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Though Vanyel has been born with near-legendary abilities to work both Herald and Mage magic, he wants no part of such things. Nor does he seek a warrior's path, wishing instead to become a Bard. Yet such talent as his if left untrained may prove a menace not only to Vanyel but to others as well. So he is sent to be fostered with his aunt, Savil, one of the famed Herald-Mages of Valdemar. But, strong-willed and self-centered, Vanyel is a challenge which even Savil cannot master alone. For soon he will become the focus of frightening forces, lending his raw magic to a spell that unleashes terrifying wyr-hunters on the land. And by the time Savil seeks the assistance of a Shin'a⁻in Adept, Vanyel's wild talent may have already grown beyond anyone's ability to contain, placing Vanyel, Savil, and Valdemar itself in desperate peril....… (més)
  1. 30
    Melusine de Sarah Monette (lquilter)
    lquilter: If you liked Magic's Pawn & the other two of the Last Herald-Mage trilogy, and want something like it but vastly darker and more adult, give Melusine by Sarah Monette a try. A lot of the same resonances -- torment, life among the rich and powerful, dialects, magic, hurt/comfort -- but much darker and more adult. And without the YA-style magical psychic companion.… (més)
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Es mostren 1-5 de 31 (següent | mostra-les totes)
Absolutely loved it. One of my favorites out of all of her works. ( )
  Linyarai | Feb 16, 2020 |
Vanyel spends his days dreading practice with his father's brutal arms-master, weathering the scorn of his father towards his 'soft' son, practicing music, and fending off the advances of his mother's ladies. Vanyel doesn't enjoy bedding those worthy women like his younger brother. As his father's heir Vanyel has responsibilities that make it impossible for him to follow his dream of becoming a Bard.

He is ultimately sent to the capitol to be under the eye of his stern aunt who is one of many Herald-Mage's in the Kingdom of Valdemar. Vanyel faces the usual pressures of being a gifted young person, but also must keep truths about himself secret from those at Court and those who would harm him. The book ramps up as Vanyel faces many personal challenges.

Mercedes Lackey's Valdemar books were the queerest things going in fantasy for a long time, and I owe a lot to that. Her books were not only queer friendly, they had empowered women, talking horses, and more pink and violet covers then you can shake a stick at. There are some mixed messages in these novels, to be sure, but reading these as a scared closeted kid in high school must have offered some comfort.

I say must have, because, honestly, I'd forgotten just how big a part Vanyel's sexuality played in these books. My ultimate disappointment in how the love story played out was likely a factor in my willful amnesia. Three recent reviews (Linda, Carolyn, Wanda) mention the sudden melodrama, the off-screen action, the lazy short-hand in developing all the romantic relationships here as really downgrading the reading experience. That is why the book gets an 'OK' review from me today, but at the time of publication and for a long time after there was nothing else in genre-fiction that talked about prejudice and coming-out so directly. Like it or not, many readers needed to experience the course in Queer Empathy 101 Lackey offers here. I read these around 2001-2, and it was still revolutionary. The fact the book is from '89 makes it that much more extraordinary.

With so many other options out there in fantasy, I will probably not revisit these books again, but they were there for me when I needed them.

The Last Herald-Mage

Next: 'Magic's Promise'

Previous: 'Oathbreakers' ( )
3 vota ManWithAnAgenda | Sep 21, 2019 |
Mercedes Lackey’s story about Vanyel is emotionally rich, heart-rending and bittersweet. I was very captivated by the well written depths of feelings.

The plot revolves around Vanyel, a young man misunderstood by his family and the people surrounding him, with his sister initialy being the only one close to him. He is sent to the capital to live with his aunt Savil, a Herald-Mage. There he falls in love with one of her students, Tylendel, whose love story eventually ends sadly. He wants to become a bard and indulge in music above all, yet fate has other plans for him, and as his magic powers manifest, he must learn to control them in order to not hurt himself and those dear to him. ( )
  Dariah | Mar 17, 2019 |
Vanyel is not the eldest son his parents were hoping for. Small of stature, fair of face, and with no talent for combat with heavy arms, he's the object of abuse and ridicule by his father, his father's advisers, and even his younger brother. His heart's desire is to be left to himself to play his instruments and to eventually study with the bardic college. But finally fed up with Vanyel's inadequacies, his father forces him to pack his bags and sends him away to live with his no-nonsense aunt Savil, whom he hopes will drive some strength and discipline into him.

I feel lukewarm about this book. I was irritated from the start by the lack of dimension to the peripheral characters in Vanyel's life -- the vain and vacuous mother, the father for whom he'll never be good enough, the evil and brutish advisers -- all archetypes I've seen before. My hopes were elevated at Vanyel finding a kindred spirit in Tylendel, but then I was rolling my eyes in incredulity at the velocity and utter perfection of their relationship. I appreciated Lackey taking that risk, and in 1989 no less, and the story gets some props later on for taking a sharp and sudden turn from what I had been expecting. However, overall the author hasn't made me care enough about Vanyel to find out what happens in book two. ( )
  ryner | Feb 9, 2018 |
A good story, with interesting characters and an imaginative setting. A bit on the melodramatic side, and I wasn't happy when the author killed off an important character halfway through the book. But I still couldn't set the story aside. Very readable. ( )
  dorie.craig | Jun 22, 2017 |
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Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Mercedes Lackeyautor primaritotes les edicionscalculat
Lee, Jody A.Autor de la cobertaautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
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Dedicated to:
Melanie Mar--just because
and
Mark, Carl, and Dominic
for letting me bounce things off of them
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"Your grandfather," said Vanyel's brawny, fifteen-year-old cousin Radevel, "was crazy."
He has a point, Vanyel thought, hoping they weren't about to take an uncontrolled dive down the last of the stairs.
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And--irony of ironies--as if the gods were taking with one hand and offering a pittance as compensation--the Bardic Gift.
This I think I have learned: where there is love, the form does not matter, and the gods are pleased. This I have observed: what occurs in nature, comes by the hand of nature, and if the gods did not approve, it would not be there.--p. 279
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Though Vanyel has been born with near-legendary abilities to work both Herald and Mage magic, he wants no part of such things. Nor does he seek a warrior's path, wishing instead to become a Bard. Yet such talent as his if left untrained may prove a menace not only to Vanyel but to others as well. So he is sent to be fostered with his aunt, Savil, one of the famed Herald-Mages of Valdemar. But, strong-willed and self-centered, Vanyel is a challenge which even Savil cannot master alone. For soon he will become the focus of frightening forces, lending his raw magic to a spell that unleashes terrifying wyr-hunters on the land. And by the time Savil seeks the assistance of a Shin'a⁻in Adept, Vanyel's wild talent may have already grown beyond anyone's ability to contain, placing Vanyel, Savil, and Valdemar itself in desperate peril....

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