially cause problems instead of even considering talking to him or possibly helping him if he needed it or doing anything at all that, you know, might have been useful.

Then Mags, after his suicidal episode, proceeds to spend a bunch of time thinking about how he needs to apologize and being all understanding about how the King's Own feels the need to "test" him by leaving him alone in the city with a bunch of terrorists on the lose, terrorists who know him by sight and are likely to hold a grudge against him. No, Mags, just no. Maybe you don't realize, given your upbringing, that these people are all way out of line, but I certainly do. Lackey has successfully given me a reason to root for Mags, though, which was possibly the point.

Dallen is a joy to behold, as always, and a genuine friend.

Kirball got old fast.

I'm glad this wasn't my first Valdemar series, because I'm not sure I would have realized how much I liked them. I'll finish the series, though, mostly because I feel like Mags will end up a hero in the end and maybe people will remember it for more than a month.