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Magic's Pawn: The Last Herald Mage, Book 1 | [Mercedes Lackey]

Magic's Pawn: The Last Herald Mage, Book 1

In Magic's Pawn, an ancient age in the history of Valdemar comes to life - an age when the kingdom was ravaged by the ungoverned fury of bandit warlords, ferocious ice dragons, and the wild magic of wizards. A new addition to Lackey's Valdemar kingdom - and her most powerful series to date!
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Publisher's Summary

In Magic's Pawn, an ancient age in the history of Valdemar comes to life - an age when the kingdom was ravaged by the ungoverned fury of bandit warlords, ferocious ice dragons, and the wild magic of wizards. A new addition to Lackey's Valdemar kingdom - and her most powerful series to date!

©1991 Mercedes R. Lackey (P)2012 Audible, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (271 )
5 star
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Overall
4.2 (249 )
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Story
4.2 (249 )
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Susan L. Rock Suburban Chicago, IL 02-01-13
    Susan L. Rock Suburban Chicago, IL 02-01-13

    Audio Book Fan

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Finally Getting To the Classics!"

    I must admit - I probably have worn out 2 or three paperback versions of this series, as well as the Arrows of the Queen series (of which only book one is currently available for audio.) I remember my introduction to Misty Lackey, at the last convention she attended (Dragoncon 2000 - and therein hangs SEVERAL tales, but) - this is the first series I read where there was a protagonist who makes you cry and makes you laugh, and makes you feel the plight of the outcast so comprehensively that you CAN"T read only the one book - start one and before the week is out - you will be hunting down book 2 and 3 to finish the story off.

    Fair warning - Vanyel is gay. Now, having MET Misty and Mark Shepherd (who sometimes co-writes with her) - I've sometimes wondered just how much of Mark is IN Vanyel - but she doesn't make it into a big deal. (She never really does much in the way of romance in her early works, and while the series DOES skew PG - I don't think Misty's ever written an "R" rated sex scene - and if you want X - look elsewhere.)

    12 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Caityrosey Rochester, MN 10-29-13
    Caityrosey Rochester, MN 10-29-13 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "This narrator is atrocious"
    What did you like best about Magic's Pawn? What did you like least?

    I'm a sucker for Romantic Fantasy.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The teacher, Savil.


    What didn’t you like about Gregory St. John’s performance?

    The main character starts out as a whiny teenager. A good narrator could take that voice and inject a little humor and irony to make him relate-able. This narrator eschews subtlety and passes up opportunities for pathos and goes right for "whiny drama queen." The whole time. This makes the main character (who's supposed to be the hero) someone you can barely stand to listen to, let alone empathize with.

    Others have commented on the bad/odd pronunciations of names. What floors me is that a professional narrator can mispronounce regular old English words. Repeatedly.

    This story deserves so much better. I've never been moved to write a review of a performance before, but I was today. I just can't take it any more. I don't know how much of it is bad production and how much of it is bad reading.


    Was Magic's Pawn worth the listening time?

    I like the story. And I spent the money. So I listened.


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laurie TUALATIN, OR, United States 03-18-13
    Laurie TUALATIN, OR, United States 03-18-13 Member Since 2012

    Laurel

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great story, disappointing audio"
    Where does Magic's Pawn rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Mediocre reading with poor production. The narrator missed punctuation and read right through commas, periods, new paragraphs and scene changes. Poor reader or poor production?


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Vanyel Ashkevron because we get to see him grow from an abused and difficult teen into a selfless hero.


    What aspect of Gregory St. John’s performance would you have changed?

    This needed better attention to details like correct pronunciation of character names and places. I wish St. John had been mindful of scene changes by taking a breath and leaving a little empty air space as a clue. I know the book has spaces between scenes for this purpose.I would have liked it better if he hadn't given every woman and teen character a whine.


    Any additional comments?

    I have waited a long time for an audio production of this series and am disappointed that it wasn't given the attention it deserved. I suggest you read the book first and let the characters become real to you. Mercades Lackey's writing is better than production makes it sound.

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Holly Tooele, Utah, United States 08-20-13
    Holly Tooele, Utah, United States 08-20-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "One of my favorite stories almost ruined."
    How could the performance have been better?

    This is the book that got me interested in reading novels in the first place so is holds a special place for me. I have worn out several copies of this series so I have a definite "voice" in my head for each character. I understand that no narrator could live up to that, but even so, I was very disappointed.

    The first complaint I have is his ever changing pronunciation. Even if it's wrong, stick with it. Second are his accents. Only do an accent if you can do it well, and don't change that accent each time a character speaks. Most good audio books I've listened to, you can immediately tell which character is speaking by the voice change and consistency of that voice. Third and possibly the most disturbing is his cadence and how he holds the vowels out. I have never heard anything like this. I laughed several times during very dramatic scenes because of his pace and how he was saying it.

    Mercedes Lackey is an amazing author and I feel that her work deserves better than this. Listen to just about anything narrated by Davina Porter or Roy Dotrice and you'll hear how a good book deserves to be narrated.


    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    magicmonster Wichita, KS United States 03-16-13
    magicmonster Wichita, KS United States 03-16-13 Member Since 2006
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    "This is my favorite Valdemar series."
    Where does Magic's Pawn rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Great listen!


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Magic's Pawn?

    When Van stood up to his father.


    Which character – as performed by Gregory St. John – was your favorite?

    Vanyel


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The end but I don't want to spoil it.


    Any additional comments?

    A well done production spot on. Homosextual main charactor done with such care that you could even let a young adult listen to it.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jessy cheney, WA, United States 01-25-13
    Jessy cheney, WA, United States 01-25-13 Member Since 2010

    Friendly Dragon

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great Start to a Great Series"
    Any additional comments?

    This is a great book that I have come back to re-read in audio and I must say that its much better than what I remember. Perhaps that I am more mature now or that the reader did such a great job, but I find myself loving it.

    BUT, audible, where is the rest of the series. You are killing me!

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sheley Napier Columbus, Ohio USA 03-18-13
    Sheley Napier Columbus, Ohio USA 03-18-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
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    "Briefly"
    What made the experience of listening to Magic's Pawn the most enjoyable?

    This is an old favorite, one of the first in the genre that I read.


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    I was incredibly disappointed that the performer didn't bother to learn how to pronounce the names correctly, particularly since there is a published glossary. It all but ruined it for me.


    6 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    mamala 07-12-14
    mamala 07-12-14
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    "Gay content unwelcome. Too much like a harlequin."
    Would you try another book from Mercedes Lackey and/or Gregory St. John?

    Yes loved the Valdemar Collegium Chronicles series


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Don't know... just wont be in this series


    What does Gregory St. John bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Good narration... good tone.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Magic's Pawn?

    The gay romance... over and over... ruined what could have been a good series. It fantasy not Harlequin!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joe Thompson Riverside, CA, USA 05-22-14
    Joe Thompson Riverside, CA, USA 05-22-14 Member Since 2014

    Single dad here...

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    11
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    "Great Book from a favorite author"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Magic's Pawn to be better than the print version?

    Is this a trick question? They are different in many ways. The story is the same, but with the print or kindle version, I am stationary in my comfy chair. With the audio version I can go on my daily (10 mile) walk or clean the house, do laundry, driving, etc. Both options are great, but the audio version has more flexibility.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Probably Vanyel.. But his aunt is a very close second.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    When Vanyel kills the Frost dragon and realizes he has a calling.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    In a world where magic is possible, a young man finds power, love and himself.


    Any additional comments?

    None

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jim "The Impatient" Springfield, MO, United States 11-19-13
    Jim "The Impatient" Springfield, MO, United States 11-19-13 Member Since 2010

    I will listen to NO boring book. Old Fav's,Card, King , Hobb. New Fav's, Hill, Scalzi, Sawyer, Interested in Lansdale, Crouch, Konrath

    HELPFUL VOTES
    855
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    "Chick and Fay Lit"

    SOMETIMES BEING ALONE IS A HURT WORSE THEN DYING
    Yes, I know, your saying, why would I get a book with a cover done in pastel colors, a horse and a tortured boy on it. The cover alone screams chick lit. The answer is: I have read Lackey before and found her not lacking. I liked The Serpents Shadow and was alright with Take a Thief, Brightly Burning and Owlflight. This is a combination of Chick Lit and Gay Lit. Lackey uses the word Fay to mean Gay. This also follows the same pattern she uses in 95% of her books. The story is about a young tortured soul who is an outcast, but finds peace and understanding in a Magic School.

    HE GAVE ME THE KEY TO HIMSELF, HE WANTED ME TO HAVE IT.
    I have nothing against the Fay, I just don't have much interest in the coming of age of a Fay. The main character is very melodramatic, you know your typical teenager. He does not know he is gay or even that gayness exist until he goes to this school which seems to be full of the fay. I don't like melodrama in real life and really can't stand it in my novels. It may be true to life, just part of life I try to avoid.

    THE HIGH TABLE WAS HIGH

    3 of 6 people found this review helpful
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