Into the West
A story about the founding of Mercedes Lackey’s most well-known world, Valdemar, Into the West is about an ethical leader, Baron Kordas Valdemar, guiding his people into the wilderness and away from a tyrannical Empire. In the process, Kordas encounters exotic people, unnatural creatures, and absolute terror.
Into the West is the second in a series, and I recommend that before you read it, you read Beyond, the first book in the series. Mercedes Lackey creates beautiful characters in a well-developed world; however, it is writing about emotion that she does best. The reader is overcome with terror when Valdemar encounters an unnatural woods that broadcasts a feeling “Like rage, if rage had been smothered and sleeping for centuries, until it had dulled down to a sort of ambiance.” The reader joins with Kordas to feel “Gratitude so sweet, simple and heartfelt that he found himself sobbing.”
This incredible emotion is such that I must say that every middle school, high school, and public library should carry one or more copies of Into the West. This is a book that is best appreciated by people aged twelve and up who love fantasy and can handle adult content. Every fan of Valdemar should read Into the West. But beware! Once you pick it up, you may be incapable of putting it down again!