Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Trio of Sorcery by Mercedes Lackey

I don't know why I haven't read Mercedes Lackey's books lately.  Maybe I just saturated myself at one time with the Valdemar books.  But, I always liked her talented, courageous heroines.  Trio of Sorcery gives us three of them in an enjoyable urban fantasy collection.

Lackey's stories combine magic and contemporary life, and these stories show the progress in both.  The first story, "Arcanum 101" takes readers back to the origins of the Diana Tregarde stories.  It's set in the early 1970s, before personal computers, cell phones, and even MTV.  Diana herself is young, just a freshman at Harvard.  Her beloved Memaw, grandmother, wise woman, and teacher, is dead, and Diana is feeling lonely and lost.  But, she's a Guardian, and when a cop shows up at her door, needing help with a missing child case, she knows she's supposed to help him.  That case, along with a young college student messing with magic when he shouldn't, helps Diana Tregarde find a new place for herself.

Time has moved on a little in the second story, "Drums."  Cell phones are still the size of bricks, satellite dishes are enormous, sitting in front yards, and computers are still dial-up.  Private investigator and Medicine Woman, Jennifer Talldeer has one foot in the present, and one in the past, where she deals with Native American traditions and history.  That knowledge will be invaluable when she has to deal with the ghost of an Osage warrior.

In "Ghost in the Machine," Ellen McBride is a techno-shaman, an expert in computers who also knows that "Magic is a real form."  When a new computer game is inhabited by a monster from Ojibwa stories, Ellen is the only one with the skills to recognize what is happening to the out-of-control world.  But, does she have the skills to stop a Wendigo?

These three novellas don't give Lackey enough time to fully develop the characters.  But, she's skillful enough to create fascinating women and stories that draw us into their worlds.  In fact, I've already placed my holds at the library on the first Diana Tregarde and Jennifer Talldeer books.  And, I'm hoping Ellen McBride will get her own book someday.  Lackey's Trio of Sorcery sold me on all three characters and their knowledge.  Although I've been reading Jim Butcher's Dresden Files, I'd forgotten how much I appreciate the worlds created by the best of the urban fantasy writers.  Mercedes Lackey's latest book reminded me.

Mercedes Lackey's website is http://www.mercedeslackey.com/

Trio of Sorcery by Mercedes Lackey.  Tor, ©2010. ISBN 9780765328519 (hardcover), 352p.

FTC Full Disclosure - The publisher sent my copy of the book, in hopes I would review it.


April said...

Thanks Lisa!

Diana Tregarde is one of my favorite series and I was sad when she discontinued it. So I'm really looking forward to this collection. It's on my hold list at GPL! April

Hart Johnson said...

This is the second time today I'd heard Mercedes Lackey's name, when I hadn't before. I think the forces are telling me it is time to read her books...

Off to my library website to see what they have!

Lesa said...

And, I hadn't read any of the Diana Tregarde books, April, so I just picked up the first in the series. I feel as if I have a great deal of background after reading that story, though, so I'm glad I read it.

Lesa said...

You're right, Hart. It might be fate telling you about Mercedes Lackey. I'm sure your library will have some of her books.

Maria said...

I agree with April--the Diana Tregarde books are FABULOUS. Great urban fantasy before they even had a name for it! Highly recommended.

Lesa said...

Thank you, Maria!

I'm looking forward to reading my first Diana Tregarde book, too.