In Companion's Field
A place to discuss anything relating the works of Mercedes Lackey, primarily the Heralds of Valdemar series. Got a canon question or a fic rec? Come on in and share!
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So; what are your favourite books from the Heralds of Valdemar series, and why? Start discussing! For my, my favourite are, and probably always will be, the Last Herald-Mage trilogy and the Mage Wars trilogy. The former because Magic's Pawn was the first Valdemar book I ever read-- found in the local library by a friend who picked it up for me purely on the strength of there being a 'pretty white horse' on the cover. I read it- and was hooked- but it was several years later until I managed to find any other Valdemar books. The first Valdemar book I owned wasn't even about Valdemar- it was The Black Gryphon- and it was bought for me as a Christmas present (again, purely on the strength of the arcane looking creature illustrated on the front cover, which says something about what people know about my reading tastes!). After devouring that book in one sitting-- and being older and in possession of things like the internet to be able to source books written by and (until the latter 90's) published in the U.S. and only imported to the U.K. sparingly-- I went out and read my way through the whole lot in chronological order. The rest, as they say, is history. Quite a lot of it involves fanfiction.
1/8/2006 #1
Mine have to be the Arrows of the Queen trilogy. My librarian gave me AotQ soon after it had been published, and I was 13 at the time, same as Talia. I fell in love with it immediately and couldn't put it down. I also enjoyed the LHM trilogy, but Talia's books will always have top place in my heart. I didn't really like the books after Misty started doing multiple POVs (the Elspeth books and following). Her style changed, and I felt as though I had lost the intimacy with the main character that I had with Talia and Van's books (and the Tarma/Kethry/Kero stories/books), that just focused mainly on developing them, and didn't switch to a new character with every chapter. I know that writing is supposed to improve as time goes on, but I really think her earlier books were the best. I'd heard somewhere that she unofficially co-wrote her later books with Larry, but I don't know if that's true. It might explain the change in style. I've never read the Gryphon books, and I only read the Karal books (Mage Storms) once, so I hardly remember what was in them. I barely remember what was in Elspeth's trilogy (Mage Winds), as I didn't like them very much anyway (confession time: this is one of the main reasons I wrote Worlds Collide as an AU...I couldn't remember enough to do it canon!)
1/8/2006 #2
i love the arrows of the queen trilogy, to take a thief and brightly burning. i quite like the last hreald mage, but i felt it got a little too disturbing near the end. i agree with the dislike of the multiple pov's in the later books, it created confusion and the books lost a lot of thier fluency.
1/12/2006 #3
Hi, I'm Lizie, I just thought I'd put in that I pretty much love all of Mercedes Lackey's work. I started reading the Talia series when I'd finished all my Tamora Pierce books. My aunt buys all the books as they come out and so after she's finished with them I can start. My favourites would have to the Last Herald Mage ad Aberich books, but as I said before I love all of her work. Bye.
1/15/2006 . Edited 1/15/2006 #4
I like Oathbreakers- maybe a bit much. Fine, I'm obsessed with Jadrek. And I don't know why. I also like "This Rough Magic" and "Shadow of the Lion" and "The Free Bards".
1/16/2006 #5
I will always love LHM, but the series that holds a special place in my heart is the Owl Trilogy. Why? Because it was the first thing I'd ever read written by Mercedes Lacky. What else? I like the series about Eric the Bard, and greatly enjoy the Jousting series as well.... Bah, it'd take forever for me to decide what my ultimate favorite books by her are, so I'm not going to try any further than that.
1/23/2006 #6
The first Misty book I ever read was Exile's Honor, so that book has always had a special place in my heart. I also loved Brightly Burning and almost all the other Valdemar books except I didn't like the Mage Winds trilogy as much. I haven't read the Owlknight or Gryphon trilogies as I rely on the public library and they don't seem inclined to purchase or request those books from another library :(
1/31/2006 #7
Herald D'Angel
All my favorite books by Mercedes Lackey would take a while to list. She is my favorite author! If I have to chose my favorite though I love Brightly Burning, and Magic's Pawn is a very close second. To Take a Theif is good to, it's the first of hers that I ever read.
2/28/2006 #8
There isn't a single one of her books that I've read that I've not loved, but my two favourite would have to be Arrows of the Queen and The Lark and The Wren. I just identify really well with Talia in Arrows of the Queen (yes, I love the other two in the trilogy as well, just the 1st is a fave), and the same goes for Lark in Lark and Wren. I have a thing for the beginnings of trilogies :D I always seem to like them the best. Also, the 'Oath' books are wonderful, with Oathbound also being right up in the favourites list! Of course, I shall always have a soft spot for Brightly burning, as well. The first Misty book I ever read, and the one that originally got me hooked ^_^ It caught my attention merely because it was blue and had fire. The 'never judge a book by its cover' thing may be true, but if I didn't, I may have never FOUND Mercedes Lackey (and thus would have never experienced some of the best fantasy IMO that there is at the moment). So go cover-artists XD I can't say I've actually written any fanfiction for the fandom (I'm too worried it won't be good, and I love her style so much I'd never be able to write anything that I would post, because I'd think it all sucked!), I have read quite a bit of it! And whooohooo, hopefully everyone else here doesn't think I'm mad, because they'll understand what I'm going on about.
3/3/2006 #9
Seeky L. H. Wolf
I was eight, and my father had barely introducd me to sci-fi-fantasy. He was reading Magic's Pawn to me, and when he sent me to bed, he told me to continue reading. That was the first time I really fell in love with a book. All the same, my favorite Valdemar book is Magic's Price, maybe Oathbound or By the Sword in second. I like the books that I connect with memories best, such as Magic's Pawn and the Mage Winds, which I read this year on vacation, having borrowed them from another person on the ship...
3/14/2006 #10
Anita H
I came in contact with Misty through fanfiction....actually a crossover with a tv serie called Earth: Final Conflict. The tv serie is why I read that fic in the first place actually. The fic played in Vanyels time and I became quite interested as to how the books about him would be. So I read the Last Herald-mage series first and that serie is still my favorite! Now my bookcase is overflowing with her books....40 books and still collecting! Not all the books are about Valdemar (most are though), but also the serie with Eric Banyon (Bedlam's Bard/Beyond world's end etc), the Obsidian trilogy (co-written with James Mallory), novels of the Serrated Edge (co-written with Larry Dixon)...I love 'em all :) One I just ordered and is on it's way is "Crossroads (And Other Tales Of Valdemar)". We'll see how those short stories are!
4/25/2006 #11
I've been away from Valdemar for a while, I read everying Ms. Lackey wrote in that world so many times that I needed to branch out. The first Lackey book I ever read was the second Mage Winds book- Winds of Change. I was confused at first since there were continual references to Winds of Fate and I started mid-trilogy. Even so, I think that that Winds of Change is Lackey's best Valdemar book and not only because that was my first. Winds of Change probably has the most sophisticated plot, character development and vocabulary of the series. In hardcover it also has THE BEST ILLUSTRATIONS of all of the books, the illustator managed to do a great job with light and shadow. I read the Talia and Vanyel books later and found them lacking the world development that I had gotten used to in the later books. Not fan of Brightly Burning- too depressing. If I was going to pick a back fill I want Sun and Shadow or The Founding but no such luck. Of the Valdemar books the ones that I've enjoyed re-reading the most are Winds of Change, Take a Theif, Owlflight, Oathbreakers, and Storm Rising. My favorite non-Valdemar Lackey books are: The Fairy Godmother (pure sugar! I read it when I need a pick me up:)), The Black Swan, Elvenbane, Beyond World's End and a current favorite: Heirs to Alexandrea 1- Shadow of the Lion. Shadow of the Lion is actually what got me away from Lackey of late- I liked it so much that I tried reading the stuff one of her co-authors usually writes Eric Flints 163x series, but Lackey will always have a special place- she's the reason I started reading fantasy/sci-fi 7 years ago.
5/12/2006 #12
Lady Fellshot
I may be a complete oddball, but I really liked Exile's Honor and Exile's Valour. I got curious about the series then but never found any character that was quite as cool as Alberich. I tried to get into the Winds of Fate and the Storm Rising books but they didn't take. Oathbreakers did, but not as well. [q]In hardcover it also has THE BEST ILLUSTRATIONS of all of the books, the illustator managed to do a great job with light and shadow.[/q] I agree with you. I liked the pictures more than the book, but could someone tell me why this matters? I thought the book was trying a little too hard while reading it and then... OOOOH! Shiny picture! Maybe it would be less distracting as a graphic novel. -)-----
7/1/2006 #13
Gold Paint
I have to say that Alberich is pretty much the coolest as well. I picked Excile's Honor up when I found it at my Grandmother's house, and I just love them. This is going to sound kind of strange, but Alberich is a lot like my Dad. Not even kidding. My Dad does fencing and has a knoweldge of many different weapons from his time in the military, he also lives by a strict code of honor. They are so alike I made him read them, I mean they even look alike, (minus the scares on his face) It's scary.
8/27/2006 #14
I would have to say that my favorite Mercedes Lackey books have to be The "Gryphon" Trilogy and the "Owls" trilogy, just for the Gryphons. They just add a certain something. The first Mercedes Lackey book I ever read was "Winds of Fate". Boy was I confused! The Arrow's Trilogy was actually the last Valdemar books in the series that I read. Basically I skipped around ALOT, because I didn't find the oh-so-wonderful Mercedes Lackey Official Website until After I had polished off most of the Valdemar books. As for the whole skipping around thing, I usually skip the chapters with PoVs that I don't want to deal with right then, if I get confused by what is happening, then I will go back and see if the explination lies within the skipped chapters. Makes for an interesting read. Mercedes Lackey RULES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
10/21/2006 #15
First book that I read of her was River's Gift, but I love "Brightly Burning."
11/16/2006 #16
My favorite is all of them. Read in order within the timeline. As if it is all one big book.That is my favorite book...yup all of themm
4/19/2007 #17
I completly agree with warbender. I'm looking for someone to help me edit a story I am working on currently before I post it. Will anyone help me you can reach me through my email that you will find in my profile. Please put on the subject line so I don't junk you by accident something about being form Fan Fiction. Thanks if you can help. Wind to thy Wings brothers and sisters.
6/7/2007 #18
Bishop Sasarai
My favorite is the Herald Mage trilogy, well, I say the whole trilogy, but the first was my favorite. All of them were good, though. I like a lot of her books, and have read a lot of them, but that trilogy is the only one I rushed out and bought... Because I stumbled upon it at the library (it was all three in one hardback book) and I immediately bought all three at my local book store. Anyway, it took me years, and that is no exaggeration, to find a good book with a homosexual person that was pretty good. It seems other than works written online, most books I have found with homosexuals either have them as side characters who are not fully developed, or are boooring. I could have done with a little more romance, though. The alternative is to read yaoi, but many of these are not to my taste, as I like romance, not outright, gratuitous sex. I'm not into p***. So, yes... It's one of the few works with a homosexual in it that I really liked. For that, I bow to thee, Mercedes Lackey.
6/29/2007 #19
I love so many of them, but like a lot of people, I tend to like the older ones better. Take a Thief was her first book I ever read, and I instantly fell in love. I also loved the Oath series and the LHM series, simply for the pure potency of the writing. I cry every time Lendel dies :( Recently I've been wishing she'll write more Valdemar. I feel like although The Mage Winds series and the Mage Storms took a turn for the worse, her more recent Valdemar, i.e. Take a Thief, Exile's Honor/Valor, have restored some of the greatness of the old Valdemar.
7/8/2007 #20
I love all of the Velgarth books... but my favorites would have to be The Mage Winds trilogy and The Mage Storms trilogy, despite the fact that there's seriously discrpencies in those trilogys, i.e. she says something at the beginning of the book about a character and totally contridcts herself at the end of the book. I do have a question for some of you guys... I'm having a little difficulty in thinking of a Tayledras type use-name for someone in a xover fic I'm plotting. It'd be *something*Frog or Frog*something* but I can't think of the *something* part. Any ideas?
7/29/2007 #21
I have now purchased and read all of the books of short stories from M. Lackey. I already have all of the other books. and have read them in timeline order. I also have the book The Free Bards. It is a wonderfull addition to my library.
11/23/2007 #22
Kindali Sidera
I would have to say that my favorite books by Mercedes Lackey are the Mage Storm Trilogy books. Simply because they were the first I read. I found a dusty copy of Storm Warning on my high school library shelf in my freshman year and was hooked. I read the other two before I found out that Mercedes Lackey had created the whole world of Velgarth in which those books take place. Four years and 37 books of hers later (I needed a new bookshelf when I started buying her stories) I am still hooked. I have moved on to her other series, including the Dragon Jouster seiries which is my favorite outside of Velgarth, and am still reading and buying like crazy. I just got into the Mercedes Lackey fandom though. And to tell you the truth, I'm kind of disappointed. I come from the Harry Potter fandom so I'm used to stories falling out of the sky and sprouting from the Earth, but compared to that the Mercedes Lackey fandom is so small. It makes me sad because Mercedes Lackey is such a great writer! She should get a lot more recognition (and fans willing to write fanfiction). I've come to my senses though and started writing my own. And now I'm trying to convince my friends (also fans of hers) to start writing their own as well. I simply want more to read! :P
12/29/2007 #23
Just because the fandome is so small here. Does not mean that they are not popular. M. Lackey's books have been around since long before Harry Pooter was even thought of. I think that both fandomes are valid. Just H.P. Fanfic is a bit more popular right now. After a while. The other catagories of book fanfic will see an upsurge of posts as the writers remember that there is more out there to write than just Harry Potter. I have just added the Bardic Voices (I.E. The Lark and the Wren) saga to my library. It too is on my list of favorites to have in my library. I also added Take a thief (Skiff's Tale) to my colection. I now have all of the Valdemar saga to date (Including all of the books of short stories). I like them all, and especialy love to read them in time line order.
1/4/2008 . Edited 1/4/2008 #24
The first ones that I read was the Arrows books, but I don't like them any more than most of her other books (i.e. I'm half-way obsessed with them). I've read almost all of her Valdemar books (not Exiles Valor, Brightly Burning, the Mage wars and the anthologies), and I love all of them (not many books can say that). That said, my favorite is LHM, because of Van. Also, any well-written fanfic about Van I am liable to like, because Van makes me biased in their favor (of course, the opposite is true for badly-written fanfic's).
2/12/2008 #25

The first book I read from Misty was Arrows of the Queen. I had found it in my high school library with my best friend. We look at it because there was a white horse on the cover (we're both horse lover ^^) and she started reading it first then it was my turn. She only like it... I totaly fell in love with every character in the story. Then I started reading the other that were there, but there isn't much of her books that were translate in french (I'm from Qu├ębec (Canada)) so it was her book that get me to start reading english book. I just wanted to read all of her book !!

My favourite books are the Arrow's trilogy, Burning Brightly almost made me cry and the Last Herald Mage trilogy was also good. I also like Take a Thief, Alberich's duology (can I say that ?), but the Mage Wind and Mage War deceived me a little but I still liked them. I also like By the sword and the first book of Oathbound (I haven't read the other yet). It's pretty much all the book I read so I should say I just love all her book. :P

(Sorry for any bad english)

2/17/2008 . Edited 6/17/2008 #26
Well you and the guy above you both chose some really good ones...I Have them all... Muah HAHAHAHA !!! I have them all... I read them in timeline order. It takes me around three days. At three to five books a day serious reading time...For me to read them from Black Griffon to Owl Knight. Including All of the short story books SHE (Meening the literary Goddess M. Lackey) has out there. I also have her bardic voices books, and her books. (You know.. Robin&Kestrel, Lark&Wren, ect...) That is another Day, and a half reading....I have time between requests for assistance, and my responsabilities here. (Got to keep my mind from going crazy with all the dung in our lives here right now)
2/20/2008 #27

The Black Gryphon was my first book too! ^^ I love all the books, but my fav. was the Last-Herald Mage and the Mage Winds Trilogies. idk. I also liked the vows and honor books but after awhile they got kinda boring. There all great though. XD

(has anyone else noticed the striking resemblence to the books Arrows of the Queen, Arrows Flight, and Arrows Fall, with the Tamora Pierce Protector of the Small books?)

6/17/2008 #28

Also, has anyone else noticed how the third books that Mercedes writes for almost every series has a sad ending?

6/17/2008 #29

Well, I never thought that every third book had a sad ending, just not the happiest ending.

[spoiler] (You've been warn)

After all, in the trilogy of the Last Herald Mage, Van may die, but instead of dying alone like in his dream when he was young, Yfandes is with him and he gets to protect the forest with both Yfandes and Stefen. So this isn't what I call a sad ending.

Also, in the Arrows trilogy, Talia may have gotten a really bad beating, but she gets to live with Dirk since he gets to stay as a teacher in the Collegium.[/spoiler]

That's one thing I like about Misty books, all of her endings has a good side and a bad side, there's nothing totally happy or totally sad. You get both.

6/17/2008 #30
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