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The Last Herald-Mage Trilogy Paperback – February 2, 2016
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Praise for series:
"Lackey has written another intensely wrought, finely detailed story of heroic victims struggling to do the best with their fate. Vanyel’s magical strengths are countered by his very human insecurities." —VOYA
"Lackey’s characterization, plotting, and wit are all of a high order. A real page-turner for any fantasy collection." —Booklist
"Emotionally tense and full of drama and magic." —Locus
"In Vanyel, [Lackey] has created her most empathetic male character to date, making our emotions run high as he meets his fate. And best of all, the very last plot twist is one of haunting beauty that will touch your heart." —RT Reviews
"In this trilogy, Lackey reaches an intensity she had only begun to achieve.... The story of Vanyel is darker than her earlier books, and the pace is unrelenting." —American Fantasy Magazine
About the Author
Mercedes Lackey is a full-time writer and has published numerous novels and works of short fiction, including the bestselling Heralds of Valdemar series. She is also a professional lyricist and a licensed wild bird rehabilitator. She lives in Oklahoma with her husband and collaborator, artist Larry Dixon, and their flock of parrots. She can be found at mercedeslackey.com.
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Top Customer Reviews
In Magic's Pawn we meet Vanyel who will become the last Herald-Mage. Here Vanyel, a gay teen, grows from a young popinjay to the kind of person who cares for and protects others -- in short, a Herald.
Magic's Promise requires a tissue warning! Sometimes the middle book of a trilogy is a weaker one than the ends. This one is a powerful book in its own right. Vanyel has come into his own as one of the most powerful (if not THE most powerful) Herald-Mages ever. Valdemar is still taking the geographic shape it would have in the Arrows trilogy. This story is one of personal sacrifice made for the good of others.
Magic's Price is a strong and moving conclusion to Vanyel's story. I like Vanyel, in part because he does his best, but isn't perfect. His strengths and flaws make this book a powerful story of love (of people and country) and duty. There are some scenes of sexual violence that are more implied than graphically covered, but that violence is integral to the story.
If you enjoy fantasy and have not yet read this trilogy, then I urge you to do so. I don't think you will regret the time you spend reading it.
So what to expect:
Not a romance
Not for the people that can't stand a homosexual relationship. (I wasn't into that part, but it didn't really bother me)
It DOES have some romance - as above homosexual.
It DOES keep you involved at every step of the way. I laughed and cried and overall loved these books.
It DOES take you from a young boy to an experienced hero
It DOES have talking horses that are magical
Violence - check
Magic - check
Romance - check
Good ending - wait and make up your own mind.
Sexual content - check but not primary focus as the romance isn't primary
Rape - unfortunately check
Our hero Vanyel is not perfect. He has some serious flaws. It makes him human. He is self-involved. He makes mistakes along the way and grows into a legend. Some key players do die. Hence the tears. It has warring countries. I just don't want to say too much. You just have to read it. Lately the reads for Valdemar have not been very good. BUT these early ones, EPIC.
The setting is more about people and cultures than it is about geography, something of a departure for well-loved fantasy series set in a kingdom or land, and the protagonist and hero, Vanyel, is both a mage and homosexual in a land where tolerance is perhaps more successfully preached than it is practiced. A large part of the book deals with Vanyel's quest for acceptance and self-acceptance; if g-rated homosexuality bothers you, you will probably want to avoid this book. In addition to Vanyel himself, there are a couple of other major characters, some love interests and some friends, who are also homosexual. It is certainly possible to view Vanyel as tormented, whiny and self-absorbed, he's a genuine character with flaws as well as strengths, and on the whole he's more interesting for his flaws than he is irritating (though Lackey succeeded perhaps too well in capturing his teen angst).
The magic system is interesting and reasonably well-developed without destroying the mystic nature of magic; there are plenty of little mysteries and whatnot in terms of that to keep the reader interested. There's also lots of character development and introspection, sometimes to the detriment of robust conflict, but on the whole action, characterization and description are all well-balanced and generate an exciting story worth reading.
Finally, on a very positive note, while often older books and omnibus editions converted to Kindle format have significant issues with editing (i.e., there wasn't any, and someone trusted their optical character recognition too much), there is little to be seen in terms of errors here.
Vanyel and 'Lendel were the first gay people I "knew" as an adolescent, and even as a straight woman I felt deeply, fundamentally connected to these young men, and to Vanyel as he aged into a lonely, impossibly strong, dangerously stubborn man, broken and reluctant to lead but doing his duty nonetheless. I bawled my eyes out in each book through my teen years, and then set these books aside for more adult things. But as an adult, I have to say, I bawled my eyes out again until I felt emotionally and physically wrung out and my partner began to worry about me. Time and maturity did nothing to diminish the power and pain of this story for me. These remain three of the dearest books to my heart.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
So far I have made it through the first two books and while it's enjoyable, I don't feel that...Read more