Arrows of the Queen (Heralds of Valdemar #1)

Arrows of the Queen (Heralds of Valdemar #1)An entertaining, easy read coming of age story in which Talia escapes her difficult family to train as a Herald, complete with magical powers and an even magical horse The main strength here is the protagonist Talia is sympathetic and I enjoyed reading about her, but I did feel that the talents got heaped on her in the second half of the book the less interesting she was, and the she started to feel like a fantasy heroine rather than an actual person Another positive is the general atmosphere of kindness that surrounds her in Herald training school obviously there s conflict in the story and enemies to be defeated, but they re often almost outside the text, and it s nice to read a book where pretty much everyone who spends any time on page is a decent person I have to say, though, that in many ways the book struck me as a very long introduction A pleasant one, don t get me wrong, but when I came to Goodreads to rate and review and saw that it was the first in a series, I felt absolutely no surprise The rest of the series will be going on my reading list, though, and I hope they re as likable as this one Utterly delightful One of those to be loved by all ages books I d read Magic s Pawn and was expecting some rough and perhaps period views on things, but all told I thought this was stronger and much less traumatic than that book.CONTENT WARNING no actual spoilers, just a list of topics view spoiler child abuse, domestic abuse, discussion of sexual assault, brutal death, loss of a loved one hide spoiler Follows The Adventures Of Talia As She Trains To Become A Herald Of Valdemar In The First Book In The Classic Epic Fantasy Arrows TrilogyChosen By The Companion Rolan, A Mystical Horse Like Being With Powers Beyond Imagining, Talia, Once A Runaway, Has Now Become A Trainee Herald, Destined To Become One Of The Queen S Own Elite Guard For Talia Has Certain Awakening Talents Of The Mind That Only A Companion Like Rolan Can Truly SenseBut As Talia Struggles To Master Her Unique Abilities, Time Is Running Out For Conspiracy Is Brewing In Valdemar, A Deadly Treason That Could Destroy Queen And Kingdom Opposed By Unknown Enemies Capable Of Both Diabolical Magic And Treacherous Assassination, The Queen Must Turn To Talia And The Heralds For Aid In Protecting The Realm And Insuring The Future Of The Queen S Heir, A Child Already In Danger Of Becoming Bespelled By The Queen S Own Foes When I was a kid and my father was out of town for work, my mom and I got to have sleepovers in the big bed We would curl up with our pillows stacked behind our backs and read books and eat ice cream and fall asleep whenever we wanted to I loved it And, unsurprisingly, the tradition continued on until I left home One particular time I remember it was a Friday night and I was fourteen and my mom and I went to the base library to see what we could find I wandered down the aisles and stopped when my eye caught on a pink and purple spine in the fantasy scifi section It seemed a bitgirlyfor me and when I saw the pretty much opalescent horse on the cover I almost put it back on the shelf But I liked the title And the girl on the horse looked pale and sad and interesting with her short hair and her threadbare scarf So I checked it out and that night curled up with my mom and a bowl of mint chocolate chip ice cream and fell in love.Talia is an orphan Raised in a very claustrophobic, incredibly closed off family hold that her uncle runs with an iron fist, she longs for a kinder, stimulating world in which family refers to people who love you and not people who revile and shame you When a white horse straight out of her dreams appears one day, Talia climbs into his saddle and never looks back The horse is clearly no ordinary horse He can sense emotions and share his own with Talia He takes her to Haven, the capital city of Valdemar, where her hidden talents are recognized and she is enrolled in the Collegium a school for heralds in training The heralds are an elite force who are trained to protect the Queen and the realm from threat or harm There at the Collegium Talia makes the first friends of her life and a few enemies as well When she stumbles across a plot to destroy the Queen, she is forced to harness her wayward abilities and use the connections she s made to convince the Queen and her council that there is a traitor in their midst.This series is a very dear one to me My fourteen year old self completely empathized with Talia and her insecurities and longings She has to be one of the most passive heroines of any I ve read, which makes her unique as I generally find myself drawn to stronger, forceful personalities But Talia matures, both chronologically and emotionally in this series, particularly in book two, Arrow s Flight, when she gets shoved through the refiner s fire as she completes her Heraldic training and emerges prepared to defend her Queen And yet, she retains that innocence and inherent sweetness which somehow captured my heart than a decade ago and has not let it go Each book in this trilogy gets better and better and you only grow fonder of this family of characters Lackey has pieced together Among Talia s inner circle, there is a not so ex thief, a spoiled princess, a gruff and intimidating armsmaster, a crippled harpist, and Rolan her horse and Companion Mercedes Lackey s strength lies in these characters and how she is able to make you want so much for them If you fall in love with the world you re also in luck as Ms Lackey has written a whole host of books that take place in Valdemar, though this trilogy is by far the best, IMO, and definitely the place to start Reading order ARROWS OF THE QUEEN, Arrow s Flight, and Arrow s Fall. Executive Summary This book is super trope heavy and not always the best written, but I found it a light, fun, quick read that seemed to suit my current mood 3.5 stars Full Review I ve heard of Mercedes Lackey, but none of her books had made it onto my to ever growing to read pile If not for Sword Laser I probably never would have read this.This is one of those books that read at a different point, I might have been bored by I ve been a bit burnt out on reading lately and this seemed to hit the spot This is the classic chosen one trope mixed with the magic school trope I m a complete sucker for the Magic school trope It was obvious at times that this was Ms Lackey s first book The writing was decent, but could use some polish.The biggest surprise for me were all the social issues casually woven into the story, especially given the time this was published It seems like only recently that books are dealing with things like gender equality, homosexuality or casual sex without negative connotations are commonplace This book covers all of those things, but in subtle ways It could simply be that my own personal reading selection in the 80s and 90s simply neglected other works covering these kinds of things This certainly seems to be a book aimed at young women than boys Much of my reading was stuff my mom brought home for me I doubt the cover with the girl on the magic horse was something I d have been willing to give a try in my teens That said, who wouldn t want a magic horse as your companion If you don t, you might be dead inside If this book was published today, it d be put in the YA section and might be lost in vast array of fantasy aimed at young girls In many ways this book feels like it could be a prototype for those books However, as I don t read a lot of YA any I could be wrong there.The book ends in a pretty good place The major issues seem to be wrapped up albeit a bit too quickly and neatly I feel like I might be up for reading , but could be perfectly content to stop here.Overall, I m glad I read this book I m not sure if I m going to continue on with the series I ll probably have to be in the right mood for it Maybe this time next year. I ve always vaguely known about Mercedes Lackey s work, but rarely read any, so this was my first experience with Valdemar I m aware that there are tons of problematic things about Mercedes Lackey s body of work, though I haven t looked at details Still, Arrows of the Queen is a book I wish I d had when I was younger It has a couple of queer characters, who are treated pretty much like the other characters okay, things aren t all rosy for them, but not for other characters, either And the main character is a young girl who loves books, and turns out to belong to something bigger than herself that scullery maid to almost princess sort of transition which can be so fun and which so often brings forth cries of Mary Sue when the character is female, and yet no such complaint is made if the character is male.It s fun, and Talia is capable and compassionate, while also learning and growing throughout the book There are some things which jar a little now, for example her casual use of corporal punishment with the spoilt young princess, even after coming from a rather abusive background herself It s pretty commonly agreed now that corporal punishment doesn t really go any good, but here it s treated as a valuable tool in the arsenal of unspoiling a child I m dubious, and I m sure there are people who would hate that section, but at least Talia has a general common sense approach to dealing with the Brat.On the less positive side, the writing seriously falls down in places Large chunks of time fly by, without any real framing, so that you think she s been at the school for a month and it turns out it s been a year, and such things Worse, Lackey is at least at this point in her career very prone to telling, not showing This sometimes wrecks the pacing and makes sections seem rather dry and didactic.Still, I read it in one go and did enjoy it, and I m planning to read in the Valdemar universe And I still wish I d actually picked this up as a kid, and given it to my sister too It might have made us feel less alone.Originally posted here. Ahoy there me mateys While drawin up me lists of 2016 for me log, I realized a curious thing out of 134 books read, not a single one was a re read In me enthusiasm of discovery and taking suggestions from me crew, I did not revisit a single old port for plunder And part of what I love about readin is re visitin old friends So I decided to remedy that and thus created me new category where I take a second look at a previously enjoyed novel and give me crew me second reflections, as it were, upon visitin it again.arrows of the queen Mercedes LackeyNow I had touched upon this novel and the author in me previous log post, Broadside No 8 This book was my introduction into her writing As I said in that post I finished the trilogy and forayed further into the Valdemar world I am not sure how well this series would hold up now since I haven t re read any since I was a younger lass but me memory holds such fondness for them I enjoyed her writing so much that eventually I delved into her other work The answer about whether it stood the test of time is erm not so much While this book did bring back some fondness for me, in general I found in problematic than my memories would suggest.Me primary problem be that the main character, Talia is such a special snowflake I mean seriously, she is twelve or thirteen and out of a backwater province with no real education or experience and yet she can enter a new land with new politics, culture, etc and somehow with her wise beyond her years personality suddenly become a trusted adviser to the Queen Seriously her advice is common sense Sigh Of course young me would not find Talia s talents to be unreasonable I wanted them too On top of that the culture, politics, and education of Valdemar seem to be rather flat in execution As was the plot In actuality I found Talia s beginning experiences in her homeland to be the most interesting part of the story It felt fleshed out than the later parts of the book The story in general felt too simplistic and generic And that ending was so ridiculous I mean seriously the bad guys had no brains.Plot aside, there were two aspects of this book that still make me heart happy One of the things is the bond between horse and rider It is a magical telepathic bond This bond had way less page time or purpose than I remember but the concept still makes me happy Even if I can t have a telepathic horse on me ship for practical reasons, I still kinda want one.The second aspect of this book concerns sexuality In this book sex was not shameful People could have no strings attached sex There are also monogamous long term couples And gay and lesbian couples It is by no means graphic but I do remember my younger self s brain being introduced to these different kinds of relationships and sex I had no experience with knowing any types people with alternative lifestyles at that point This wasn t a major revelation or even one I thought a lot about at the time late bloomer here but as a child it did lead to thoughts of hmm different and also cool As an adult reader, I appreciate that Lackey was writing about this options as a normative and b doing so in 1987 when people didn t advertise these lifestyles as viable, perfectly acceptable choices So hurrah for that So while me second reflections of this novel seemed to point out the flaws in this book than anything else, I still maintain me fondness for it I don t know if I will reread the second and third books of this trilogy because too many books and so little time But I am actually glad I gave this book another look.Check out me other reviews at ORIGINALLY POSTED AT Fantasy Literature.Talia is not like normal 13 year old girls She likes to read adventure stories and she fantasizes about being a Herald for the queen of Valdemar She does not want to get married to one of the dreary men in her village So, when a Companion one of the blue eyed white horses who belongs to a Herald shows up without a rider, Talia is happy to help him find his way home and stunned to learn that she s been chosen to be trained as a Herald.Published in 1987, Arrows of the Queen is Mercedes Lackey s first novel and the first in her popular Valdemar series This is a coming of age tale in which a na ve and wide eyed youngster who has endured a repressive upbringing is suddenly freed and enrolled in a special school, where she makes friends and enemies and discovers that she has magic powers and an important destiny.Like many such heroes, Talia is a good and well meaning girl who, despite being mature and wise beyond her years, neglects to tell adults when she s being bullied or needs help, thus getting into mishaps that could easily have been avoided Fortunately, she deals with some equally unwise villains who tend to audibly rehash their evil plans at the exact moment that Talia happens to eavesdrop on their clandestine meetings.Although I ve read many books of this ilk and, therefore, found few surprises in this one, I must admit to being charmed by Talia and her story, though I m certain I would have felt differently if Arrows of the Queen had been published recently Mercedes Lackey s first novel has a nice pace though Talia s lessons were sometimes prolonged and too detailed and an engaging heroine, and introduces a world I d like to learn about.I listened to Albany Audio s version of Arrows of the Queen, which was narrated by Carole Edie Smith She s a terrific actress, but she has a rather unsuitable Northeastern US accent which just doesn t fit the medieval setting of Valdemar I managed to mostly listen past that Unfortunately, the next 24 Valdemar novels are not available in audio format I may pick up the next couple of Valdemar novels in print, completing at least the first trilogy This series has the potential to provide many hours of mindless entertainment. A young boy girl named Harry Potter Talia had a very bad childhood until Hagrid Rolan came and took him her to the wizard school Collegium where he she studies, makes some friends and some enemies By the way, I am sorry for comparing a half giant Hagrid to a highly intelligent magical horse Rolan.Despite all of the similarities to Harry Potter and there are than those I mentioned already, this book is not one of the countless Harry Potter clones For once it was written exactly ten years before Rowling s magnum opus Another great difference is that while Harry Potter at least in the first couple of books is about sense of wonder of a normal boy who ended up in a magic world and his adventures, this book is about Talia s development and coming of age A very good description would be something like a young adult novel written at the time when young adult was not equal to non stop romance Talia is an interesting character which is a big win and a big fail at the same time She is an undisputed star of the novel and as such gets the biggest development She is a strong woman written before readers start demanding at least one to be present in a book, to the point where some writers have to include a token character As I said, she is strong, but also realistic She is not a female Conan the Barbarian on steroids She is not the best sword fighter and most probably will never be She is not the strongest magic user and will never be She is not going to win any physical strength contests So what makes her strong She always overcomes her problems herself, or with some help from her friends She found her place in the Collegium and made herself highly useful and irreplaceable She does not spend all of her time suffering from her unrequited love to a sparkling vampire there are no vampires in there sparkling or any other, by the way She does her job, and does it well, or tries to She is kind and caring and not bitchy Dear authors, take note bitchy is not equal to strong Talia almost feels like a realistic human Almost is the keyword here The failing is that sometimes she feels like a Mary Sue, and sometimes comes too close to being one I could not find anything bad about her, except for her excessive shyness.While I am on the subject of bad parts of the book, I also would like to mention a fairly big plot hole in the very end which feels like a deux ex machina Despite all of my criticism above, this is a very easy read If you are looking for grimdark you will not find it here at all, but for anybody in the mood for light fantasy this should be the right place to look This review is a copy paste of my LeafMarks one A friend gave me this book for my birthday and am I ever glad I didn t pay money for it I rather wish he d just given me a Barnes Noble gift card instead.From a purely technical perspective, this is possibly the worst published book I ve ever read From an emotional standpoint, this comes in a close third after some horrible book whose title I cannot recall, and Frankenstein.But back to Arrows of the Queen Good grief.The highlights 1 I am forced to put the plot as the first casualty, as the author had time to kill, dismember, and bury all the little pieces of it before I even picked up the book Plot What plot The first few chapters meander towards one but never quite make it The rest of the book seems to try and get by on hit and miss character and world building They never quite make it either.2 I mentioned technicalities above, and here s what I mean by that did anyone ever explain to Mercedes Lackey the proper use of a semicolon What about putting chapter breaks whether a new chapter or, say, a double space gap within a chapter when a notable amount of time passes Pacing Plotting Show, don t tell That last was especially egregious, with I kid you not at least two and probably instances of little did he know interspersed with leapfrogged third person limited And the vocabulary what grade level was this, third Maybe fourth Who was the editor, anyway I don t think s he was paid enough or too much, if they let all this through.3 The main character, Talia, is a thirteen year old girl who, as far as I can recall, never acts like one There s acting like a mature thirteen year old and then there s acting like a thirty year old No I started out wanting to like her, because I too have some self esteem issues, a fervent love of books, and occasionally daydream wistfully about someone coming and taking me away from my life I found myself unable to like her because she s just too perfect She s a Mary Sue of the first order, Special and Wanted and Humble and Good At Absolutely Everything I think the only thing Talia fails at is losing her virginity I m serious she tries, four times IIRC, to have sex with a friend One or both keep falling asleep before they can Do It What 4 Was I the only one kind of repulsed annoyed by the amount of implied sex in this book Practically everyone including the telepathic horses sorry, Companions can have and apparently does have no strings attached sex with everyone else and that s totally cool with everyone at the Collegium That was great to know, thanks It really enhanced my feel of this world at large I really wanted to know that as opposed to, say, any other character trait of any other character.5 Speaking of other characters, I would have liked some The cookie cutter nature of every side character and I mean literally every side character except maybe Jadus meant I mixed up who was who and was invested in exactly zero of them.6 I neither know, nor do I care, what the sexual orientation of Mercedes Lackey is was when she wrote this book All I know is the lesbian thumping like Bible thumping, but with lesbians got very old fast Protip no amount of screaming about the normalcy of homosexuality is going to change the mind of someone who doesn t agree with you.7 view spoiler I gotta say it when I got to the part at the end with the incriminating letters in the hollow arrows, I paused, read that part over again, then said to myself Just finish the book, and we ll get back to this later I slogged through the rest of the book, then came back to that part It made, if possible, less sense the third time What kind of idiotic plot point was thatThe Bad Guys put incriminating letters into hollow arrows which they then used to kill a Herald Who in their right mind would put incriminating letters into hollow arrows that they intend to shoot at someone Smuggling papers in hollow arrow shafts isn t a bad idea, but surely they would have some way of differentiating those arrows from regular arrows One would think they d feel different weight wise anyway hide spoiler

Misty Lackey

[BOOKS] ⚡ Arrows of the Queen (Heralds of Valdemar #1) Author Mercedes Lackey –
  • Paperback
  • 320 pages
  • Arrows of the Queen (Heralds of Valdemar #1)
  • Mercedes Lackey
  • English
  • 05 October 2018
  • 9780886773786

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