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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
In Alta, Mercedes Lackey's sequel to Joust, the young serf Vetch has escaped from an enemy stronghold -- on the wings of a recently hatched dragon -- to his homeland of Alta, with vengeance-filled hopes of sharing the invaluable secrets of dragon rearing and training with the Altan military.
Because of the nation of Tia's superiority with dragons and their riders (called Jousters), Alta has been slowly losing land -- and human lives -- for decades. If nothing is done soon, Alta will surely be defeated and all its people enslaved. When Vetch (his real name is Kiron) arrives in the capital of Alta City with his scarlet dragon, Avatre, his knowledge is welcomed. Alsmost immediately he begins training a new unit of young Jousters and hatchling dragons. But the more time he spends in Alta, the more he begins to realize that the real enemy of the Altan people may not be the Tian Jousters but an elite group of Altan Magi who are secretly sucking the life essence out of the people to supposedly protect the city. When Kiron discovers the sinister truth behind the Magi's actions, he and his wing-mates must do something before it's too late. But can nine young adults and their juvenile dragons stop an uncontrollable religious order and end a decades-long war?
Considering how this novel ends -- with several major burgeoning plotlines left unexplored -- fans can look forward to at least one more volume in the outstanding fantasy saga. Classic Mercedes. Paul Goat Allen