The final chapter in Mercedes Lackey's spellbinding fantasy trilogy!
The Herald-Mage, Vanyel, and his Companion, Yfandes, are alone responsible for saving the once-peaceful kingdom of Valdemar from the forces of a master who wields a dark, forbidding magic. And if either Vanyel or Yfandes falters, both Valdemar and its Herald-Mage must pay the ultimate price.
©1990 Mercedes R. Lackey (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
A favorite of mine. The story of a man that survives, a rough youth and into a love that surmounts all, to the horrible loss of that love, and being given his greatest desire of his youth, before he learned what he really desired. His survival and giving of his life in to selfless acts of honor, through the pain that stays fresh to the finding of a new life, to his death. That sums all three books. This is the final installment of those books. Now take that man's story and put it in a world of magic and magical creatures, of life by the sword, in serving a cause greater then yourself. Amazing story
The narrator was perfect. He brought the characters to life, the world to life and even managed excellent pronunciations of strange words in non existent languages, I wish he narrated all the books. but then perhaps it is the fact that he portrayed Vanyel so well is some of the reason he is so good.
Writer of The Majick Series
I would have Mercedes Lackey and the editor go back and remove all of the "ly" words. They greatly distracted me and took away from the story. You will see this same statement in the reviews for the other two books.
It was a very good way to sum things up. Like in life, nothing was perfect but it was good.
I disliked a scene where some mercenaries had captured the last Herald Mage. It was hard to get through but it did elicit a strong reaction from me. Any scene that is written in such a way to get a strong reaction, whether I liked the feelings or not, is a good scene.
Most likely... Depends on how well the first two were made.
Book one was not great. Book two was better and Book Three is certainly the best of the trilogy. Not my favorite but it was entertaining and I looked forward to listening on my commute each morning.
The story and the narration. Gregory St. John's voice is perfect for Vanyel.
Other books in the Valdemar series.
Toward the end of the book, the action moves back and forth between settings. There should have been a slight pause between these, but there was not. The first few times it happened, I thought I had missed something, but after the narrator did this several times, I figured out what was going on. This is my main criticism of this book. Not that it was written that way, but that there was not a pause to warn the listener that the scene was about to change.
I am writing this review after listening to all three books in this series. I’m glad I waited to review because I have adjusted my ratings from 5 to 4 stars on the overall story. This series is about Vanyel, a Herald Mage. It starts in Book 1 when he is about 16 and ends in Book 3 in his late thirties. This series was written in the 1990s, so I tried to listen to it with that filter. Back then, gay themed YA books were rare and gay themed fantasy book even rarer. Overall I really enjoyed this series. There were plot holes and misaligned time frames, but overall it is worth a listen. The narrator does a great job; 5 stars for him.
Vanyel was put through the ringer in the first book (his life as a teenager) and his growth and recovery in the 2nd book to become the hero of the land was great. What I didn’t understand was why the author built Vanyel up as a hero for 80% of the series, only to take some of that away from him at the end of the 3rd book. There was some violence and violations in the 3rd book that doesn’t seem to serve any purpose to the story and I don’t believe it was appropriate for a YA book. In reaction to this violence Vanyel inadvertently kills innocent people; something that goes against everything he is for the previous two books. Then, the ending seems rushed and there are a bunch of things that remained unanswered. The author kind of gives a non-traditional HEA in the epilogue, but it was still a disappointing conclusion. That said, I’m still glad I got to know Vanyel and went along with him on his journey.
LIfe-long reader, fond of mysteries, scifi, fantasy. Prefer good story-tellers, with interesting premises. Road warrior-so listen a lot!
Well written, with a meaningful take and a ethical consideration. You care for the characters and their growth. Satisfying yet sad.
Vanyel, of course!
At first, I wasn't sure I'd like the performance. I'd heard Vanyel's voice in my head for years and this wasn't it, but Gregory St. John won me over.
This series is older, but don't overlook it. Vanyel is an amazing character and his journey is wonderful for teens (which I was when I first read it) and adults alike. A very positive gay role model for teens.
This trilogy is my favorite of Valdemar, immediately after come the Winds trilogy and the Oath books plus Kerowyn's By the Sword. It is heartwarming and heartwrenching and deeply roots in your life experience without having to actually live it. Somehow Mercedes Lackey manages this despite too much exposition that could have been used as points of relationship development (i.e. Stef's recollections of his life history that could have been better better used for conversations with Vanyel). Her characters become completely real , except for the villians who are simply evil. Though my literary tastes have become more complex over the years, I still loved listening to these almost as much as the first time I read them many, many years ago (and a couple times since).
The narrator's voice and characterizations were excellent. The only thing that brought a 5 star performance down to 4 stars was a persistent mispronunciation of certain key words and a few English words as well. While they are made up words, it seemed obvious to me that shaych has a ch sound like cheese and not any other breathed gutteral or sh sound; also ashke should be ash-ke not ashk, and I always heard VANyel not vanYEL. While this can be overlooked and the story still enjoyed, I think a bit of research on unfamiliar words could have improved the performance to perfection.
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