Review of Into The West by Mercedes Lackey

Into The West continues the story of Kordas (Baron Valdemar), Isla (his wife) Delia(his sister-in-law), all of those who came with them and the beloved dolls, as they travel on to find their new home. They had escaped the Empire for now and were tasked with the duty of starting over. With 15,000 people in their group that task was daunting.

One of the best speeches I’ve ever read in a fictional book was given by Kordas towards the beginning of this book. It was a speech that demanded they treat everyone who was with them with respect. A speech that recognized the vast differences between this group. Differences in religion, belief, practice, gender, ways of law and ways of love. In doing such Kordas echoed what is going on in our world. As a people we must respect differences and work together towards a common goal. Retreating to our various groups only to complain and plot against other groups within our own people will surely continue to cause chaos and destruction. If you read nothing else in this book read the speech by Kordas in the third chapter. Then read it again. As is stated in the book, do so not to build a rebuttal but let it sink in. Listen for understanding.

Into the West is a story about pioneers who have left a tyrant and a life of death and abuse, to find a better way. A safer way. A place that they can live and love and simply be. A pioneer story that also contains powerful mages, magic, mythical beings, and all that you would expect in a fantasy novel, while intertwining the human element of change.

Mercedes Lackey is my most favorite and treasured author. In her books a common theme is acceptance. Acceptance for differences in your fellow man. Acceptance for difference of religion and politics. A common thread of working together towards a common goal. This writer realizes that is one of the most difficult take for humanity. We naturally shelter ourselves within a cocoon of our own. Venturing out of that and accepting a different way of life is something we all struggle with.

Baron Valdemar and his people know that all 15,000 of them cannot remain at crescent lake. They will quickly use up the resources and it was already populated prior to their arrival. They must now move west. Behind them they know that the Empire may regroup and come after them. In front of them is unknown territory filled with what beings, they do not know. It is truly a pioneer’s journey, mixed with many fantasy elements.

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