Titan Books, p/b, £7.99
Reviewed by Elloise Hopkins
Trainee Herald Mags was just getting comfortable again with his studies but a new mission has presented itself. Mags is recruited to work with the King’s Own Herald to try and uncover the assassins who attempted to harm their ruler and burn a stable full of Companions. Danger is once again at the heart of Mags’ existence, only this time he is going undercover and it will take all of his skills and a heap of new ones to prevail.
Now he has been removed completely from his awful upbringing in the mine, Mags has to figure out who he is and what he wants to be. Still plagued by the lack of information about his parentage, he finds that friendships and trust cannot always be relied on and sometimes you have to be harsh to be kind. Despite the difficulties they all face individually, Mags and his Companion, mentor and friends will have to pool their resources if they are all to come through this alive.
Changes continues The Collegium Chronicles where Intrigues left off and once again Kirball takes a prominent position in the story along with Mags’ developing romance with Amily and the strained relationships his friends Bear and Lena have with their fathers. The biggest focus is on Mags and his coming of age struggles to fit in alongside those who are markedly different to himself.
Mags’ accent and unique dialogue take a step up in this volume and a whole host of his own made up words and pronunciations are added. Whilst being inventive and making him stand out from similar heroes, this does have a drastic effect on the pace of the book and at times it is hard to decipher exactly what is being said. The gist is clear but the actual words are skipped over by the reader and some depth is lost as a result.
The story is solid in progressing Mags’ tale, which will be concluded in book four of this series, but it suffered from the slow pace and occasional predictability. After the promising improvements in book two, this instalment was somewhat disappointing and had a very middle-ish feel to it. There are also some unresolved plot points which will need to be explained in book four in order to bring a sense of completion to the series.