ARCS, Book Reviews, Fantasy

ARC Review: Into the West

Into the West is the second installment in Mercedes Lackey’s new series about the founding of her legendary world – Valdemar.

Thank you to DAW, Astra Publishing House and NetGalley – I received an e-arc of this book in exchange for an honest review. Into the West, the second book in Mercedes Lackey’s Founding of Valedemar series is available now.

Goodreads Rating: 4.36

My Rating: 4 Stars

Spoiler-free Summary:

Baron Valdemar and his people have found a temporary haven, but it cannot hold all of them, or for long. Trouble could follow on their heels at any moment, and there are too many people for Crescent Lake to support. Those who are willing to make a further trek by barge on into the West will follow him into a wilderness depopulated by war and scarred by the terrible magics of a thousand years ago and the Mage Wars. But the wilderness is not as empty as it seems. There are potential friends and rapacious foes…and someone is watching them.

My Thoughts:

I thought it was wonderful to return to Valdemar once again. I don’t think I will ever get tired of this wonderful world that Lackey has created.

If you haven’t read the first installment in this series – Beyond – I recommend reading that one first. Also this series goes back in time and explores how Lackey’s now famous world – Valdemar – was founded. The nice thing about the series though, is that it can be enjoyed by long-time fans of Lackey’s books, and new readers, alike. There is something in it for everyone. It’s also up to you, if you’d like to read the books in publication order, or start with this series, since it is first chronologically. I think there are benefits to both read throughs.

The book picks up where Beyond left off, and Kordas definitely has a lot on his plate. He is charge of a large group of refugees, and has to guide them through a lot of dangerous situations. Having read many of the other Valdemar books, before reading this series, I knew Kordas as the legendary first king of Valdemar, and one of the things that I enjoy most about the books in this series is that you get to see the man behind the myth.

I did notice some issues with the pacing. The majority of the action happens near the end, so the first three quarters of the book did seem a bit too slow at times. However, if you enjoy stories that focus on character development, rather than packing in a bunch of action, then the slower pace will be right up your alley.

The book is largely character driven. In addition to Kordas, we also get to see the POV of Delia – his sister-in-law. It was nice to watch her come into her own throughout the book. She makes some questionable choices, but I like when characters do that in books because to me, it makes them seem more human.

All in all, I enjoyed this second installment, which felt like a bridge towards the next instalment and I’m definitely looking forward to seeing what the characters will do next.

Happy Reading!


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