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Magic's Promise (The Last Herald-Mage Series, Book 2) Mass Market Paperback – January 2, 1990
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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 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.
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Over the years, he has become everything he was meant to be... and all of the things his father would never have imagined. He is a hero of Valdemar and has dedicated his life to keeping its people safe, even at his own expense. He is told to take some leave to rest and recuperate and goes to the most unlikely place,... Askevron Manor. But it isn't long before he realizes that there are things happening just beyond the borders that threaten everything.
Once again, I think Vanyel and his circumstances are universally relatable. I love Vanyel and I love his story. He is such a sympathetic character so it is easy to root for him throughout the story. Even after everything he has done for the kingdom, his parents still can't see him for who he is. His father is still dismissive and his mother is still throwing her ladies at him. And as a person, despite all that he has been through, he still has so much to learn about life, love, and moving forward after grief. This book also answered a lot of questions about some characters from the first book, particularly the family priest and the weaponsmaster. They were extraordinarily hateful in the first book with no real explanation as to why that was so extreme.
As with the other books, this one is full of twists and turns and intrigue. I think that there is an added level of suspense in this particular book because Vanyel is, as the series title suggests, the last of his kind. He is the last Herald-Mage. So much rides on him and there are moments when you wonder, even knowing there is another book in the trilogy, if he is going to survive.
My Recommendation: I highly recommend this series if you love high fantasy and rich, relatable characters!
This review originally posted on my blog The Caffeinated Diva reads.
I love the world Lackey creates, how real it feel and the characters feel, and how heavily we fall in love with them. Vanyel is tough and wrought with despair alike; both strong and complex. The overall message was clear, to learn to move on, to learn to understand yourself - but it did not take away from the overall deep plot of this series. I'm on the edge of my seat, waiting for the final installment to arrive so I can see what becomes of Herald Vanyel.
A friend once explained to me that all fantasy falls into 2 categories - deeper, heavier, chewier, more rewarding things, like steak (i.e., LOTR and Game of Thrones), and then there is lighter, airier, fluffier things, with less substance (but which also taste good in their own way), like candy. This is definitely candy. If you are a fantasy person, it's worth picking up.
P.s. the main character is gay, and that is pretty cool and unexpected.
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