SpeculativeFiction


The Silver Gryphon

The Silver Gryphon (Mage Wars) is the third book in Lackey's Mage Wars trilogy, which itself is an attempt to fill in some major backstory to her Valdemar universe. It's not particularly memorable, and there are few ties to the larger world and story of Valdemar itself. Even if you've read the first two books in this trilogy, you're safe skipping this one. It's really bad, but in an inoffensive way.

Fri May 02 13:09:29 CDT 2014 by Matthew. Comments

Magic's Price

Vanyel Ashkevron, Herald-Mage of Valdemar, is no longer young, and no longer on the front lines. His tremendous talents of mind and magic -- along with an impressive reputation -- are employed within the walls of Haven, running the kingdom of Valdemar according to the wishes of King Randale. But Randale's health is failing fast, and there are other problems lurking just out of sight. The "ordinary" Heralds, without Vanyel's mage-talents, feel themselves worthless in comparison... and the feeling is returned by the people of Valdemar, who would rather deal with a problem themselves then call for help and
receive just an ordinary Herald.

(Read More...)

Mon Aug 15 22:20:29 CDT 2005 by Matthew. Comments

Magic's Price

Vanyel Ashkevron, Herald-Mage of Valdemar, is no longer young, and no longer on the front lines. His tremendous talents of mind and magic -- along with an impressive reputation -- are employed within the walls of Haven, running the kingdom of Valdemar according to the wishes of King Randale. But Randale's health is failing fast, and there are other problems lurking just out of sight. The "ordinary" Heralds, without Vanyel's mage-talents, feel themselves worthless in comparison... and the feeling is returned by the people of Valdemar, who would rather deal with a problem themselves then call for help and
receive just an ordinary Herald.

(Read More...)

Mon Aug 15 22:20:29 CDT 2005 by Matthew. Comments

Magic's Promise

Vanyel Ashkevron, Herald-Mage of Valdemar, has faced the worst that the world can throw at him. Karsite demons, enemy mages, creatures from the Pelagirs; he has faced and defeated them all. The bards he once aspired to join now sing songs of his exploits to a rapt nation. Young women worship his image while fearing to approach a legend. Even his teacher, Savil, acknowledges that Vanyel's talents have exceeded her own in many areas. There is only one threat that Vanyel has yet to face: his family.

(Read More...)

Sat Aug 13 20:55:36 CDT 2005 by Matthew. Comments

Magic's Promise

Vanyel Ashkevron, Herald-Mage of Valdemar, has faced the worst that the world can throw at him. Karsite demons, enemy mages, creatures from the Pelagirs; he has faced and defeated them all. The bards he once aspired to join now sing songs of his exploits to a rapt nation. Young women worship his image while fearing to approach a legend. Even his teacher, Savil, acknowledges that Vanyel's talents have exceeded her own in many areas. There is only one threat that Vanyel has yet to face: his family.

(Read More...)

Sat Aug 13 20:55:36 CDT 2005 by Matthew. Comments

Magic's Pawn

Magic's Pawn, the first book in Mercedes Lackey's The Last Herald-Mage trilogy, is a superb coming-of-age adventure. The trilogy itself is without a doubt the best thing Lackey has ever written, and represents required reading for fantasy fans even if the rest of Lackey's work holds no appeal. The story begins approximately two centuries prior to the events of Arrows of the Queen, at time when mages were still well-known within Valdemar...

(Read More...)

Wed Aug 10 23:14:50 CDT 2005 by Matthew. Comments

Magic's Pawn

Magic's Pawn, the first book in Mercedes Lackey's The Last Herald-Mage trilogy, is a superb coming-of-age adventure. The trilogy itself is without a doubt the best thing Lackey has ever written, and represents required reading for fantasy fans even if the rest of Lackey's work holds no appeal. The story begins approximately two centuries prior to the events of Arrows of the Queen, at time when mages were still well-known within Valdemar...

(Read More...)

Wed Aug 10 23:14:50 CDT 2005 by Matthew. Comments

Take a Thief

Take a Thief is a standalone novel that functions as a biography for Skif, one of the supporting characters in Lackey's Heralds of Valdemar series. It's a return to a previous time in the Valdemar universe, filling out events and characters previously only hinted at. Both the characters and the events benefit from a fresh look by a writer whose skill has grown substantially since the Arrows of the Queen trilogy, and fans of the series will enjoy a look at Valdemar's criminal underclass -- something which the majority of Lackey's books mention only in passing.

(Read More...)

Sat Aug 06 23:22:07 CDT 2005 by Matthew. Comments

Take a Thief

Take a Thief is a standalone novel that functions as a biography for Skif, one of the supporting characters in Lackey's Heralds of Valdemar series. It's a return to a previous time in the Valdemar universe, filling out events and characters previously only hinted at. Both the characters and the events benefit from a fresh look by a writer whose skill has grown substantially since the Arrows of the Queen trilogy, and fans of the series will enjoy a look at Valdemar's criminal underclass -- something which the majority of Lackey's books mention only in passing.

(Read More...)

Sat Aug 06 23:22:07 CDT 2005 by Matthew. Comments

Arrow's Fall

Arrow's Fall completes the story of Talia, Queen's Own Herald of Valdemar. Returning from her internship, Talia's friends and allies at Court welcome her back with the news that the Queen is considering a betrothal for Elspeth, heir to the throne, at the insistence of her advisors. The betrothal offer came from Ancar of Hardorn, a neighboring kingdom with a history of friendship, if not outright alliance, but something about the situation doesn't sit right with the Queen -- nor with the Queen's Own.

(Read More...)

Sat Aug 06 23:03:25 CDT 2005 by Matthew. Comments

Arrow's Fall

Arrow's Fall completes the story of Talia, Queen's Own Herald of Valdemar. Returning from her internship, Talia's friends and allies at Court welcome her back with the news that the Queen is considering a betrothal for Elspeth, heir to the throne, at the insistence of her advisors. The betrothal offer came from Ancar of Hardorn, a neighboring kingdom with a history of friendship, if not outright alliance, but something about the situation doesn't sit right with the Queen -- nor with the Queen's Own.

(Read More...)

Sat Aug 06 23:03:25 CDT 2005 by Matthew. Comments

Arrow's Flight

Arrow's Flight is the second novel of the Arrows of the Queen trilogy, and the second in Mercedes Lackey's tales of Valdemar. It picks up the story with the completion of Talia's Collegium training, and about to begin her internship with one of the other Heralds. The internship period is the final test before becoming a full-fledged Herald, and it will take Talia out of the capital city of Haven and into the northern border areas of Valdemar. But the real dangers of the journey are not those of bandits, insular village folk, or court intrigue; for Talia's own gift of Empathy is an unusual one, and the other Heralds have little idea how to train her properly in its use and ethics...

Sat Aug 06 22:45:04 CDT 2005 by Matthew. Comments

Arrow's Flight

Arrow's Flight is the second novel of the Arrows of the Queen trilogy, and the second in Mercedes Lackey's tales of Valdemar. It picks up the story with the completion of Talia's Collegium training, and about to begin her internship with one of the other Heralds. The internship period is the final test before becoming a full-fledged Herald, and it will take Talia out of the capital city of Haven and into the northern border areas of Valdemar. But the real dangers of the journey are not those of bandits, insular village folk, or court intrigue; for Talia's own gift of Empathy is an unusual one, and the other Heralds have little idea how to train her properly in its use and ethics...

Sat Aug 06 22:45:04 CDT 2005 by Matthew. Comments

Arrows of the Queen

Arrows of the Queen is probably Mercedes Lackey's first published work, or close to it, and that shows; although it's well written for a first novel, it has the rough edges of inexperience, and a certain naive simplicity that renders it eminently suitable for children (really, young teenagers) and sometimes less engrossing for adults. All her works tend to have a touch of those qualities, but Arrows of the Queen is an explicitly escapist fantasy: a young girl's dream of magical horses to cure her loneliness and carry her
away from all her troubles. The cliche is so thick that I'm always surprised at how well the actual story is told within that framework.

(Read More...)

Sat Aug 06 22:15:06 CDT 2005 by Matthew. Comments

Arrows of the Queen

Arrows of the Queen is probably Mercedes Lackey's first published work, or close to it, and that shows; although it's well written for a first novel, it has the rough edges of inexperience, and a certain naive simplicity that renders it eminently suitable for children (really, young teenagers) and sometimes less engrossing for adults. All her works tend to have a touch of those qualities, but Arrows of the Queen is an explicitly escapist fantasy: a young girl's dream of magical horses to cure her loneliness and carry her
away from all her troubles. The cliche is so thick that I'm always surprised at how well the actual story is told within that framework.

(Read More...)

Sat Aug 06 22:15:06 CDT 2005 by Matthew. Comments

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