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Intrigues: Book Two of the Collegium Chronicles (A Valdemar Novel) by Mercedes Lackey
Cover Artist: Jody A. Lee
DAW Hardcover  ISBN/ITEM#: 9780756406394
Date: 05 October 2010 List Price $25.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK /

From release/information:

Product Description: Mags was an orphan who had slaved in a gem mine for all his young life. Found in a bandit camp when he was an infant, he was taken in by Cole Pieters, who owned the mine. Pieters constantly told him that he had "bad blood" and would never amount to anything. Had he not been Chosen by his Companion, Dallen, and taken to Haven to be trained in the new Herald Collegium, he probably would have died before he reached adulthood.

Now, Mags was never hungry and never cold. He slept in a real bed in his own room and, most importantly, he had Dallen, who was like another part of himself. And yet, aside from Lena and Bear, both loners like he was, he couldn't relate to most of the Herald, Healer, or Bard trainees. He was the only trainee who came from what—to the others—was unimaginable poverty. Even the poorest shepherd was appalled when he heard about the conditions Mags and his fellow mine workers had endured. And Mags had no tolerance for the chronic complaining of his fellow students. The others had no idea how good they had it, and even though, when he thought about it, Mags was glad—no one should have to live like he had lived—this kept him feeling like an outsider, despite the fact that he was part of an elite corps of students.

But there were other factors that contributed to his isolation. Foreign assassins had been at court masquerading as envoys, and when they were discovered, and fled from the Guard, one of them, a man he had never seen in his life, had seemed to "recognize" Mags. Now, Mags was an object of suspicion among his fellow students, and even some of his teachers. He had always been curious about his parents, but after this incident it seemed far more urgent to discover exactly who his parents were. And at Haven, he had access to the extensive Archives.

Poring through the Archives, day after day, Mags finally got some answers, but they were incomplete: his parents, found dead in the bandit camp, had been two of a number of hostages, some of whom had survived. These survivors had told the Guard that Mags' parents spoke a language that no one understood or even recognized. So Mags' parents were foreigners, though from what country no one seemed to have any idea.

But rather than help his situation, this information did just the opposite, for ForeSeers had been having visions of the king being assassinated by "one of foreign blood" and some had even Seen Mags with blood on his hands. How could Mags defend himself against a crime that hadn't yet been committed?

(Source: DAW)

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