A Fantasy Series Book Review
Genre: Sword and Sorcery, High Fantasy Series, 13+
Thalia is now a full Herald with all the rights and responsibilities of a Queen's Own. Confident in her own abilities, tempered by her time out in the field, Thalia finds that she will need every ounce of her hard won confidence to deal with the Council, Heir and Queen. There are those who will try to undermine her at every turn, drive a wedge between her and her friends and stop any influence she has over Queen and Heir. But Thalia is not the shy, fearful girl that arrived on the back of Rolan, her Companion some 5 years hence. Now she is a force to be reckoned with and there are those who fear her new found strength.
Publisher: DAW (January 5, 1988)
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
Ah what a stunning conclusion to the trilogy! Its here that you really begin to see a glimmer of the author Mercedes Lackey will become. If book two plodded along a bit, book three by comparison flew by at a breathtaking pace. Conflict of some sort is on practically every page.
Lets see if I can highlight a few without giving too much away. Thalia upon arriving back home is immediately caught up in political intrigue involving Elsbeth, the Heir. It seems that the neighboring kingdom of Hardon has proposed a marriage between King Alessandar's heir, Prince Ancar and Elsbeth, a union which will all but eliminate the threat of Karse, Valdemar's ancient enemies. But Queen Selenay has her doubts based on mistakes in her own past marriage; she fears an alliance with any one not Chosen themselves. Meanwhile there is a problem with both Kris and Dirk, Dirk is refusing to acknowledge the lifebond between Thalia and himself, mistakenly believing Kris and her are in love and that by being a loyal friend, he must keep his distance. Kris and Thaila however have their own problems as Kris continues to believe his uncle is innocent of the manipulations Thalia accuses him of. And now we come to Elsbeth, she is sneaking around and skillfully avoiding Thalia too, a situation that Thalia must get to the bottom of before things turn out badly for them all.
Think that is enough? Oh but that only covers the first part of the book, Thalia's problems just escalate from there. Just wait until Thalia and Kris take a trip into Hardon to check out Ancar's suitability as Elsbeth's future husband. That is when things really heat up!
The bad editing continues but you notice it less as the story grabs you and drags you along with it. The romance elements are great, or rather lack of them as you get to call Dirk 3 shades of an idiot almost throughout the whole story. There is a tragedy that caught me by surprise, there are quite a few surprises actually which I truly love in a good story. There is a very satisfying ending which is one element of her earlier writing that I adore but with enough set up to let you know that the story is only beginning. We'll see more of Thalia and the rest in future trilogies. They say that the third time is the charm and that applies here. This book makes the whole first trilogy worth reading, aside from the fact that given the scope of the Valdemar books, you should start here to get the full picture anyway.
There are some adult themes but they are handled in a non detailed way that makes this book suitable for a young adult audience. I enjoyed the trip down memory lane and I hope that if you haven't yet explored Valdemar you will do so, and if you have, well then I hope you'll one day revisit its humble beginnings just for the fun of it, as I did.
Other books in the series
Shelfari 4/5 Stars
Librarything Rating 4.02/5
Amazon Rating 4.0 out of 5 stars
(61 customer reviews)
What Should I Read Next?
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