Dear Libraries of the World,
Fantasy and Science Fiction are DIFFERENT GENRES!! Figure it out! *sigh*

I feel better now…

Aerie is book four in The Dragon Jouster series by Mercedes Lackey. In this world, a Jouster is a type of job which involves raising and riding a dragon in service of the kingdom. The aftermath of a recent war has forced two cities to join together and rebuild. The cities differ vastly in class, so those who were previously noblemen and those who were farmers, are suddenly treated as equals and have to work together.

When the jousters discover a ghost town, there is no trace of why the inhabitants suddenly vanished, leaving behind everything including cash on the bar. Clearly there is a dark force at work, scarier than the one that caused the war they just lived through.

There are some great elements of mystery and suspense, as well as a bit of a love triangle. The story is interesting, but the writing style is only average. I had to stop and re-read sentences because participial phrasing was all over the place. Also, for some reason, the author reminds us over and over that the people from the one city are markedly darker than from the other. It doesn’t seem to make any difference to the story. There is more magic and deity worship than I’m into, but it was essential to the outcome.

Even at 300 pages, it felt a bit short.  For those interested in this type of book, I would probably recommend starting at the beginning of the series.

Rating = 3

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