Picks up speed Mar 29, 2007
Ms. Lackey is nothing if not prolific; this book is one of her best that I've read. Near the beginning I felt that she was sticking a little too closely to a formula. She went a little heavy-handed with the "orphan plucked out of misery into miraculous new surroundings" theme, but as I got further into the story, that dropped off and her writing, freed of exposition, got much better. A lot of care and attention went into the details of visualizing a world that is similar to, but still not the same as, countless other fantasy series. Lackey really did a good job in this area, as the dragon genre is busting at the seam with entries. "Joust" doesn't blend in with the rest, but makes a stand for itself as a series worth reading.