Talia has always known that she isn't suited for the life her elders have chosen for her. As part of a small, conservative community, she's never been allowed beyond the boundaries of her father's lands. Her only window to the outside world has been the few books she's been allowed to read, but this only fuels her desire to know more. This desire is unexpectedly fulfilled when, fleeing the prospect of an arranged marriage, Talia encounters a riderless Companion, one of the mystical guardians of the kingdom of Valdemar, and is swept up into an adventure beyond her wildest imagination.
Talia soon discovers that she has been chosen as the Queen's Own Herald and, despite her youth, must now serve as the monarch's primary advisor and protector. From the beginning, Talia finds that all of Valdemar is being threatened by those who wish to destroy the kingdom. These unseen enemies are willing to go to any lengths to strike at the Heralds, the heir to the throne, and even Talia herself. With the help of new friends, Talia must find a way to thwart this plot before it destroys them all.
©1987 Mercedes R. Lackey; (P)2006 Albany Audio
It has been a few years since I have read (or listened to!) Lackey's work and this one sucked me right back in. Characters are engaging and it is a fun story.
After reading the first of the trilogy, I had to track down the other two!
It is a bit YA, but very enjoyable- even for an older audience.
I'm the managing editor of the Fantasy Literature blog. Life's too short to read bad books!
Talia is not like normal 13-year-old girls. She likes to read adventure stories and she fantasizes about being a Herald for the queen of Valdemar. She does not want to get married to one of the dreary men in her village. So, when a Companion ??? one of the blue-eyed white horses who belongs to a Herald ??? shows up without a rider, Talia is happy to help him find his way home and stunned to learn that she???s been chosen to be trained as a Herald. Published in 1987, Arrows of the Queen is Mercedes Lackey???s first novel and the first in her popular Valdemar series. This is a coming-of-age tale in which a na??ve and wide-eyed youngster who has endured a repressive upbringing is suddenly freed and enrolled in a special school, where she makes friends and enemies and discovers that she has magic powers and an important destiny. Like many such heroes, Talia is a good and well-meaning girl who, despite being mature and wise beyond her years, neglects to tell adults when she???s being bullied or needs help, thus getting into mishaps that could easily have been avoided. Fortunately, she deals with some equally unwise villains who tend to audibly rehash their evil plans at the exact moment that Talia happens to eavesdrop on their clandestine meetings.Although I???ve read many books of this ilk and, therefore, found few surprises in this one, I must admit to being charmed by Talia and her story, though I???m certain I would have felt differently if Arrows of the Queen had been published more recently. Mercedes Lackey???s first novel has a nice pace (though Talia???s lessons were sometimes prolonged and too detailed) and an engaging heroine, and introduces a world I???d like to learn more about. The audio was narrated by Carole Edie Smith. She???s a terrific actress, but she has a rather unsuitable Northeastern US accent which just doesn???t fit the medieval setting of Valdemar. I managed to mostly listen past that.
Although the reader was a tad hard to get used to, the book itself was as great as I remember from long ago. This is more a YA novel, but adults with the gift of large imagination will also enjoy this selection.
Please - can we get the rest of the Valdemar books?
This is the first book I read by Mercedes Lackey and then Arrows Flight and Arrows Fall were my next I hope that one day those will also be available.
I love this series, I first read it many years ago and I still enjoy re-reading it. And it was even better as an audiobook. It's too bad the rest of the series are not available as audiobooks.
All I can say is that you need to read or listen to this book yourself. It is enjoyable. The author is great at making all the characters individuals and everyone is sure to find at least one or more they can identify with.
I love the series to read and I love the series to listen to. I hope they get more in so I can get a fuller library of one of my favorite authors on audio.
Unabridged of course....anything else would be sad.
I had read this book previously and wanted a chance to re-visit an old favorite. The narrator did an excellent job of reading the book in such a way that my favorite parts came through as bright and clear as when I read it myself. The book itself and the entire Valdemar series is well worth the time.
This is more a book for young readers. It's lyrically written but crams a big story into a short space, so it seems often that there's something missing - like the story skims over the lives of the characters. Not something I'd listen to again, or in hindsight would have bought, though I have enjoyed Mercedes Lackey's other work.
No. The characters almost all sounded like they were from Brooklyn. Ms. Smith makes a decent effort to differentiate different characters, but is unsuccessful with the exception of a few minor characters. If I didn't already love the story, I wouldn't finish listening to this telling of it.
Of course, poor narration aside it's still a good story!
I'm a mom. I have drama in my life. I don't want books with the F-bomb, nor graphic violence. I read for fun and to bring my family together. I read for reducing stress levels. We have never had a television in our home and our children are now mid twenties to 19. We listen together and look for belly-wrenching laughter. So what is it like to live without a TV? Awesomely educational and inspirational. Each new book is a marvel.
This wasn't a bad novel. It wasn't my favorite either. I'll try some other Lackey books to see what I think.
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