Eye Spy
In this second installment of the Family Spies series, set in the bestselling world of Valdemar, the children of Heralds Mags and Amily must follow in their parents' footsteps to protect the realm.Mags, Herald Spy of Valdemar, and his wife, Amily, the King’s Own Herald, are happily married with three kids. Their daughter, Abidela, dreams of building upon her parents’ legacy by joining the Artificers, hoping to offset her seeming lack of a Gift.But when Abi senses the imminent collapse of a bridge only moments before it happens, she saves countless lives, including that of her best friend, Princess Katiana. The experience, though harrowing, uncovers her unique Gift—an ability to sense the physical strains in objects.Intrigued by the potential of her Gift, the Artificers seek to claim her as their own—but so do the Healers. Through training with both of them, Abi discovers unique facets of her Gift, including a synesthetic connection to objects that allows her to “see” as well as feel the strains.Her Gift may also grant her a distinct advantage as a spy—there won’t be a building in the entire kingdom of Valdemar with a secret room that she doesn’t know about. With the help of her mentors, she must hone her gift to uncover the hidden secrets in the depths of Valdemar.

Eye Spy Details

TitleEye Spy
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJul 9th, 2019
PublisherDAW
Rating
GenreFantasy, Fiction

Eye Spy Review

  • Kathy Martin
    January 1, 1970
    Abi is the daughter of Herald spymaster Mags and his wife Amily who is the King's Own Herald. She has grown up with the children of the king and queen. She has been trained by her father to be dangerous, to be another layer of protection for the royal children. She has also been trained to be observant. She sometimes wonders if that will be enough for her to be a help to her father and her kingdom since she seems to lack any magical gift.One day, while on an errand with her best friend Princess Abi is the daughter of Herald spymaster Mags and his wife Amily who is the King's Own Herald. She has grown up with the children of the king and queen. She has been trained by her father to be dangerous, to be another layer of protection for the royal children. She has also been trained to be observant. She sometimes wonders if that will be enough for her to be a help to her father and her kingdom since she seems to lack any magical gift.One day, while on an errand with her best friend Princess Kat, Abi gets a bad feeling about a bridge they have to cross. She knows that the bridge is in immediate danger of collapse. She and Kat manage to save all the people on the bridge before it does collapse. Now, she has a unique Gift to learn to use: she can feel the stress in non-living things. Abi is sent to be trained as an Artificer which causes all sorts of resentment from some of the other students who feel that she took the place of a more worthy candidate just because of who her parents are. Especially resentful is Dudley Remp, a first class bully who feels entitled to whatever he wants because his father is rich. When he attempts to assault her after class with the help of a couple of his sycophants, she breaks his finger. When his father comes to demand that she be beaten and expelled because she hurt his son, her father casts a Truth Spell which quickly shows what happened and leads to his being expelled instead. However, she has made an enemy who isn't just going to go away.At the end of her training, Abi has to come up with a Master Work to prove her accomplishments and she chooses to rebuild the bridge that had collapsed some years earlier. To do so, she needs to reinvent a technique for supporting bridges that she learned from a ruin in the city. Before her bridge is finished, though, she is asked to accompany a small group of Masters as they travel to a land bordering Valdemar that is thinking about becoming part of Valdemar. This journey gives Abi a chance to explore more of Valdemar and learn more about things that Master Artificers do. She is traveling with three other Masters, a Herald who is one of her father's agents, and three mercenaries who have been hired to guide them. Things go well at the beginning but quickly go downhill when they come to a town that had a previous visit from "Valdemaran Artificers" who caused a part of the city wall to collapse. They learn that the group has Mages and they believe that they are Karsites who want to ruin any relationship with Valdemar and who can control demons.They need to find a way to restore Valdemar's reputation and get rid of the Karsite spies. The story was exciting. I liked the Abi grew and changed through the story and identified a path for her life that will make her happy and fulfilled. This was truly a coming of age story.
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  • eyes.2c
    January 1, 1970
    Those gifts keep morphing!A new gift! Queen's spymaster Mag's daughter, Abi, finds herself with a different gift, seeing and feeling abnormal stresses in constructions. A bridge is about to collapse and Abi is able to save the day.Off to School of Artificers, for her, with training in construction and with a talented healer. Stresses in bones and illnesses being likened to stresses in architecture.Of course there's a conflict with a snotty nosed highborn but given her background, Abi has more th Those gifts keep morphing!A new gift! Queen's spymaster Mag's daughter, Abi, finds herself with a different gift, seeing and feeling abnormal stresses in constructions. A bridge is about to collapse and Abi is able to save the day.Off to School of Artificers, for her, with training in construction and with a talented healer. Stresses in bones and illnesses being likened to stresses in architecture.Of course there's a conflict with a snotty nosed highborn but given her background, Abi has more than a few tricks up her sleeve.Then events take Abi beyond the Valdemar border and face to face with some nasty mages.The ending was a bit flat, and really, although I quite enjoyed aspects of the story it was just not all that different from previous tales.A Berkley Group ARC via NetGalley
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  • Imogene
    January 1, 1970
    So, I paused in my Priory read because “Oh My Gosh the new Lackey book is out.I even did a reread of The Hills have Spies in order to be ready. I’m sorry Mercedes, but this is literally my least favourite of all of your books. And I have read every single one. I still love you, and I loved not only having an asexual main character, but a disabled character who is not miraculously “fixed” in order to become insanely powerful and respected and one of the highest powers in the land. The Mags books So, I paused in my Priory read because “Oh My Gosh the new Lackey book is out.I even did a reread of The Hills have Spies in order to be ready. I’m sorry Mercedes, but this is literally my least favourite of all of your books. And I have read every single one. I still love you, and I loved not only having an asexual main character, but a disabled character who is not miraculously “fixed” in order to become insanely powerful and respected and one of the highest powers in the land. The Mags books have had a tendency to drag on, and that’s been okay, because I loved the character.I wasn’t completely sold by Perry’s story, but the world building and the evolution was so good that I didn’t really mind.This time? This is enough material to barely fill out two seperate short stories. Barely.The only thing (aside from the ace rep) that was of any interest about the MC was her family.Spoiler: most boring power in Valdemar history.I will read the next Valdemar book, but I’m sorry, I’ll wait till I get it from the library.That being said, if it’s a Prince Kee plus forgettable third child whose powers seem to be intertwined, I may be more interested than in the discussions of concrete and sewage systems.
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  • USOM
    January 1, 1970
    (Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.) More like 3.5What impresses me the most about Eye Spy is how Lackey manages to balance a girl learning about her magic, with a carefully constructed and gripping plot. Abi has an unique set of magical abilities, but even more than that, she's grown up in an unique family full of characters who are courageous, smart, and driven to help their society. If you ever grew up reading a (Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.) More like 3.5What impresses me the most about Eye Spy is how Lackey manages to balance a girl learning about her magic, with a carefully constructed and gripping plot. Abi has an unique set of magical abilities, but even more than that, she's grown up in an unique family full of characters who are courageous, smart, and driven to help their society. If you ever grew up reading a lot of Tamora Pierce, Abi reminds me in some ways of Alanna. She's strong, determined, and clever - not afraid to make enemies, and powerful ones, for all the right reasons. Abi has a wonderful support system of characters around her who you would be familiar with if you've read a lot of Lackey's other works - like The Hills Have Spies. It's not required at all, it's just like looking at your favorite art piece again and again. There were two things that really set Eye Spy apart for me: Abi's sexuality and her overarching plot. Abi is aro (it's not stated like that on page, but Abi talks about never having any romantic feelings for anyone). Additionally, Abi's plight is familiar if you've seen what happens to women who make powerful enemies by men who want to cross them or their boundaries
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  • John Piper
    January 1, 1970
    I really enjoyed this book! Valdemar is one of my favorite universes, and the Family Spies series is awesome! Abi's book is filled with intrigue, action, great dialog and writing, and wonderful characters! I can't wait to see what happens in the next book! Mercedes has hit a home run with this book and I highly recommend checking it out! I would start with the Collegium series and read the series in chronological order. It's very worth the read!
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  • Maria
    January 1, 1970
    Abi, is growing up in the Palace, daughter of the King's Own and the King's Spymaster. She doesn't have magic until one day, she realizes that the sick feeling she gets on a certain bridge is the magical warning that the structure is collapsing. Que dramatic rescue and the need to train her Gift in classic Valdemar style.Why I started this book: I have a couple of books that I should be reading... so of course I ignored them and picked up something fun.Why I finished it: Interesting perspective Abi, is growing up in the Palace, daughter of the King's Own and the King's Spymaster. She doesn't have magic until one day, she realizes that the sick feeling she gets on a certain bridge is the magical warning that the structure is collapsing. Que dramatic rescue and the need to train her Gift in classic Valdemar style.Why I started this book: I have a couple of books that I should be reading... so of course I ignored them and picked up something fun.Why I finished it: Interesting perspective on Valdemar, where the characters acknowledge that Valdemar, while wonderful isn't for everyone. And that it takes lots of sacrifice and work for it succeed.
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  • Betsy
    January 1, 1970
    Enjoyable but it has some flaws. I liked the characters. The plot was interesting -- a little unusual -- until the ending, which was contrived and rather anti-climactic. I was also annoyed by Mags continued use of the accent he had as a child. After many years living and working with the upper classes of Valdemar, he would not have retained that working class accent in normal speech, though he would likely have been able to assume it at will. That kind of foolish detail really bugs me. For fans Enjoyable but it has some flaws. I liked the characters. The plot was interesting -- a little unusual -- until the ending, which was contrived and rather anti-climactic. I was also annoyed by Mags continued use of the accent he had as a child. After many years living and working with the upper classes of Valdemar, he would not have retained that working class accent in normal speech, though he would likely have been able to assume it at will. That kind of foolish detail really bugs me. For fans of Valdemar, it's definitely worth reading, but it's not one of the best. In fact I'm getting a little tired of the spy trope; I want more Heralds and Companions.
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  • Donna
    January 1, 1970
    Eye Spy is Abi’s story. Her older brother has had an adventure and is working closely with Mags. Abi still doesn’t know what she wants to do with her life when she senses a bridge about to fail. Now she has to train her gift and figure out how to turn it into something useful. I loved watching Abi grow into her own skin and realize that she is special just being herself. I really liked Abi and was rooting for her throughout the story. Action and adventure aplenty this is a terrific addition to t Eye Spy is Abi’s story. Her older brother has had an adventure and is working closely with Mags. Abi still doesn’t know what she wants to do with her life when she senses a bridge about to fail. Now she has to train her gift and figure out how to turn it into something useful. I loved watching Abi grow into her own skin and realize that she is special just being herself. I really liked Abi and was rooting for her throughout the story. Action and adventure aplenty this is a terrific addition to the series.
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  • Jane Ashford
    January 1, 1970
    I really enjoy Lackey's series abut Mags and his family.
  • Debbie
    January 1, 1970
    "Eye Spy" is a fantasy novel for tweens and teens. While the story works as a stand alone novel, you'll better understand some of the references made in the story if you've read more of the Valdemar series. Frankly, this story felt fragmented--like it was several short stories about Abidela put into one book. She's confronted with a bully but immediately took care of that threat because she's smart and talented. She needed to learn to use her Gift, yet that's more summarized than seen, so not mu "Eye Spy" is a fantasy novel for tweens and teens. While the story works as a stand alone novel, you'll better understand some of the references made in the story if you've read more of the Valdemar series. Frankly, this story felt fragmented--like it was several short stories about Abidela put into one book. She's confronted with a bully but immediately took care of that threat because she's smart and talented. She needed to learn to use her Gift, yet that's more summarized than seen, so not much suspense built up there. Then she helped her dad briefly by working as a spy. So a series of short adventures, and most didn't contain a notable challenge because she's so talented and smart.The usual underdog fight against dangerous evil people didn't start until the last quarter of the book, so there wasn't a lot of time to develop the conflict. The ending felt rushed. It was an enjoyable story, there just wasn't a lot of suspense since the problems were resolved so quickly. There was no sex. There was some bad language (including b**ch).I received an ebook review copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.
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  • Scratch
    January 1, 1970
    Usual caveat for a Mercedes Lackey novel. She is past her prime and has been phoning it in for about 10-15 years.Still, if you're like me and you read Lackey as a source of comfort, this may do the trick. Our protagonist Abi has a very comfortable life with a loving family and extremely close-knit relationship with the royal family. She is incredibly intelligent and competent, asexual, and for some reason we're just going to shrug and accept the fact she's a fantastic knife fighter without viewi Usual caveat for a Mercedes Lackey novel. She is past her prime and has been phoning it in for about 10-15 years.Still, if you're like me and you read Lackey as a source of comfort, this may do the trick. Our protagonist Abi has a very comfortable life with a loving family and extremely close-knit relationship with the royal family. She is incredibly intelligent and competent, asexual, and for some reason we're just going to shrug and accept the fact she's a fantastic knife fighter without viewing that as an essential part of her character. This book is dedicated to "the Blues," the odd ducks of Valdemar's Collegium. Where always before Lackey focused on the Heralds, the Bards, and the Healers (mostly the Heralds), this is the one novel that focused on what it is to be a Blue. Heralds wear white, bards wear red, and healers wear green. Blue is for the otherwise-forgotten school for people good at math and engineering and with no particular magical abilities, and no other name for their school. Abi *does* have a magical ability, this sense of strain in physical objects, but this is a weird gift without a name that no one has ever really had before. Do you like reading about the characters enjoying meals? Lackey always writes about that. Do you like reading about problems getting solved? Usually very, very quickly? All that is here.But on top of all that, within the first couple chapters of the book, we are confronted with a small-handed, tall, blond, "soft" rich slumlord who tried to grab at Abi without her permission and recited the lines from the Access Hollywood tape nearly verbatim. So, if you have been hoping for some comeuppance since November 2016, you get a taste of that here too. A little later on there is even a brief discussion about the pointlessness of walls.Giving this four stars is a little on the high side, it's probably more like a 3.2, but I'll give it to Lackey out of nostalgia.
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  • Gaby
    January 1, 1970
    It's been years since I'd read a fantasy novel by Mercedes Lackey, so it was a treat to rediscover her work. Eye Spy is the second novel in the Valdemar Family Spies series. If you're new to the world of Valdemar like I was, it is easy to dive into Eye Spy and fall in love with the characters and that world. The lead is a young woman who was not Chosen to be a Herald but instead shows a rare gift and great promise. Abi is the daughter of Mags (the Spymaster & Herald) and Amily (the King's Ow It's been years since I'd read a fantasy novel by Mercedes Lackey, so it was a treat to rediscover her work. Eye Spy is the second novel in the Valdemar Family Spies series. If you're new to the world of Valdemar like I was, it is easy to dive into Eye Spy and fall in love with the characters and that world. The lead is a young woman who was not Chosen to be a Herald but instead shows a rare gift and great promise. Abi is the daughter of Mags (the Spymaster & Herald) and Amily (the King's Own Herald) and she's learned that she can see flaws in things. Her gift comes out dramatically - when she learns that a bridge is about to collapse after hundreds of years of use. Abi has been helping her father Mags in his spycraft and initially decides to study building and materials to provide herself with a "cover identity" but Abi learns that she loves learning and thinking about buildings. She decides to try to rebuild the bridge using old ideas repurposed. Her gift for seeing flaws and her skill and thinking spatially leads her to a unique project and the respect of Master Builders all over the country.Abi is asked to join a task force to help nearby communities assess their public works and help fix or rebuild as needed. This small team encounters sabotage from old enemies and Abi must use all her talents and strengths to fight back, to protect their team and the local inhabitants and to find a way back home.Eye Spy was a delight and had got me to dive into the other Valdemar novels. I've devoured six books and am enjoying going through the long backlist. Mercedes Lackey is a gift to readers everywhere!
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  • Angela
    January 1, 1970
    I liked the story and it was interesting to finally have a Blue based character, not exactly a true full fledged from start to finish Blue character but then again they haven't really been much of a focus as a whole. A few characters have started that way in other stories but then things wind up changing for them. While I have nothing against romance I'm glad that Abi didn't have one, she wasn't interested at the start and its nice when a character isn't forced to change her personality midbook I liked the story and it was interesting to finally have a Blue based character, not exactly a true full fledged from start to finish Blue character but then again they haven't really been much of a focus as a whole. A few characters have started that way in other stories but then things wind up changing for them. While I have nothing against romance I'm glad that Abi didn't have one, she wasn't interested at the start and its nice when a character isn't forced to change her personality midbook because a romance could potentially make things better. For that matter her brother in the previous book didn't have one either but that could be due more to age and wanting adventure more than lack of interest. I'm looking forward to reading the next book and seeing how Mags' and Amily's family will continue with their lives and abilities.
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  • Angie Gaule
    January 1, 1970
    I was provided a copy of this book in return for an honest review. I really liked this book, although it was less character-driven than most. It was nice to see a character treated as a full adult, in spite of the fact that the parents were also characters in the story. It was also nice to see this as somewhat more of a mystery with a problem to be solved, rather than an adventure story with someone to be rescued. Not that there isn't adventure! There is plenty of action, but the action never ov I was provided a copy of this book in return for an honest review. I really liked this book, although it was less character-driven than most. It was nice to see a character treated as a full adult, in spite of the fact that the parents were also characters in the story. It was also nice to see this as somewhat more of a mystery with a problem to be solved, rather than an adventure story with someone to be rescued. Not that there isn't adventure! There is plenty of action, but the action never overtakes the plot. Highly recommended.
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  • Bookgirlr
    January 1, 1970
    This most recent installment in the series does not disappoint. I enjoyed finding out more about Abi and was delighted by the inclusion of an asexual character in the Valdemar universe. Representation matters! Whether you’re a fan of Valdemar or not you will want to add Eye Spy to your collection.***I was provided a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.Check out my blog for more in depth reviews and recommendations:https://www.bookgirlsbooknookblog.blo...
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  • Anna Fox
    January 1, 1970
    I enjoyed this book having just finished book #1. I look forward to reading about the other kids in the family to see what their talent / adventure will be. This is book 2 in this series. however, it is set in the Valdemar universe and there are a lot of books set in that world. So after reading this book, you'll have lots more to read!Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for my eARC in exchange for an honest review. - I hope for many more Valdemar books!
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  • Gillian Wiseman
    January 1, 1970
    Not bad, but I just think Lackey needs to quit with the Valdemar books, much as I would miss reading about the place. Her stories have gotten sadly stereotypical. There's not much attachment to or differentiation between her young heroes in the last several books. Still, the world building is good, and the writing is fine, easy to read and comfortable. But nothing like as dramatic and meaningful as the Arrows or Last Herald-Mage series.
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  • Gillian
    January 1, 1970
    I have been reading Valdamar books for 25 years and always enjoy them. Some are better than others. Some are my comfort books that I reread often. This book was fun I have been enjoying reading about a new generation of characters that don’t have to be heralds to be good people working for the kingdom.
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  • Jim Rothwell
    January 1, 1970
    Another twist on Heraldic Gifts that I was excited to read as soon as it came out... Mercedes' imagination keeps me coming back to this ever-growing story. I'm re-reading all the books set in the world of Velgarth (Mage Wars, Tarma & Kethry, and Valdemar series) this summer, and enjoying my time with some old (and new) friends.
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  • ms bookjunkie
    January 1, 1970
    Lovely. A character-appropriate adventure. As always, deft story-appropriate commentary about social class, craft, the stages—and amount!—of labor and skills necessary to produce a finished product that really makes me appreciate my privilege as a 21st century woman.Most importantly, an ace heroine. Thank you, Mercedes Lackey!
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  • Rebecca
    January 1, 1970
    Always enjoy ValdemarI always enjoy learning more about Valdemar. Can’t wait for the next one in this series. This book definitely put a different twist on the no one true way.
  • Larry Plemmons
    January 1, 1970
    IF you have ever read anything by Mercedes Lackey, you will have high expectations for this book. As far as I am concerned, she has met and exceeded my expectations.
  • Glennis
    January 1, 1970
    Review to come
  • Andria Potter
    January 1, 1970
    Overall not bad, though that ending left it hanging a bit. Eager to continue with the series and definitely recommend for longtime fans!
  • Laura Moss
    January 1, 1970
    I enjoyed reading about the newest character Abi.
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