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Changes: Volume Three of the Collegium Chronicles [Audiobook, CD, Unabridged] [Audio CD]

Mercedes Lackey , Nick Podehl , Inc. Brilliance Audio
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Oct. 4 2011 Valdemar Series (Book 3)
Mags was a Trainee in the Heraldic Collegium in Haven, Valdemar’s capital city. Though his background of poverty and abuse at Cole Pieters’ gem mine set him apart from most other trainees, nonetheless he had found his own group of friends. Bear, Lena, and Amily were all students whose situations in life set them apart from more usual Trainees. The four of them had found mutual support in their shared misfortunes, and together struggled to help one another find solutions to their individual problems. But Mags’ friendship with Amily brought him to the attention of the King’s Own. The seemingly immortal Companion Rolan had Chosen Nikolas to suit the specific needs of the current monarch, and those needs were for an agent who could collect information surreptitiously. Nikolas recognized the same traits in Mags that Rolan had recognized in him and because of Mags’ friendship with Amily, no one would think twice about seeing her overprotective father spending time with Amily’s “suitor.” So Mags began training as Nikolas’ partner. They worked in disguise at night with Mags as Nikolas’ deaf and mute helper, where his extensive knowledge of gems — especially his skill at separating the real from the fake — would be an added benefit. Hiding in the shadows behind the desk, pretending to neither hear nor speak, Mags could better “observe” the clients, and even the surrounding neighborhood. And Nikolas could send him out on “errands” to chase down leads. But this new job was far more dangerous than Mags had ever considered. For there were mysterious agents in the city — agents who sought to bring down the kingdom, and no one knew where they came from or who they worked for. They were smart, talented, and preternaturally fast. And most of all they were willing to do anything — anything — to bring Valdemar to ruin.

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About the Author

Mercedes Lackey is the author of the Valdemar series, including Take a Thief and Exile's Honor. She is the coauthor, with Andre Norton, of the Halfblood Chronicles, including Elvenborn. Some of her other novels include The Gates of Sleep, Sacred Ground, The Firebird, The Black Swan, and The Serpent's Shadow. She lives in Oklahoma.

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Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By Dabbler
Format:Hardcover
Although I didn't like Book two of the triology, Book one and three were quite good. Everything is told from Mag's perspective and the immersion into Mag's life is just as good as the first book.

I echo the sentiments of other reviews I've read online and state that not much is resolved in this book. It is almost a repeat of the first book where the immediate danger is ended but the central mystery of the trilogy is left hanging. Some tidbits are handed out at the end but it definately seems a second triology is required to finish off Mag's story.

I enjoyed this book immensely but I think more answers could have been doled out. On the other hand Mags could be the next Elspeth whose story is told through several series of books. The pacing of Mag's story is slow but his character and his cricle of friends draws me in.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed Dec 26 2011
Format:Hardcover
I was extremely disappointed by this book. Far too many loose ends and character development just seemed to stop. I felt like she just got bored writing the book and stopped.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.6 out of 5 stars  143 reviews
83 of 87 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Open Letter to Mercedes Lackey Nov. 28 2011
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Dear Misty,

When you're on top of your game, your books are amazing. So, don't get me wrong, I am a huge fan. The Valdemar series has, in particular, been near and dear to my heart for decades. In fact, for years, I was one of those kids who shelled out their savings for the newest hardcovers of anything with Mercedes Lackey and a white horse splashed on the cover.

The problem is your newest crop of Valdemar books have been very hit or miss. I enjoyed the Darian's Tale trilogy. Brightly Burning and Take a Thief were fantastic. Then, there was the Exile series and your Mary Sue moments. For me, those were a definite miss.

Still, when The Collegium Chronicles debuted, I was so excited. It was a brand new Valdemar series, after all. As I read through the first two, they were mediocre-to-disappointing, sure, but I thought she'll pick up the ball. She'll return to form in book three. Well, I've read book three and not much has changed. The characters are just as flat, whiney and unlikeable as they were in the first two books. With none of the larger issues hinted at coming to fruition, the plot plods. I am ashamed to say, the plotting actually reminded me of the ant writing in Twilight. You know, tangents and mundane issue after mundane issue without actually getting to the POINT of anything. Basically, what every writing instructor will tell you NOT to do.

Personally, I still think you are a very gifted writer, but I think that perhaps these books have been rushed and written without the keen eye of a good and unbiased editor. I also feel like they were written rather formulaically based on what may be currently marketable, and there's something about the books that made me think you're not really invested in your characters (outside of maybe Mags). I guess the best way to put it might be that they lacked the soul that permeated many of your other Valdemar books.

So, this is my plea to you. Please, please really take your time with the next Valdemar book or series. Make characters you love and we'll love with living, beating hearts that move us like they used to. I would rather wait 5 years and get a single wonderful stand-alone book (or even no book at all) than get a poor-to-mediocre book in a poor-to-mediocre new series every year.
50 of 53 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Better than the last one, but not up to standard. Oct. 5 2011
By Ashley Person - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I absolutely love the Heralds of Valdemar series so I was really excited when this series came out. Unfortunately, throughout the series there are a lot of inconsistencies such as modern curse words and references to gypsies, modern games and machinery (staples for instance) that I don't think ever would have gotten into her previous books. This book is much better that Intrigues, but when I finished it my first thought was, 'is his her first quartet'? There is no ending whatsoever. Mercedes Lackey's official site is still listing this as the third book in a trilogy if this proves to be the case don't even bother reading it. Hopefully, we'll get confirmation soon that this is a quartet and she can actually end the story. Again, if your a hardcore Valdemar fan you'll probably read it anyway but if you're new read one of the older series when the writing was up to par.
70 of 77 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Wait for the paperback Oct. 8 2011
By Boston lady - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Not as bad as I found volume 2, but not at all up to Mercedes' usual standard for Valdemar. I understand her disappointment that people don't like her fairytales nearly as much, but that is no reason to do a halfhearted trilogy(quartet?). Book one gave me hope that it would be good. Book 2 dropped my hopes, but I had preordered, and decided to go ahead with the hardbound. I may not be buying Mercedes in hardbound again (certainly not the next grouping). Although the characters were developed a little more, the story line felt forced. It was more as if Mercedes lost her original train of thought and was just throwing something out there. We got a bit of closure on Bard Marchand, the expected romances developed, but the 'plot' just became a boring political plan. 99% of the questions were left open, and the one that was answered was the usual answer. If you read the first 2, wait for the paperback, or borrow from your library before wasting (IMO) money on the hardbound copy.
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars not as good, sigh Dec 11 2011
By Annie - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I am afraid that I might be getting a little too old for Valdemar in the current books. Ms Lackey's writing lately seems to be tending towards the youth can do everything better - a little too much leaning to the youth audience. "Old farts" had some role in the story but I would have liked a little bit of back story to them. The plot and the details of Valdemar life don't seem to be as cohesive as in the earlier Valdemar books. There is even a hint of "political correctness" or 21st century attitude at times that is not well blended into the plots. The books in this series have lost some of the magic of the Heralds, Companions, mind magic,and mystery that the earlier Valdemar books had.
I like Ms Lackey's fairy tale books but have noticed that they, too, are starting to get a little less magical.
Her books are getting to be like assembly line productions with repetition, loose ends and in need of quality control.
Maybe she should write fewer books more carefully and be better edited. Please bring back the magic.
44 of 51 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Instead of ending a series it seems to be beginning a new one Oct. 5 2011
By Haley - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
As I have not seen a release date for book 4 I went into this book expecting it to be the end of a trilogy. I was very disappointed. Two hundred pages in I couldn't see how the major questions could be wrapped up. Three hundred in I realized most of them wouldn't be answered. When I got to the final pages and discovered that the book literally referenced the multitude of unanswered questions--I was miffed.

This book does have character and relationship development, but plotwise I feel like it introduced as many questions as it answered. There was even a new major character brought in at the end.

As a previous poster pointed out: It looks like there is going to be a second series linked to this one. Who knows how long it will take for it to come out. I really wish I had known before I spent the time and money on a new hardback release.
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