by Mercedes Lackey
Category: Fiction / Fantasy
448 pages; ISBN: 0756401224
Rating: 10/10 (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner
The kingdoms of Tia and Alta are at war while at the present time the Tians are winning because they have better Jousters who know how to use their dragons as a tool of war. Much of Altan has become part of the Tian empire and Vetch, who was once a farmer’s son, is now a serf, lower than a slave, belonging to a master who treats him very badly. When the Jouster Ari sees Vetch’s owner whip him, he takes him away to the Jouster compound and makes him his dragon boy.
Vetch now cares for Ari’s dragon Kashet who he comes to love. He has plenty of food and a fair workload but he never forgets for one moment that he is a serf with no rights. Although he comes to care Ari and a few other people in the compound, he can’t stomach what the Tians are doing to his people. He wants his freedom and embarks on a course of action that will achieve that goal if he doesn’t get caught.
Mercedes Lackey always writes a terrific story and this first installment in her new series is absolutely mesmerizing. Readers will feel for the protagonist who is only a ten-year-old child yet wise beyond his years. Once he sets a goal for himself, he sees it through no matter the risks. JOUST is a fantasy tale that will appeal to Anne McCaffrey’s Pern fans as well as anyone who loves an adorable dragon.
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