Arrow's Fall (Heralds of Valdemar Series #3)

Arrow's Fall (Heralds of Valdemar Series #3)

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Overview

With Elspeth, the heir to the throne of Valdemar, now of marriageable age, Talia, the Queen's Own Herald, returns to court. Here, she finds the Queen and heir beset by diplomatic intrigue as various forces vie for control of Elspeth's future.

But just as Talia is about to uncover the traitor behind all these intrigues, she is sent off on a mission to the neighboring kingdom, chosen by the Queento investigate the worth of a marriage proposal from Prince Ancar. And, to her horror, Talia soon discovers there is far more going on at Prince Ancar's court than just preparation for a hoped-for royal wedding. For a different magic than that of the Heralds is loose in Ancar's realm-an evil and ancient sorcery that may destroy all of Valdemar unless Talia can send warning to her Queen in time.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781977308047
Publisher: Tantor Media, Inc.
Publication date: 06/05/2018
Series: Heralds of Valdemar Series , #3
Edition description: Unabridged
Product dimensions: 6.40(w) x 5.30(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Mercedes Lackey is the author or coauthor of close to 100 books, including the Halfblood Chronicles, the Dragon Jousters series, and the bestselling novels of Valdemar.

The narrator of over 100 audiobooks, Christa Lewis has been nominated for an Audie Award and earned multiple Earphones Awards for recordings that have become Audible bestsellers. Christa is a classically trained actress and graduate of Boston University's actor training program.

Read an Excerpt

Arrow's Fall


By Mercedes Lackey

DAW BOOKS, INC.

Copyright © 1988 Mercedes R. Lackey
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0886774004


Chapter One

We could be brother and sister, Kris thought, glancing over at his fellow Herald. Maybe twins-

Talia sat Rolan with careless ease-an ease brought about by the fact that they'd spent most of their waking hours in the saddle during her internship up north. Kris' seat was just as casual, and for the same reason. After all this time they could easily have eaten, slept-yes, and possibly even made love a-saddle! The first two they had accomplished, and more than once. The third they'd never tried-but Kris had heard rumors of other Heralds who had. It did not sound like something he really was curious enough to attempt.

They figured on making the capital and the Collegium by early evening, so they were both wearing the cleanest and best of their uniforms. Heraldic Whites-those for field duty-were constructed of tough and durable leather, but after eighteen months they only had one set apiece that would pass muster, and they'd been saving them for today.

So we're presentable. Which isn't saying much, Kris mourned to himself, surveying the left knee of his breeches with regret. The surface of the leather was worn enough to be slightly nappy-which meant it was inclined to pick up dirt. And dirt showed on Whites-after riding all day they both were slightly gray. Maybe not to the casual eye, but Kris noticed.

Tantris curvetted a little, and Kris suddenly realized that he and Talia's Rolan were matching their paces.

:On purpose, two-footed brother,: came Tantris' sending, tinged with a hint of laughter. :Since you two are so terribly shabby, we thought we'd take attention off you. Nobody's going to notice you when we're showing off:

:Thanks-I think.:

:By the way, you couldn't pass for twins; there's too much red in her hair, and she's too little. But sibs, yes. Although where you got those blue eyes-:

:Blue eyes run in my family,: Kris replied with feigned indignation. :Both father and mother have them.:

:Then if you were going to be sibs, your mother must have been keeping a Bard in the wardrobe for Talia to have hazel eyes and curly hair.: Tantris pranced and arched his neck, and one of his sapphirine eyes flashed a teasing look up at his Chosen.

Kris stole another glance at his internee, and concluded that Tantris was right. There was too much red in her hair, and it was too curly to have come out of the same batch as his own straight, blue-black locks. And she barely came up to his chin. But they both had fine-boned, vaguely heart-shaped faces-and more than that, they both moved the same way.

:Alberich's training. And Keren's.:

:Probably.:

:You're prettier than she is, though. The which you know.:

Kris was startled into a laugh, which made Talia glance over at him quizzically.

"Might one ask-?"

"Tantris," he replied, taking a deep breath of the verdant air, and chuckling. "He's twitting me on my vanity."

"I wish," she answered with more than a little wistfulness, "that just once I could Mindspeak Rolan like that."

"You ought to be glad you can't. You're saved a lot of back-talk."

"How far are we from home?"

"A little more than an hour." He took in the greening landscape with every sign of satisfaction, now and again taking deep breaths of the flower-laden air. "A silver for your thoughts."

"So much?" She chuckled, turning in her saddle to face him. "A copper would be more appropriate."

"Let me be the judge of that. After all, I'm the one who asked."

"So you did."

They rode in tree-shadowed silence for several leagues; Kris was minded to let her answer in her own time. The soft chime of bridle bells and their Companions' hooves on the hard surface of the Trade Road made a kind of music that was most soothing to listen to.

"Ethics," she said at last.

"Whoof-that's dry thinking!"

"I suppose it is-" She plainly let her thoughts turn inward again; her eyes grew vague, and he coughed to recapture her attention.

"You went elsewhere," he chided gently, when she jumped a little. "Now, you were saying-ethics. Ethics of what?"

"My Gift. Specifically, using it-"

"I thought you'd come to terms with that."

"In a situation of threat, yes. In a situation where there was no appropriate and just punishment under normal procedures."

"That-child-raper."

"Exactly." She shivered a little. "I thought I'd never feel clean again after touching his mind. But-what could I have done with him? Ordered his execution? That ... wouldn't be enough of a punishment for what he did. Imprison him? Not appropriate at all. And much as I would have liked to pull him to bits slowly, Heralds don't go in for torture."

"What did you do to him? In detail, I mean. You didn't want to talk about it before."

"It was a-kind of twist on a mind-Healing technique; it depended on the fact that I'm a projective Empath. I can't remember what Devan called it, but you tie a specific thought to another thought or set of feelings that you construct. Then, every time the person thinks that thought, they also get what you want them to know. Like with Vostel-every time he would decide that he was to blame, he'd get what I put in there."

"Which was?"

She grinned. "'So next time I won't be so stupid!' And when he'd be ready to give up from pain, he'd get, 'But it isn't as bad as yesterday, and it'll be better tomorrow.' Not words, actually; it was all feelings."

"Better, in that case, than words would have been," Kris mused, shooing a fly away absently.

"So Devan said. Well, I did something like that with-that thing. I took one of the worst sets of his stepdaughter's memories, and tied that in to all of his own feelings about women. And I kept point-of-view, so that it would appear to him as if he were the victim. You saw what happened."

Kris shuddered. "He went mad; he just collapsed, foaming at the mouth."

"No, he didn't go mad. He locked himself into an endless repetition of what I'd fed him. It's an appropriate punishment; he's getting exactly what he put his stepdaughters through. It's just, at least I think so, because if he ever changes his attitudes he can break free of it. Of course if he does-" she grimaced "-he might find himself dancing on the end of a rope for the murder of his older stepdaughter. The law prevents the execution of a madman; it doesn't save one who's regained his sanity. Lastly, what I did should satisfy his stepdaughter, who is, after all, the one we really want to come out of this thing with a whole soul."

"So where's the ethical problem?"

"That was a stress-situation, a threat-situation. But-is it ethical to-say-read people during Council sessions and act on my information?"

"Uh-" Kris was unable to think of an answer.

"You see?"

"Let's go at it from another angle. You know how to read people's faces and bodies-we've all been taught that. Would you hesitate to use that knowledge in Council?"

"Well, no." She rode silently for a few more moments. "I guess what will have to be the deciding factor is not if I do it but how I use the information."

"That sounds reasonable to me."

"Maybe too reasonable," she replied doubtfully. "It's awfully easy to rationalize what I want to do-what I have no choice about in some cases. It's not like thought-sensing; I have to actively shield to keep people out. They go around shoving their feelings up my nose on a regular basis, especially when they're wrought up."

Kris shook his head. "All I can say is, do what seems best at the time. Really, that's all any of us do."

:Verily, oh, Wise One.:

Kris ignored his Companion's taunting comment. He was going to question her further, but broke off when he caught the sound of a horse galloping full out, heading up the road toward them, the hoofbeats having the peculiar ringing of a Companion.

"That-"

"Sounds like a Companion, yes. And in full gallop." he rose in his stirrups for a better view. "Bright Lady, now what?"

Steed and rider came into sight as they topped the hill.

:That's Cymry-: Tantris' ears were pricked forward. :She's slim. She must have foaled already.:

"It's Cymry," Kris reported.

"Which means Skif-and since I'll bet she just foaled, it isn't a pleasure-ride that takes them out here."

The last time they'd seen the thief-turned-Herald had been a bit over nine months ago, when he'd met with them for their half-term briefing. Cymry had spent the time frolicking with Rolan, and both she and her Chosen had forgotten about the nearly-supernatural fertility of the Grove stallions. The result was foregone-much to Cymry's chagrin as well as Skif's.

Talia knew Skif better than Kris did; they'd been very close as students, close enough that they'd sworn blood-brotherhood. They had been close enough that Talia could read him better at a distance than Kris could.

She shaded her eyes with her hand, then nodded a little. "Well it isn't a disaster; there's something serious afoot, but it isn't an emergency."

"How can you tell at this distance?"

"Firstly, there's no emotional-surge. Secondly, if it were serious, he'd be absolutely expressionless. He looks a bit worded, but that could be for Cymry."

Skif spotted them and waved wildly, as Cymry slowed her headlong pace. They hastened theirs-to the disgruntlement of the pack-mules.

"Havens! Am I ever glad to see you two!" Skif exclaimed as they came into earshot. "Cymry swore you were close, but I was half-afraid I'd have to ride a couple of hours, and I hate to make her leave the little one for that long."

"You sound like you've been waiting for us-Skif, what's the problem?" Kris asked anxiously. "What are you doing out here?"

"Nothing for you; plenty for her. Mind you, this is strictly under the ivy bush; we don't want people to know you've been warned, Talia. I slipped out on behalf of a lady in distress."

"Who? Elspeth? Selenay? What-"

"Give me a minute, will you? I'm trying to tell you. Elspeth asked me to intercept you on your way in. It seems the Council is trying to marry her off, and she's not overly thrilled with the notion. She wants you to know so you'll have time to muster some good arguments for the Council meeting tomorrow."

Skif reined Cymry in beside them, and they picked up the pace. "Alessandar has made a formal offer for her for Ancar. Lots of advantages there. Virtually everybody on the Council is for it except Elcarth and Kyril-and Selenay. They've been arguing it back and forth for two months, but it's been serious for about a week, and it looks as if Selenay is gradually being worn down. That's why Elspeth sent me out to watch for you; I've been slipping out for the past three days, hoping to catch you when you came in and warn you what's up. With you to back her, Selenay's got full veto-either to table the betrothal until Elspeth's finished training, or throw the notion out altogether. Elspeth didn't want any of the more excitable Councillors to know we were warning you, or they might have put more pressure on Selenay to decide before you got here."

Talia sighed. "So nothing's been decided; good. I can deal with it easily enough. Can you get on ahead of us? Let Elspeth and Selenay both know we'll be there by dinner-bell? I can't do anything now, anyway, but tomorrow we can take care of the whole mess at Council session. If Elspeth wants to see me before then-I'm all hers; she'll probably find me in my rooms."

"Your wish is my command," Skif replied. As all three knew, Skif knew more ways than one in and out of the capital and the Palace grounds. He'd make far better time than they could.

They held their pace to that of the mules as Skif sent Cymry off at a diagonal to the road, raising a cloud of dust behind him. They continued on as if they hadn't met him; but Kris traded a look of weary amusement with her. They weren't even officially "home" yet, and already the intrigues had begun.

"Anything else bothering you?"

"To put it bluntly," she said at last, "I'm nervous about coming back home-as nervy as a cat about to kitten."

"Whyfor? And why now? The worst is over. You're a full Herald-the last of your training's behind you. What's to be nervous about?"

Talia looked around her; at the fields, the distant hills, at anything but Kris. A warm spring breeze, loaded with flower-scent, teased her hair and blew a lock or two into her eyes so that she looked like a worried foal.

"I'm not sure I ought to discuss it with you," she said reluctantly.

"If not me, then who?"

She looked at him measuringly. "I don't know...."

"No," Kris said, just a little hurt by her reluctance. "You know. You just aren't sure you can trust me. Even after all we've shared together."

She winced. "Disconcertingly accurate. I thought bluntness was my besetting sin."

Kris cast his eyes up to the heavens in an exaggerated plea for patience, squinting against the bright sunlight. "I am a Herald. You are a Herald. If there's one thing you should have learned by now, it's that you can always trust another Herald."

"Even when my suspicions conflict with ties of blood?"

He gave her another measuring look. "Such as?"

"Your uncle, Lord Orthallen."

He whistled through his teeth, and pursed his lips. "I thought you'd left that a year ago. Just because of that little run-in you had with him over Skif, you see him plotting conspiracy behind every bush! He's been very good to me, and to half a dozen others I could name you, and he's been invaluable to Selenay-as he was to her father."

"I have very good reasons to see him behind every bush!" she replied with some heat. "I think trying to get Skif in trouble was part of a long pattern, that it was just an attempt to isolate me-"

"Why? What could he possibly gain?" Kris was fed up and frustrated because this wasn't the first time he'd had to defend his uncle. More than one of his fellow Heralds had argued that Orthallen was far too power-hungry to be entirely trustworthy, and Kris had always felt honor-bound to defend him. He'd thought Talia had dismissed her suspicions as irrational months ago. He was highly annoyed to find that she hadn't.

"I don't know why-" Talia cried in frustration, clenching her fist on her reins. "I only know that I've never trusted him from the moment I first saw him. And now I'll be co-equal in Council with Kyril and Elcarth, with a full voice in decisions. That could put us in more direct conflict than we've ever been before."

Continues...


Excerpted from Arrow's Fall by Mercedes Lackey Copyright © 1988 by Mercedes R. Lackey
Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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Arrow's Fall (Heralds of Valdemar Series #3) 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 106 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is one of the best books ever writen. It starts off with Talia coming back from her internship after going through a severe breakdown and reconstruction of control over her Gift. Talia than is greeted by her unacknowledged lifebonded, Dirk, and he goes on to think that Talia is in love with Kris and Kris with Tali. Meanwhile, Talia takes her rightful spot at the council table and helps make important decsions while Lord Orthallen tries to undermine Talia's power and effort. One example of how he does this is by framing Dirk of stealing important info. and bringing Kris & Talia into it. The issue is resolved, Dirk's name is cleared but this creates a major fight between Dirk, Kris, and Talia. Elspeth isn't making Tali's job any easier by disappering everyday with a no-good power taker, until the Companions get worried about her and Talia has to interfere causing another fight, this time between Elspeth and Talia. Than, Dirk falls ill and right after Talia is sent away with Kris (after making up w/ him) on a diplomatic mission to Hardon to find out if Ancar is a suitable husband for Elspeth. On the first night in the capital, they discover that Ancar is a horrible man and sneak out to warn Selenay who is traveling behind the two Heralds by a few weeks. Instead, Talia feels the murder of Alessander, the reining king by his son, Ancar. They rush to escape, not realizing that there are guards at the gate and Kris and Tantris die leaving Talia to the brutal torture from Ancar while Rolan escapes. A merchant helps send a Talia send a massage to Selenay by coded arrows. Talia is tortured not only by Ancar but by HULDA too! She realizes than that Lord Orthallen is the traitor. When Selenay gets the massage, she starts a war plan. Dirk and Elspeth 'Fetch' Talia from Ancar's dungeon's, bloodied and near death. Talia survives and Selenay wins the battle against Ancar. The whole book has an awesome plot and was such a good book. You just can't put it down once you pick it up. It's defenitly one of the best books I have ever read. Lackey surpases herself in this book. It is an awesome mix of comedey, tradegdy, and romance. I've read it about five times and can't put it down every time. Defenitly should read it!
jehovahrapha on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Since I decided to only review one book per 'miniseries' of Valdemar, I picked my favorite, though it's also the one I despise the most. My problem, I think, is my emotional attachment to characters. That's why I both love and hate Magic's Price. When a character you love dies in the end and you know it's going to happen...it's sad and painful, and maybe I shouldn't get so wrapped up in my books. But with Valdemar...it's so hard to stay apart from them!Another point of interest is Ancar's coup, which spans outwards in both directions, chronologically, back into the Exile duology and forward all the way to the Mage Storms. Which is too bad, because bad kings in literature get my fire up.
frazrat on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
What can I say, Mercedes lackey is my favorite author. I have enjoyed her Vlademar stories multiple times. This is one of my favorite series. I love Talia's character. This is the third book in the trilogy. It was the best of the three. If you like excitement, adventure, and fantasy, this is a series you will not want to miss. Talia has finished her Herald's training and as the Queen's own herald she is sent on a diplomatic mission to a neighboring kingdom to investigate a marriage proposal from Prince Ancar to Elsbeth. Things are not what they seem.
Frazzletastic on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
[I tried making this spoiler-free, but it ain¿t working, so it¿s a bit on the spoilerish side].I loved this last installment to the Heralds of Valdemar series. That¿s pretty much all I have to say ¿ it¿s a tie for my favorite book out of all three (the tie being with the first).I think Mercedes Lackey read my previous reviews, because the pacing went up by a considerable amount. There were only a few places in the text where the plot lagged, and even when it did, I could see why it was written that way. Elspeth grew a lot this novel, I think, despite the meager amount that was written about her. You¿d have thought she¿d learned with the whole Hulda incident to not trust anyone wholeheartedly unless you were absolutely sure of them, but apparently she needed a second slap in the face before she learned her lesson. She came a long way from Arrows of the Queen, and I loved seeing the entire process from the Brat to Elspeth-in-the-third-book.About a fourth into the novel, the plot really picks up. Talia and Kris set out to Hardorn, and you get this feeling of foreboding from the very get-go. The trip there is actually interesting (I felt myself skip a bit of the in-between towns in the second book), and it didn¿t take pages upon pages. Talia ends up getting captured ¿ a seemingly hopeless situation ¿ and we almost lose our main character. I love (albeit a very... twisted love) the way Lackey portrayed Talia¿s captivity. As a writer, I would not want to write the vile things Talia endured, but Lackey did just that ¿ not in a way that I¿d want to throw the book into a wall, but rather in a way that made me sympathize with Talia and want to hold her until her hurt went away.The way she was rescued was... beyond awesome. I can¿t even tell you all how much I was jumping up and down (yes, even after my 10th re-read!). The war... wasn¿t that great, compared to other wars depicted through fantasy that I¿ve read. It was just so-so; nothing totally epic. I have to admit that I loved how a side character that barely had any face time got the ¿glory¿ (and I loved him since book 1, anyway!).One thing about this book, though... is honestly... prepare some tissues or something. When I went through my first read of this third book, I sobbed my eyes out (I was 10, leave me alone D: ). This time around I didn¿t sob, but I did get teary-eyed. No matter how many times I read this series/novel, the one thing that will never change is how I feel about... what made me cry. I felt like I lost a part of me (okay that may be over-dramatization). It was hard not to feel that way, when Lackey does such an amazing job of developing her characters that you feel like they¿re your very personal friends.The wedding at the end was nice and simple (or so it seemed, compared to the lavish decorations Elspeth and the others came up with initially). I was so happy Talia and Dirk finally got together in the end, and I loved the way it led up to its inevitability: hope, confusion, misunderstandings, sickness, capture, reuniting, confessing, and absolute love. Kris¿ gift at the end was what made the novel so awesome, and made me write a more hyped review. If you want someone to blame, blame him! :P I... loved that he didn¿t back out on his promise.
LisaMaria_C on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the conclusion to Arrows of the Queen and Arrows Flight, which should be read first. I think this is a satisfying resolution to all the threads established in the first books. I like how Talia grew through all three novels and Lackey certainly made me feel for her characters. Well, the ones on the "good" side. This author's and series greatest flaw is arguably that she creates a very black and white world, with villains in the twirl-the-mustache mold, and this is no exception. Combined with the appealing characters, I loved the magical world Lackey created--a group of heroes of various backgrounds drawn together because they are the chosen of their companions--magical horses who are their full partners. What teenage girl wouldn't be enthralled by such a world? But I still enjoyed rereading this even as an adult: a good escapist read.
lunanshee on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book both filled me with joy and broke my heart (as so many of Mercedes Lackey's books do). Talia truly comes into her own in this final instalation, and while some taumatic events unfold, she overcomes her fear and hurt to become a truly remarkable woman. The Arrows trilogy is one of my favorites.
van_stef on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Mercedes Lackey completes Talia's trilogy. Kinda heartbreaking with what happens to Talia half way through but I do like the happy ending.
TeenBookReviews on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book both filled me with joy and broke my heart (as so many of Mercedes Lackey's books do). Talia truly comes into her own in this final instalation, and while some taumatic events unfold, she overcomes her fear and hurt to become a truly remarkable woman. The Arrows trilogy is one of my favorites.
Alliebadger on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
As the final book in the Queen's Own trilogy, I'd say this one is more or less the same style as the others. It's a fitting conclusion, but the ending left me wanting more. It seemed a little too open-ended--satisfying, of course, but it wasn't the be-all-or-end-all ending I was hoping for. It's really great seeing Talia come in to her own and have some action. Dirk, on the other hand, was a bit of a baby at the beginning. But I'm glad it ended on a good note and I'm interested in starting to read some more Valdemar novels.
SimonW11 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
it comes together in this the third book of a trilogy Lackey's plot often seems rather linear which is what makes me think of them as suitable for young adults.. But I cant think of one that was marketed as such in this case I suspect it is because the conservative American market would find the implied message that its okay to have sex with people that you just think of as friends as dangerous.
dasuzuki on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This trilogy was one of my favorites in the Valdemar series although the first volume was my favorite of the three.
SunnySD on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Conclusion of Talia's stint as a main character, although she does pop up again in later installments of the Valdemar books.The ominous overtones present in Arrows Flight all come home to roost. A marriage proposal for the Queen from the prince of a neighboring kingdom sends Talia and Kris on a diplomatic mission. All is not what it seems at Prince Ancor's palace, however, and an ancient and malicious evil threatens to overrun the Heralds.No spoilers, but you might want to have a box of Kleenex handy while reading this one. When you've finished, if you're interested in another perspective on events in this book, pick up By the Sword.
Bibliotropic on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The action really picks up in this conclusion to the first trilogy of Valdemar, as Orthallen's treachery is uncovered and Ancar's plans are revealed. There is war, death, love... It sounds so very cheesy to put it that way, but Mercedes Lackey pulls it off in a way that doesn't make the reader feel like they're being drowned in cliches.Most of the time, anyway. I have to admit that the revelation that Orthallen sent an assassin to kill Selenay's father in the heat of battle was just a little too corny for me.I'm not sure whether or not to class that one as one of the inconsistancies of the Valdemar timeline, really. In a later book, the one that deals with the Tedrel wars, it's revealed that Sendar was indeed killed in battle, but no mention of anything other than just a simple overpowering by an enemy force was even implied. Somebody could have sent an assassin in specifically to kill Sendar at that moment, I suppose, but it seems like coordinating that would have been far too complicated. It seems more like another little established thing that the author forgot about when she wrote later books.One thing that has always puzzled me about the Valdemar series is the arrow code, which plays a central part of this first trilogy. If it's ever mentioned again, I don't recall it. No other Herald seems to learn it or teach it in any book that takes place before or after the Arrows trilogy. The way it's presented here, that would be something akin to Herald never learning weaponswork: inconceivable. And yet...But all that aside, this was an enjoyable trilogy, even if it did start off rather slowly. You see the characters grow and change very realistically as the books progress, especially Talia and Elspeth. I think the author did a wonderful job of protraying people who are having to grow up in extraordinary circumstances. What makes them so believable is that although Heralds as a whole are presented as being immaculate and close to perfect to the general population, they are anything but. Dirk loses himself in angst and confusion and starts drinking himself to sleep at night. Elspeth is made a fool of and then makes a fool of herself. Mistakes are made, and sometimes rectified but sometimes not, and when you're writing a story about a group of heroes who are, in some sense, a gift from the gods, it can be so easy to write them as being infallible, perfectly sensible and with logical reasons behind everything they do. Instead, they are wonderfully portrayed as real people, with problems and emotions and quirks.I've always said that Mercedes Lackey's talent lies in characterization. If you're looking for fantasy books packed with epic battles and world-changing awesomeness... Well, read Lackey's Storms trilogy, honestly. But the rest of her books are driven more by characters, by people, than by great cataclysms, and that's what I enjoy about them.The trilogy ends with a positive event as a reprieve from negativity, rather than a negative event overshadowing anything positive that could happen. Talia's wedding to Dirk (and the supernatural gift from Kris at the very end) is a little bit of a twist to the usual formula. Plenty of people would have a wedding surrounded by apprehension over the inevitable war, or have the wedding come before the initial skirmish, to end the book on a much more powerful cliffhanger. Yes, I say powerful because such a thing might have drawn more readers if there had been more action to end the book with, a reason for them to go out and immediately buy the next book to see what happens next. On the other hand, what must be remembered is that this book isn't the story of a country. It's the story of a person, and people are very apt to cling to small moments of happiness in the middle of chaos.Not saying that's the best way to do it, but the happy -- or rather, happier -- ending can certainly be excused, as it follows the authors style and plays to her strengths very well.The book also ends wit
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Brennach More than 1 year ago
Great book. I've read it and re-read it a number of times.
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