Bastion - Mercedes Lackey The book was "ok", not great like Mercedes Lackey's first sets of Valdemar novels, but not as bad as the previous two books in the Collegium Chronicles series either. I found that I just didn't care very much about any of the characters in this set. Bland would be a good term for the whole Collegium Chronicles to date.

The Good: This book actually has "stuff" happening through most of it and the plot goes somewhere.
No endless pages of kirball!

The Bad: Copy/paste fillers from previous books.
(1)No character development and very flat characters. Lena and Bear might as well have been card-board cut outs for all the stuff they didn't do in the book.
(2)Too convenient happenings e.g. Mag's cousin just pitching up and giving up;
telepathic horse just dumping info into Mag's head, magic rocks just dumping whole sale training into heads - this just doesn't fit with the whole Valdemar Universe (IMO).
(3)Too much of Mag's internal thoughts - no action.
(4)No spice/spunk/ struggle or "hanging on the edge of the page waiting to find out what happens next".

Recommendation: If you are a Valdemar/ Mercedes Lackey Fan then by all means read this set (borrow it first though), just don't expect too much. If you are new to Valdemar, then I suggest you start with Queen's Own Trilogy (Arrows of the Queen, Arrow's Flight, and Arrow's Fall) or By the Sword or The Last Herald-Mage Trilogy.