Book: Magic's Pawn

Mercedes Lackey
Penguin Group / June 1989
Mass Market / 352 pages
Last Herald-Mage Series, #1

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 ins. tead 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 by 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 already have grown beyond anyone's ability to contain, placing Vanyel, Savil, and Valdemar itself in desperate peril.

I picked this book up because I was already reading some of her other books & wanted to try a Valdemar tale.

What I liked the Most? This was truly an emotional book. I usually get invested in the characters / settings, but this book went way beyond anything I usually feel. I cried, I laughed, I felt this story from beginning to end.

What I liked the Least? Nothing! This was a truly wonderful book.

Review: This is a wonderful story about love, friendship, revenge, pain, and all of the other wonderfully messy human emotions. It proves that love is a valuable thing that should not be taken for granted. That revenge is not always the answer and that true friendship can heal. It also shows that without the pain, some things may never have come about. And that just because something horrible happens, you should not give up.

This book truly shows us what Mercedes Lackey can do. Duplicate and show real human emotion. While this book is grim (depression suicide, abuse) it does not skimp on how a real person really would feel about those things if they had them do onto them. Normal people don't bounce back the next week about losing the one that they are in love with, and this is what the author believes and she shows it quite amazingly! While it can be a hard book to read at a couple of parts, it truly is genuine and will even have you look within yourself for similar feelings.

It is an exciting novel, that transports the reader to this wonderful land of Valdemar and let's them see into the minds of people who are different. This book keeps you turning pages all the way through and encourages you to read it more than once.

Recommended to: To any fantasy lover ready to really feel a book.

Best Quote: 'Now I'm a bully. And I don't like it' Vanyel

Challenges: GLBT, Summer Reading, 100+, Para999


  1. Along with being my favorite, it's the trilogy that introduced and hooked me on Valdemar so I'm happy to hear you liked it. (My review.) What other Lackey have you been reading?

  2. I have a friend who reads a lot of Mercedes Lackey but I'd never read anything by her. Thanks for posting this!

  3. Mish - I read almost all of her books. I devour anything Valdemar related. A reread of the Queens on is on next month's agenda.

    Amanda - I really recommend her books, she is a really good read.

  4. I'm currently halted in the middle of another Valdemar circuit. I need to get the last two Queens before continuing...and then finally reading Foundation.

    Amanda, need I say I second that notion? However, I suggest staying away from Valdemar's Vows and Honor trilogy because you may end up completely turned off. It was some of Lackey's earliest and worst writing. Even as a Lackey and Valdemar fan, it was difficult to sludge through.

  5. Mish - you have a point. The Vows are a little harder to get into because of the writing style.

    Foundation was a good book, I like her most recent Valdemar stories coming from "odd" angles. And this character is a far cry from her norm.