Wednesday, May 30, 2018

The Hills Have Spies by Mercedes Lackey

book cover
The Hills Have Spies
by Mercedes Lackey

ISBN-13: 9780756413170
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Daw Books
Released: June 5, 2018

Source: Review copy from the publisher.

Book Description, Modified from Goodreads:
Mags, Herald Spy of Valdemar, and his wife Amily are happily married with three kids. The oldest, Peregrine, has the Gift of animal Mindspeech--he can talk to animals and persuade them to act as he wishes. His dream is to follow in his father's footsteps as a spy. He wonders if he even wants to be Chosen by a horse-like Companion, like his parents expect.

Mags regularly trains his children with tests and exercises, preparing them for the complicated and dangerous lives they will likely lead. When reports of an unusual number of missing people reaches Mag's ears, he decides to take Peregrine with him to discover who (or what) is behind the disappearances.

Peregrine and his father travel as traders so they can follow the rumors without inciting suspicion. He uses his Gift to help rescue several animals in distress, but he's disappointed at the lack of adventure. When they discover the missing people are actually being kidnapped outside of Valdemar's border, Mags declares that they can't do anything. Yet Peregrine is determined to at least learn more about what is happening to the people and if this poses a threat to Valdemar...

My Review:
The Hills Have Spies is a fantasy novel with an adult and a 13-year-old main character, so it may appeal to tweens and teens as well as adults. It helps if you've read some of the other Valdemar series so you can better understand the references to certain people or unusual creatures. However, you can understand this story without that additional depth of knowledge. The world-building created a unique and interesting setting for the story.

Mags is uncertain about how to be a good father since he had no parents as a child. Perry has been trained in and is skilled at being a spy, so he wants to use that training. But adventure can be scary. Perry makes a poor decision--though for the right reasons--and realizes things are much more dangerous than he thought. Yet he has no choice but to continue what he began even though the danger only increases.

There was no sex. There was some bad language. Overall, I'd recommend this enjoyable fantasy adventure.

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

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