Redoubt by Mercedes Lackey. Yes, this seems to be a full series reread, right up to the end of Family Spies. Virtual TBR pile is getting higher but that makes it all the more delicious to look forward to. This is the one of which I said, in August 2022, that there was FAR TOO MUCH kidnapping in it, and I still stand by that, but I do love the young Karsite priest who knows what being a priest is, and also the suncat that’s set itself up as his protector.
Bastion by Mercedes Lackey. The last of the Collegium Chronicles, though this series runs into the next one seamlessly. This is the one with all the gratuitous travel that feels like a leisurely roleplaying campaign (I have no objection). The cousin with a very alien mindset is even more alien this time, perhaps because I’m more into Mags’ head than the last time around and he feels the alienness. He’s not a good guy, but he’s a nice guy! Not so much eye dialect in this book, probably because Mags isn’t trying to masquerade as the ignorant country clod/jock.
Closer to Home by Mercedes Lackey. #1 of The Herald Spy. This is what the reading notes are for! If I hadn’t warned myself of it being “Romeo and Juliet meets Red Wedding” I’d have been shocked all over again; as it was I was relieved because the outcome wasn’t as bad as it could have been (spoiler: most people don’t die). Lots of fantasy misogyny, unfortunately, when most of the Heralds books are “let’s get rid of fantasy misogyny!” — daughters being used as playing-pieces, raised only to expect marriage, scheming to make the “best” marriage, argh! But at least (a) the innocent little dog gets rescued and (b) the silly-goose girl gets a better chance.