This is the most interesting Companion ever. I don't think any of her earlier books had this much of the Companion's interactions and thoughts with his Chosen before, which is totally compensating for Mags being a Mary Sue, which in Lackey's books, I tend to like anyway (Exception: Karal, but I have a theory on why I hate him that has to do with him being around other Mary Sues over whom he is King of Sues, and I love all the Sues, so trying to outsue my favorites makes me hostile, whereas here, I have no conflicting loyalties).
Anyway, Dallen's interaction with Mags and everyone else is fascinating; he's a lot more proactive than later Companions that I wish I could thump sometimes for being so "NO INTERFERE" when hello, it's not interfering when it's the bare minimum of what a friend would do for another friend in interpersonal relationships, okay? I'm guessing, if Lackey is doing this consciously, that this is because it's so early in the creation and foundation of Heralds as a group that the Companions are compensating for what Valdemar does not yet have in support systems for Heralds. It's actually extremely reasonable and practical and rather useful if the idea is Companions are basically interfering only at the exact level that their trainees cannot take care of themselves, and as a whole, the Heralds (yet) don't have the structure to do that (in the new form). They're changing the system of educating Heralds, and they're apparently pulling a much wider variety of people for heralds, so until the infrastructure catches up, they need more to help them do their duty.
IDK, I like Mags. He's so ridiculously reticent and antisocial it's like watching Seperis' Life, but in this universe, everyone is totally able to compensate for my social anxiety and vague paranoia. Plus, a magic horse.
I may have just found my own personal mary sue here. I mean, i totally get why people would hate him, but holy shit, if he gets persecuted in the second book? I MAY BE IN LOVE. I'm socially paranoid; this is like waving a flag of "YOU WILL FIND THESE THOUGHTS INTERESTING AND SUBSCRIBE TO THIS NEWSLETTER LIKE WHOA".
*hands* I love Mary Sues. They're like a combination of worse case scenario of what you are combined with best case scenario of what you want to be. When that clicks right? It fucking clicks.
Also, Dallen is awesome and if he and Mags lifebond, I will totally support their forbidden cross-species love.
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