18 December 2010

Book Review Number 16: Trio of Sorcery by Mercedes Lackey

I used to read a lot of Mercedes Lackey, particularly her Valdemar series.  I got away from reading her because I just wasn't finding her writing exciting any more.  But when I heard about this book, I immediately put it on my request list from the library.  Trio of Sorcery brought back one of my favorite non-Valdemar characters, Diana Tregarde.  Di is a Guardian of magic, charged with making sure that those who have been wronged by magic have a champion on their side.  And she does this while being a romance writer and living in NYC.  She'd originally only written 3 books because they didn't sell well (which, to me, is a shame because I love Di).  But she did incorporate the world into two other of her series, so I wasn't totally bereft.

The first story, "Arcanum 101" is, in many ways, Di Tregarde's first story.  It takes place in the 70s, when Di was just starting University. Not only does she work her first solo Guardian job (in her previous one, she'd gotten help from her granny), but she meets her own "Scooby Gang".  I loved reading this back story for Di.  Even though it had been years since I'd read any of the Di Tregarde's, it was wonderful to get pulled back into her world and meet some of the people that I'd read about in Jinx High (her last Di book).  It gives me hope that maybe, just maybe, she'll bring another Di story into the light sooner rather than later.  I need to search a little harder for my copies of Burning Water, Children of the Night and Jinx High.

The second story, "Drums", involves characters of hers that I've never read: Jenny Talldeer, Little Old Man and David Spotted Horse from Sacred Ground.  Jenny is a private investigator and shaman-in-training.  Her grandfather, Little Old Man, is training her and David, her lover, is her partner in the private investigator business.  This story tells of Jenny having to face down an angry mi-ah-lushka (or wandering spirit that was not given the proper warrior's burial) that is trying to draw a Chickasaw woman to be his bride in death.  This, too, was a fun read and it's making me want to pick up Sacred Ground to get a bit more into this world.  I'm not terribly familiar with Indian customs, lore or history, so I don't know how accurate it is.  But I did find it an enjoyable read.

The last story is a stand alone, "Ghost in the Machine".  Ellen McBride is a computer programmer and techno-shaman.  She's been called in to help the programming team for one of the most popular MMORPG on the net (they aren't saying it's WoW, but that's what it reminded me of).  The programmers had included a Wendigo as one of the big bosses in their latest release and the Wendigo wasn't acting the way that it had been programmed.  And Ellen is the only one who can get rid of it.  This one was a real treat for me - I haven't played any MMORPGs yet, but I am an old school role-player. And I do have many friends that are into WoW and I've watched over a lot of shoulders.  So I was able to follow along with a lot of what was going on with little need for explanation (though the explanations were there for those who weren't as familiar).  

The whole book was a great read and one that I hope to own when I'm not so darn broke.  All three stories are great magic-in-today's-world stories and I'm really hoping that Mercedes Lackey dips into these worlds again and again.