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Foundation: Book One of the Collegium Chronicles: A Valdemar Novel Mass Market Paperback


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Foundation: Book One of the Collegium Chronicles: A Valdemar Novel + Intrigues: Book Two of the Collegium Chronicles (A Valdemar Novel) + Changes: Volume Three of the Collegium Chronicles (A Valdemar Novel)
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: DAW; Reprint edition (October 6, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0756405769
  • ISBN-13: 978-0756405762
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 4.2 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (132 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #27,469 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

The new Valdemar novel takes place earlier in the kingdom’s history than has any other, set when the Heralds’ collegium was established. At that time, the system of heraldic training was changing from one-on-one apprenticeship to the collegial system used by Healers and Bards, because there were too many trainees for the old system. Some older Heralds weren’t happy with that change, and as all three collegia rapidly grew, there was much rivalry for builders and teachers. Young Mags, an orphan who drudges for a greedy, cruel mine owner, is Chosen and eventually brought to Haven for training, where his goodheartedness and near-total ignorance make him very dependent on his companion. Thanks to court intrigues and an attempt by foreign infiltrators to trick Valdemar to its disadvantage, Lackey makes a real page-turner out of Mags’ and the collegia’s development. Though similar in some ways to both Brightly Burning (2000) and Take a Thief (2001), this book’s outstanding characters, especially Mags, will greatly please Valdemar fans. --Frieda Murray --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Mercedes Lackey is a full-time writer and has published numerous novels and works of short fiction, including the best-selling Heralds Of Valdemar series. She is also a professional lyricist and a licensed wild bird rehabilitator. She lives in Oklahoma with her husband, artist Larry Dixon, and their flock of parrots. She can be found at mercedeslackey.com.

More About the Author

Mercedes Lackey is the acclaimed author of over fifty novels and many works of short fiction. In her "spare" time she is also a professional lyricist and a licensed wild bird rehabilitator. Mercedes lives in Oklahoma with her husband and frequent collaborator, artist Larry Dixon, and their flock of parrots.

Customer Reviews

Excellent characters and well developed. some nice plot twists.
Jay A. Dotter
I enjoyed reading Mercedes Lackey's other books too, but the Valdemar series is really at the heart of her writing.
Zatanna Winters
There also isn't much in the way of story...very little really happens.
Susan Fry

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

86 of 94 people found the following review helpful By Susan Fry on October 12, 2008
Format: Hardcover
It's been awhile since there's been a new Valdemar book, and I'd been really eager to read it. Unfortunately, this newest book just doesn't hold up.
Firstly, the writing style is overly simplistic. It almost reads like a Young Adult book. I think it's to try and showcase the main character's general ignorance about the world at large, but since the book is still written in the third person, it brings the whole book down. Speaking of the main character, he's a bit flat....and also seems to be near perfect at everything he does with little struggle. There also isn't much in the way of story...very little really happens. I suspect that's because this is more of a just prologue for more books to come, especially since the ending kind of came out of nowhere and left things unexplained.
The most glaring problem for me though, as a long time reader of the series, are the many places that it contradicts things that are stated in other books, and that even though it's supposed to be taking place hundreds of years in the past (from the "present day" Valdemar reign of Selenay), some things actually seem to be more advanced, and the rest seem exactly the same, as if the passing of time has very little effect.

It's also worth noting that if you've never read a Valdemar book, this is not the one to start with. Most of the other books offer at least some background, information, or explanation of the general aspects Valdemar...this one very much does not, and just assumes that you already know. You particularly would want to read The Last Herald Mage trilogy before this one.
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86 of 95 people found the following review helpful By James D. DeWitt VINE VOICE on October 20, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Misty Lackey is capable of writing Valdemar novels that aren't bildungroman - coming of age in Valdemar stories. She is also capable of writing Valdemar novels that aren't seemingly written for 13 year olds. This story is neither. After a promising start - the protagonist is a child slave, working in a mine - the story lapses into the same, tired plot line we have seen in the Owl Trilogy and a depressing number of her other, recent books. Combined with the annoying, frequent inconsistencies and lapses from facts established in earlier novels, and you have a two star mess.

I'm afraid this story will annoy serious fans and bewilder those new to the otherwise admirable Valdemar series. Skip it.
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248 of 285 people found the following review helpful By Anonymous on October 11, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I was 13 when Arrows of the Queen was published, so I've been with Misty for quite a while now. I was really looking forward to this book, but it turned out to be a major disappointment.

In a nutshell: don't waste your money on the hardcover version, and unless you're a big fan of Valdemar, and HAVE to read every book out there, you can probably live your life without having read it and be okay.

The main character of the book is a TOTAL Mary Sue. He's practically illiterate, malnourished, knows nothing at all of the world outside his slavery, but once he is freed and Chosen, he pretty much can do anything he tries to do, and do it better than most other people. Even if he's never done it before. Or even heard about it before. And he does it all in a totally unrealistic short period of time. Oh, and his Gift of Mindspeech is greater than anybody else's, ever. And he has no failings (unless you count his wavering doubt of others/self-doubt as a failing). He is also, apparently, the only one in the ENTIRE Circle who can do what he does, and he does it as a newly Chosen.

If that weren't off-putting enough, the characters in the book play blindman's bluff, and I Spy (and actually call it "I Spy"). The student Healer-herbalist uses pills rather than tea and knows all about heart disease and its causes ("Cut down on red meat..."), there is a mechanical log-splitter, the houses have wall-to-wall carpeting in them and are furnished like houses in the modern world. There are so many references to 20th-century type things.... I don't know how she can put this in a medieval setting. And yet, this is supposed to take place 500 years before Talia.

It's been less than 50 years since Vanyel died, but Stefan died a long time ago from the way it reads....
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Heather on October 8, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Mags, a 13 year old orphan, is rescued from a life of hardship in a gemstone mine, by a herald and a white horse who becomes his Companion. He soon finds he has the gift of Mindspeech which allows him to converse with the intelligent white horse, his Companion Dellen. Mags is brought to Haven, where the new Herald's Collegium was started a year ago. There has been a huge influx of newly chosen Herald trainees, and the mentor/protegee training system that worked in Vanyel's time has been abandoned as there are many more trainees than active Heralds.

Mags is distrustful of his new environment and has a difficult time making friends. He slowly uncovers the hidden power struggles and politics in Haven, and is relieved to discover the hidden discord, as this is something he can understand and trust.

Foundation appears to have been written to explain why the method of training Heralds changed between Vanyel's time and that of Lavan Firestorm and Talia. The whole book spans about 4-6 months in the life of a 13 year old. The name of the reigning King or Heir is never mentioned, unlike every other Valdemar book. It was an enjoyable read that I had trouble putting down, but the book was shallower than all previous Valdemar books. I can tell Lackey intends to develop a new series following this book, but the novel did not do a good job of standing alone. It did feel like a young adult book, good, but I always hope for more in a Valdemar book. Guess I shouldn't be surprised, as most Valdemar series' start chronicling the life of a teenager, with the exception of Winds of Fate and Exile's Honor.

I thought the title Foundation was misleading as Herald's Collegium was founded a year before the story starts, and Mags has nothing to do with the process. The book felt unfinished as I did not understand or feel the significance of Mags' character in the world of Valdemar.
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