Since Firebird is one of Mercedes Lackey’s somewhat older works, I thought I’d enjoy it. It certainly sounded promising.
And indeed, Firebird starts off with a lot of potential. Though the main character, Ilya, is yet another underappreciated, super-clever youth whose family is mean to him, etc. etc., he’s a bit of a, well, womanizer. He likes him some womenfolk, and it’s kind of charming in a rather “That’s not very like Mercedes Lackey” kind of way. I liked Ilya, and the book, with its charming premise, starts out well.
But… by page 90-something, it still hadn’t stopped starting. I kept waiting and waiting and waiting for the book to get on with it. By the time I put the book down, Ilya still had not been “cast out” as the blurb promises. In fact, he’s still barely encountered the titular Firebird, let alone made any attempt to capture her. Instead he’s… taking a steam bath.
No, really. And that scene really epitomizes what made me put the book down. Firebird is chock full of tedious, second-to-second details, with barely any dialog or plot to move it along. I do not need to be told about how Ilya strikes the flint and lights the tinder for his bath. It’s just unnecessary and well, extremely self-indulgent.
I said before that my VALDEMAR cup had runneth over. Well, I’m pretty sure my Mercedes Lackey cup has too.