November 11, 2013 by rachelcmann
All of the Valdemar books by Mercedes are like an old college sweater to me. Worn, warm and even though I know what’s going to happen I still cling them to my chest when I’m finished. This trilogy is no exception, and while it’s not my favorite of the series’ I do love it.
Herald-Mage Vanyel does not start out so valiant. He is the effeminate son of a land holder who just wants to play music. When he is sent off to the capital to be tutored by his stern Herald-Mage aunt, it feels like punishment. But he falls in love. And then the universe f*cks him over. Eventually he recovers from that and becomes the most powerful Herald-Mage in all the land. Obviously a lot more than that happens but just in case you haven’t read the books (which I highly recommend that you do) I don’t want to spoil it for you.
Lackey has developed Valdemar (and its surrounding countries) into a rich tapestry that spans generations. Yes, magic is factor but the skills and gifts of the characters often play second fiddle to the type of person they become throughout their story arc. While Vanyel is a bit of twat throughout the books, his motives are clear and we grow to love him even when he’s being an idiot. And to me, that’s non-fiction. We all have friends who get away with everything, we forgive them their foibles and their flaws because we love them and find them redeemable. Lackey’s heroes may be totally likely (you can see them coming a mile away) or totally unexpected but they all share very human qualities that we can relate to. And that’s probably why I re-read these books over and over again and have been doing so since I about ten.
- 10 Fantasy Authors Who Fight The Patriarchy, Gender-Stereotypes, And Possibly Dragons (buzzfeed.com)
- Bookworm – Omens – Kelley Armstrong (readwatchgeek.wordpress.com)