I used to be a diehard Mercedes Lackey fan in my teens, especially when it came to her Valdemar series – the Last Herald-Mage and Arrows of the Queen trilogies being particular favourites and pretty much read to pieces. I think I had pretty much every book she wrote back then.
I’ve been more lukewarm with her more recent books (I remember struggling to finish Exile’s Valor, the most recent Valdemar book released back in 2003) and am not too fussed either way about the 500 Kingdoms books she writes for Luna. I think her books now have a lot more telling than showing, and the protagonists tend to be very similar in each book (or maybe it’s because I’ve read a lot of them!). S/he is almost always too good to be true, while being downtrodden and completely misunderstood by family and friends at the start of each book. All of these aspects were probably present in the early books, but I think Ms Lackey has become more heavy-handed with them with the later ones.
So why did I almost choke on my tea when I saw she has a new Valdemar book coming out in October? Lord only knows. But I am tempted.
“Foundations” is the first in a new series called “Collegium Chronicles” and sounds as though it’s set way in the past, when the Heralds’ Collegium is just being established. Back cover blurb:
In this chronicle of the early history of Valdemar, Mercedes Lackey’s bestselling world, a thirteen year- old orphan named Magpie escapes a life of slavery in the gem mines when he is chosen by one of the magical Companion horses of Valdemar to be trained as a Herald. Thrust into the center of a legend in the making, Magpie discovers talents he never knew he had—and witnesses the founding of the great Heralds’ Collegium.
Sigh. Should I? It’s a hardcover unfortunately. But I loved (and still do) the early Valdemar books, and still re-read them from time to time. And the Collegium is one of my favourite parts of her series. I somehow think I’ll be shelling out for this next month.