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I just started reading Mercedes Lackey's new Valdemar novel The Hills Have Spies. I read the first chapter or two, then was using the dust jacket as a bookmark and happened to read the summary there. The written summary does NOT match the book, even at this early stage.

I was curious if anyone at DAW or Lackey herself has addressed the issue in any way. I understand that stories evolve as they are written, I'm just curious how it ended up on the printed jacket and if anyone official has said anything about it.


From Goodreads, the summary as I saw it on the dust jacket (the link summary may get updated at some point):

Mags, Herald Spy of Valdemar, and his wife Amily are happily married with three kids. The oldest, Justyn, has the Gift of animal Mindspeech--he can talk to animals and persuade them to act as he wishes. Justyn's dream is to follow in his father's footsteps as a Herald Spy, but has yet to be Chosen by his horse companion.

Mags is more than happy to teach Justyn all he knows. He regularly trains his children, including Justyn, with tests and exercises, preparing them for the complicated and dangerous lives they will likely lead. Justyn has already held positions in the Royal Palace as a runner and in the kitchen, useful places from which he can learn to listen. As the next stage of Justyn's training, Mags proposes that Justyn joins a group of traveling players and musicians, to get experience away from home and out in the world. Justyn joins the troupe, and he starts collecting information for his father. And the patterns he finds are unsettling....

During the troupe's travels, Justyn witnesses growing rural unrest about an indigenous community of Valdemar, known as Hawkbrothers. When the troupe settles for a season at a fortified manor of a local lord, Justyn watches the unrest grow increasingly hostile. The manor lord dismisses Hawkbrothers as inhuman--and has a local militia to back up his hatred. When a child goes missing, the locals immediately blame Hawkbrothers, and Justyn finds himself in a dangerous position.

He enlists the help of a local stray dog, who knows a lot about the town's goings-on, despite being a bit...odd. Justyn must find the missing child and warn the Hawkbrothers community of the trouble headed their way--before tensions turn deadly.

If nothing else, the main character seems to be name Perry (short for Peregrine).

Looking at other sources, most have this summary instead (from Amazon--bolding things that seem to have changed):

Mags, Herald Spy of Valdemar, and his wife, Amily, the King’s Own Herald, are happily married with three kids. The oldest, Peregrine, has the Gift of Animal Mindspeech—he can talk to animals and persuade them to act as he wishes. Perry's dream is to follow in his father's footsteps as a Herald Spy, but he has yet to be Chosen by a Companion.

Mags is more than happy to teach Perry all he knows. He regularly trains his children, including Perry, with tests and exercises, preparing them for the complicated and dangerous lives they will likely lead. Perry has already held positions in the Royal Palace as a runner and in the kitchen, useful places where he can learn to listen and collect information.

But there is growing rural unrest in a community on the border of Valdemar. A report filled with tales of strange disappearances and missing peddlers is sent to Haven by a Herald from the Pelagirs. To let Perry experience life away from home and out in the world, Mags proposes that his son accompany him on an expedition to discover what is really going on.

During their travels, Perry’s Animal Mindspeech allows him to communicate with the local wildlife of the Pelagirs, whose connection to the land aids in their investigation. But the details he gleans from the creatures only deepen the mystery. As Perry, Mags, and their animal companions draw closer to the heart of the danger, they must discover the truth behind the disappearances at the border—before those disappearances turn deadly.

Reading some reviews, it doesn't appear that the Hawkbrothers are major players in this version of the story either.

  • It just came out two days ago, from what I can find; in between the usual business of attempting to sell books, I'd be surprised if any messages or complaints about the mistake filtered up to the principals yet. – Radhil Jun 7 '18 at 17:30
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    Why not ask her on Quora? She is highly active there. – Adamant Jun 7 '18 at 19:09
  • quora.com/…? Is this you? – Adamant Jun 9 '18 at 9:39
  • @adamant I had looked at her site, Facebook, & Twitter which are all months out of date, so didn't pursue her social media. Never used quora, but made a profile. It seems ... chaotic to me. To answer your question, no not me since I haven't gotten around to asking her. I'll keep an eye on that question (though I'm fairly certain I understand why it happened). – eshier Jun 9 '18 at 12:17
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This question was also asked on Quora and Mercedes Lackey answered on Jun 8th, 2018.

Why does the book jacket for Mercedes Lackey's "The Hills Have Spies" not have the correct synopsis?

....

Mercedes Lackey's answer, quoted below

Because they wrote the cover blurb referencing my pitch synopsis without checking with the actual book prose.

They’re stripping all the ones in the warehouse to put on corrective jackets, which means the uncorrected ones are now Collectors’ Items.

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I contacted DAW and received this response:

Thank you for contacting Penguin Random House Customer Service and your interest in our publications.

We are aware of the issue and are working on correcting it. Please provide your shipping address and phone number so that we may send a replacement jacket.

Thank you,

Penguin Random House Consumer Services
SJ-863811

  • Thank you, Susan. That is a useful response. – FuzzyBoots Jun 25 '18 at 17:35
  • :) And as per Mercedes Lackey's comment, you may want to safely store the dustjacket. It could be worth something. – FuzzyBoots Jun 25 '18 at 17:36

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