I waffled about how to rate this one because I've been reading some other things simultaneously that were more challenging. I run into this problem from time to time. Do you rate a book more highly if it attempts to do something quite ambitious and doesn't quite succeed, or if it has more modest ambitions and fulfills them admirably?
This falls into the more modest ambitions/ considerable success category. In the end I decided to give it four stars because as long as you know what you are getting into from the outset it is going to give you just about exactly what you are hoping for. And with more than 100 books to her credit, if you don't know what you are getting into with Mercedes Lackey at this point, you just aren't paying attention.
So. This is a book to curl up with when you want a little adventure, a little romance, a little magic, a hero and heroine to root for, some villains to hiss at, and a happy ending to round it all out. Its a probably not going to shock and amaze you unless you are very very innocent, and yes the characters can be a little one dimensional, but its a solidly crafted entertainment.
It reminds me a little bit of the ghost stories I loved to read when I was a kid. They needed to be scary but not too
scary, and there needed to be somebody I could identify with, and some friendly folks, and a baaad person, a few mild jokes and preferably a nice horse. Okay this lacks the nice horse...