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    Review of THE PHOENIX ENDANGERED by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory

    BOOK TWO OF THE ENDURING FLAME

    Tor, September 2008

    Months before, Harrier Gillain and Tiercel Rolfort set out to learn to control Tiercel's mage power--a power that threatened to destroy them. With the help of the elves, Tiercel is now bonded to a dragon--who can serve as the source for near-infinite power. To his surprise, Harrier receives the three books of Wild Magic. But he isn't a Wild Mage like so many others--he's a knight mage--the first war mage since the legendary Kellen the Poor Orphan Boy.

    With the help of the elves, Harrier and Tiercel are well-equipped for their journey southward, toward the deserts where they hope to find the mysterious lake of fire that forms the center of many of Tiercel's visions. Along the way, they discover a wounded warrior and Harrier is finally forced to use his wild magic for healing purposes--and soon gathers a teacher willing to show him sword skills he'll need as a knight-mage.

    In the cities at the border of the great desert, their journey seems to have come to an end. The nomads of the desert have vanished and none of the merchants have any knowledge of the lake of fire. Then, however, they get word that the nomads have gone to war and are destroying the cities. Can Tiercel's magic and Harrier's knight skills save the last of the great border cities?

    Authors Mercedes Lackey (see more BooksForABuck.com reviews of fantasy by Lackey) and James Mallory (see more BooksForABuck.com reviews of fantasy by Mallory) continue their history of a world emperiled by the 'dark.' This time, the most powerful Wild Mage in the world has convinced himself that the balance is false, and that without dark, the world is on a false course. With the power of his own dragon, he seeks to protect his people. While trying to do good, he systematically goes about bringing darkness, banished from the world at such great cost, back.

    THE PHOENIX ENDANGERED is a middle book. As such, we have a great deal of moving around, getting ready, worrying about what to do, angsting over the hard decisions Harrier and Tiercel have to make, and not really enough actually doing. If you haven't read THE PHOENIX UNCHAINED (see our review), you really should do that first.

    THE PHOENIX ENDANGERED is well-written and enjoyable, even though I felt like it could have been made shorter and tighter.

    Three Stars

    Reviewed 11/02/08

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