I love a pun so I was in from the outset. The Hills Have Spies is the first in Mercedes Lackey’s Family Spies series and the 43rd book of the Valdemar nation.
Mags, Herald Spy, and his wife Amily are happily married with three kids. The oldest, Peregrine, dreams of becoming a Herald Spy. When a report comes in from Pelagirs filled with stories of strange disappearances, Perry joins his father on an expedition to discover what is really going on. During their travels, Perry’s Animal Mindspeech allows him to communicate with the local wildlife, but the details he gets from the creatures only deepen the mystery…The Hills Have Spies synopsis
The Hills Have Spies is the story of Peregrine. Eldest child of Mags and Amily, with his mother’s gift for animal mindspeech he is training to following in his fathers footsteps and become a Herald Spy.
When Mags is sent to an outer village, Haven, to investigate the report from the local Herald of missing people he takes Perry with him. An opportunity to test his skills and show him the ropes.
Perry’s mindspeech bonds him not to a Companion as is usual for Heralds, but to a kyree. When Perry disagrees with the course of action his father thinks best for the investigation, they head out without him.
Together Perry and his kyree Larral find themselves in the middle of the Masters compound. An evil place where the missing people disappear, some more permanently.
As the story reaches its conclusion, the Master is defeated and the land reclaims itself, Mags realises that Perry may not be a Herald after all. But he will be a force to be reckoned with.
I loved it. The very first line is Perry being shut in a room by a captor. It drew me into the action right from the start. Showing his animal mindspeech and his skills, while giving background and character information without leaving the scene. I can’t wait for more. It may have been my first venture into Valdemar but I’m heading back for book 2. And for the previous series, I have to get Mags backstory!