Most helpful critical review
This book is really age dependent
on January 10, 2004
In fact, every single one of her books are age dependent, with the possible exception of the Black Gryphon and the White Gryphon. The younger you are, the more you will like them. If you haven't read many fantasy or young adult books, and are 15 or younger, you'll probably love it. I know, because I did. But now upon revisiting this book as an adult, I find it pretty lacking in many areas, and downright cliche.
As far as writing style goes, this is probably her weakest book, which is understandable because it's also her first as far as I know. Character development is pretty non-existent, and she also constantly changes point of view to explain everything (which I always thought was a sign of poor writing really.) She also has some plot inconsistencies, but those only become really apparent when you start to read more books in her series.
Also, a lot of the elements that appeal to teens will seem cliche and overdone to adults, such as the poor downtrodden child lifted to heroism, the can-do-no-wrong beautiful white Companions, and general good vs, evil themes. However, these are the very elements that draw young readers to Lackey's books, and create such strong supporters of her works.
Lackey's books are not bad by any means, they are great for teen readers in fact, with some good themes in them. But if you are an adult who is thinking of trying them out, you probably missed the bus, and will find these books too juvenile for your tastes. Instead, I would suggest The Black Gryphon and The White Gryphon also by her, as they are more adult in theme and writing style.