Arrow's Flight (Heralds of Valdemar, #2)

Arrow's Flight (Heralds of Valdemar, #2)Set In The Medieval Fantasy Kingdom Of Valdemar, This Unique And Exciting Novel Continues The Story Of Talia Having Mastered The Powers Necessary To A Guardian Of The Kingdom, She Faces The Final Preparation For Her Initiation As Adviser And Protector Of The Queen

Misty Lackey

☆ [PDF / Epub] ★ Arrow's Flight (Heralds of Valdemar, #2) By Mercedes Lackey ✩ –
  • Paperback
  • 318 pages
  • Arrow's Flight (Heralds of Valdemar, #2)
  • Mercedes Lackey
  • English
  • 20 September 2017
  • 9780886773779

10 thoughts on “Arrow's Flight (Heralds of Valdemar, #2)

  1. says:

    Talia story continues right where the previous book left Our heroine finished her studies and the only thing which stands between her and her acceptance into being a full Herald is one and a half years of internship Basically she has to patrol the borderlands in the north dispensing Queen s justice and helping defend against the raiders During one of very heavy snowfalls Talia is trapped with her mentor Kris in a lone shack in the middle of nowhere The spend most of the book brooding in the said shack.I am sorry if I did not make the description exciting, but this is exactly how this book feels I am trying to avoid using the words boring and snooze fest here I compared the first book of the series to that of Harry Potter To continue the comparison, this one reads like Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, but without anything remotely exciting happening in other words, almost 200 of pages of pure angst.Talia s character development was set back I thought she finally overcame her insecurities by the end of the first book, but they are back with a vengeance She broods A lot.Kris plays a major role in here He was a shadow of a character to begin with and he remains such If somebody asks me to recall anything outstanding about him, I could only come up with him being outrageously handsome He broods A lot.This book can be used as an example of the Middle Book of a Trilogy syndrome Before I read it I used Mistborn for such an example, but this one is much better I rated it with 3 stars, but this is on the low side of 3 star range The final book shows the signs of improvement, so I keep my hopes up.This review is a copy paste of my LeafMarks one

  2. says:

    Yea, though I walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Book 2This is not the first 2nd book of a trilogy I ve read to suffer from dark gloomy valley of emotional despair syndrome 1st books are about beginnings, new things and getting to know characters 3rd books are about resolutions and endings Middle books are about slogging through.Do they have to be I m not so sure, but I also don t know if I ve read enough to give an accurate judgment What I DO know is I did not enjoy this second book nearly as much as I enjoyed the first.Positively, I still think the flow of the writing is pleasant, and the pace of world building enjoyable Negatively though, I feel like the minor flaws of the first book have grown to cause greater problems in the second Plot related challenges to the characters crop up quickly, and just as quickly are put to rest for example, the problem of Elspeth not yet having been Chosen and thus her status as Heir in flux was brought up with grave seriousness, and then resolved in the space of ten pages Moreover, the narrative contradicts itself in her Companion Gwena s status one sentence she is stated as Grove born, and then a few later it is recalled that she was just a shyer member of the Companion herd Also At the end of the book, when the narrative explains extensively to the reader about the two stages of the Truth Spell All well and good, except this is the SECOND time we the readers see the The Truth Spell in action After NOT explaining the two stages and just assuming that the reader remembers Book 1 s explanation the FIRST time, not only was it confusing to suddenly find the exposition, but it felt demeaning I am not an absent minded reader, and I did not forget between that last time Talia used the Truth Spell and this one Oh, and the book just assumes the reader knows why Kris can t use the second level of the spell but Talia can and that s not explained in either Truth Spell Usage plot point I m guessing it has to do with the sort of Gift he has, but I COULD HAVE SWORN exposition in the first book placed The Truth Spell as something all Heralds could do to all levels The vague and impersonal statement of Oh there are Court Intrigues returns full force, only this time Talia is taken away from those intrigues further as she rides circuit And then suddenly, for no apparent reason, her shields collapse because of a few poked questions concerning her gift She was so confidently in control of her gift at the end of Book 1 that the disintegration of her control seemed not only out of character, it did not logically make sense She was amongst THRONGS of people in the capital, and she was exposed to far than just the Collegium s set of relatively stable minds Moreover, why had she not discovered or picked up on those rumors while she was in the capital from her Empathy Moreover over, when Talia is taught to shield in Book 1, the event happens within a paragraph and sounds unbelievably easy Especially because Talia moves through a number of wild emotions throughout the rest of Book 1, and her shields do not waver much Is it because she is at the Collegium that her shields do not fail before her circuit ride If so, it would be beneficial to the narrative to say so, because as it is right now the collapse of Talia s mind feels very fabricated.The circuit riding itself feels like one long rabbit trail to the whole of the story so far, especially with how unbalanced it is we spend a large part of the narrative sitting with Talia and Kris snowed into their Waystation for chapter upon chapter, and then we watch as they resolve far interesting village life events in a handful of pages each This was the very definition of slogging through long periods of emotionally unpleasant periods for the characters, and I m sadly surprised to find it after Book 1 felt so warm and radiantly comforting in mood I understand from an objective point of view that this is the classic cocooning process of character development, the sinking them to depths of hardship before elevating them back up as better people, but after seeing so many narrative choices made in Book 1 in the name of giving the reader a sense of comfort and enjoyment, not to mention many a glossing over of similar emotional growth trends in characters cf Talia s growing acceptance of others into her life during her education as a Gray, Elspeth s change from Brat to kind girl to suddenly decide to write in painful detail this strange emotional shattering feels betrayingly out of step with the previous storytelling And to hold the reader s head in it for over half the book We are dancing now with issues of making narrative choices between readerly enjoyment and being true to life in character growth I would not object so much to the affair, except that so many choices previously have obviously been made in favor of the idealizing the fantasy instead of being realistic Just take a minute to examine any character presented so far, and it s easy to see the stark strokes they are painted in, either Good or Bad I would be hard pressed to call any of them true to life or realistic , but because it s easy to figure out who is good and who is bad, the story is idyllic that to send Talia into this dark emotional valley to slowly climb her way out feels completely out of step with everyone else All the so because she feels like the only character in the book changing The narrative has narrowed immensely to focus almost exclusively on Talia and Kris, with a few minor players here and there, and though Kris plays a huge part in it all he merely plays the role of rock to cling to instead of taking on any growth himself He certainly helps Talia in her struggles, but does he struggle himself His character seems or less the same at the beginning and at the end, just closer in friendship to Talia And as for Talia herself, because the emotional spiral felt so fabricated to start with, unfortunately it never felt triumphantly resolved at the end either The fact that, despite always being under stress and tension because of her shields, she is written with an unwaveringly calm public face I think contributes to this, not to mention the disconcordance with how easily and powerfully she used her Gift in the previous book Though I can certainly relate empathize with the feeling of having to put on a strong face in situations when I am in emotional turmoil underneath, I felt like I had lost empathy with the actual character of Talia because my willing suspension of disbelief about how her Gift and shields were working had been broken Oh, and what about Rolan The first book describes him as an emotional refuge and haven, one that Talia ran to often and took shelter in Where was he in all this emotional struggle Did he suddenly lose his ability to provide comfort and love to her Book 1 establishes Companions as hugely supportive to their Heralds, and I saw very little of that in Book 2, to the point where my believe suspension again was broken.Also, something must be said concerning the floating 3rd person writing style I don t recall it ever happening in Book 1, and though it only happened in Book 2 with jumps between Talia and Kris mid scene there were in both books POV jumps from scene to scene, but nothing WITHIN the scenes , it happened QUITE A BIT From some research, it seems the jury is still out on the correctness of writing in this manner, but I contend, at least from what was presented in this book, that it had a narratively weakening effect I had heard Lackey often used this Head Hopping writing style, and I ve heard Steven King uses it as well, two successful authors, so who s going to argue with that But I maintain that to switch heads mid scene means to have to switch bundles of thoughts and emotions, which is flow distruptive It bothered me to no end to be jumping back and forth between them mid scene, often having to backtrack to figure out whose head I was in at the moment to then figure out what THEIR pre existing knowledge conditions were And OFTEN, the emotions were just similar enough that the characters muddled together in my head despite trying to keep them separate it was hard to separate Talia and Kris after awhile, especially with how long it was just the two of them in that Waystation On one hand, I can at least say hey, nice piece of symbolic writing oh, except for the fact that they re not supposed to be life mates, so they shouldn t necessarily be blurring together into one general character And second, if their characters DID end up just running together, that does not say much for the character defining work put into them.Generally speaking, I also saw some dismaying signs of what I disliked so much in The Obsidian Trilogy beginning to appear a marked tendency to attempt dramatic irony that falls flat, a feeling of fabrication of issues, and a mishandling of climactic moments Okay, seriously, those two messenger heralds at the end How much stilted in terms of forcing the plot can you get You realize you just punished him, Talia Yes, and I would do it again Well okay then Kudos Glad you two could suddenly appear for a dialogue line or two in order to vindicate Talia and then JUST VANISH I might not be so disappointed with Book 2 if it weren t for how Book 1 really seemed so different from The Obsidian Trilogy stuff, far removed and not making the same mistakes Also too, a definite feeling of some long term goal , in this case shepherding Elspeth through Court Intrigues It feels very much like a meaningless buzzword phrase at this point to becoming true Heir and eventual ruler, which then disappears into the background for hugely long periods of time while Talia s journey to become properly trained as a Herald in order to do that meanders on for years I fear for the final book is going wrap up the Court Intrigues Plot A very suddenly and shortly, and only when the nested Plot B of Talia s Herald Training is, further meanderingly, resolved though I hope I m wrong.So, in sum, Book 2 was disappointing Not necessarily on its own merit, but rather when set next to its predecessor, its flaws become obvious and sad Book 1 was SO GOOD at stretching willing suspension of disbelief without breaking it Book 2 did not manage the same level of finesse The increasing contradictions in world building or scene building logic were frustrating, and further tore at the believability of the narrative Finally, the long drawn out unpleasant descent into Talia s emotional psyche felt claustrophobic and suffocating in its true to life ness to an audience who in Book 1 had grown used to the narrative making choices that instead idealized the fantasy Then, there were so few characters in Book 2, and those that were there presented simply, without real complexity Finally, Narrative flow was at times difficult to follow due to the head hopping, and the pace swung between relentless meandering and sudden stutters of OHTHERE SAPROBLEMYAYWEFIXEDIT I do hope the 3rd book redeems the series for me.

  3. says:

    If you love Tamora Pierces Lioness you will l think you will love Talia just as much as me.Talias beginning in book one was heartbreaking and its so good to see Talia grow into herself and her own power I loved also how it is normal for Heralds to be women, and how the women Talia surround herself with are so different from her You dont need to be one type of woman to be strong and powerful.I loved to see Elspeths continuing growth and her attitude change is great from book one.Also how Talias gift is percieved from other people and how it makes life so much harder I just have to say that Rolan is great and can I please get an animal like him I would highly recommend this series to anyone that are a fan of Maria V Snyder and Tamora Pierce Great worldbuilding Great friendships.

  4. says:

    When Arrow s Fight begins, it is immediately apparent that the style of this novel will be different than its predecessor Lackey has given the reader most of the background they need on Heralds We re no longer learning about who they are and what they do in an scholastic setting or being explained to as Talia processes this information Instead, we are learning through Talia s experiences I am thankful that this book is character focused Not that Arrows of the Queen wasn t focused on characters, but this plot focused on internal development of Talia than anything else.Before I dig into the meat of this story, and Talia s development, can I just take a moment to say that Kris and Dirk might be one of my favorite bromances in all of literature Lackey nailed both of their personalities clearly while giving them an incredible brotherly dynamic Their endless teasing in the first few chapters sold me immediately I am in love with them both It s a pity we spent so little time with both of these characters together I really hope Arrow s Fall gives us time with Kris and Dirk Arrow s Flight focuses on Talia s emotional and internal development These flaws are at the fore for us to explore Many of these are a continuation of the flaws we explored in Arrows of the Queen, such as Talia s inability to ask for assistance Talia s power and confidence have been significantly set back from the woman she grew into at the Collegium While I found this focus compelling, it also made for some challenging reading Arrow s Flight definitely suffers from middle book syndrome The tension and drama in Arrows Flight would have been a lot less dramatic if Talia had just TALKED to people I get it, I get it She s 19, this is tied to her character flaws, etc etc etc But I struggle with plots which could be easily resolved with adults having discussions There are certainly many physical things which push forward the plot and create drama bandits, plague, life threatening snowstorms, etc But as far as the difficult questions this book is truly exploring, the drama all comes from Talia s silence and internal debate Arrows Flight has a weaker hook than book 1 and clearly suffers from middle book syndrome But it s clear to me that Lackey is on her way to developing a strong voice in the fantasy genre She s brought to much to the table for Talia and the Heralds of Valdemar I am looking forward to seeing how Talia s story concludes and continuing my adventures in Valdemar

  5. says:

    Oh dear Oh my Oh dear What am I going to do with you To say I was a disappointed with this book would be an understatement I was ready to two star this, but, I had to concede that it wasn t a bad book It just had a lot of bad elements to it and it could have been so Much Better The long and short of it, is that this book suffers heavily from middle book syndrome The second in a trilogy with only a few key things that need to happen and a lot of the rest feels like just filler.It occurred to me that Lackey actually reminds me of Rowling in that she s great at world building and creating characters, but she sucks at romantic subplots or sexuality It bothered me in the first book a little, but because the romantic sexual subplot takes up such a big portion of this book, it kind of ruined it for me It doesn t help that the other big subplot is poorly executed as well If it wasn t for the overall world of Valdemar that I love and the strong beginning and reasonably strong finish to this book, I would have had to two star it and that would have made me very sad Because pretty much all of my complaints are plot related, I m going to have to spoiler cloak most of it What I can reveal without spoiling too much, I think, is that one subplot that bothered me was Talia s struggle with her powers Now the idea is definitely not bad in and of itself, especially seeing as she s the only known Herald with these powers But the way it was implemented was poor Rather than troubles developing as her powers grown, it is suddenly revealed that in five years of Collegium training, she was never even been taught the bare basics of controlling these powers Really Most important Herald trainee in I don t know how long and nobody bothered to check up on her mental powers When her mentor discovers this, he tells her to hide her lack of control as it would scare people and ruin the name of the Heralds and the Collegium I agree with that assessment and that is because the Collegium done fucked up and as much as I love her Talia shouldn t be out in the field like this and people have good reason to fear her Her mentor then tries to very brutishly whip Talia into shape in the short time that they re on the road, school of hard knocks style, supported in this by Talia s supposedly loving companion Rolan Meh, I didn t care for this, it was lazy, didn t make sense and REALLY should have been dealt with in the first book As I said, this felt like filler.Now we come to the thing that really ruined things for me and even caused me to put the book down and read something else for a few days as I found myself getting far too wound up about it the huge, horrible and absolutely unnecessary romantic subplot Sit tight, this is a big rant view spoiler So in the first book we had some romantic feelings between Talia and Skif that I didn t like because they seemed better suited as friends than lovers and Lackey eventually indeed let it play out that way I was a bit annoyed because why can t men and women have a strong bond without there having to be a sexual or romantic component Little did I know, things were about to get much, much worse So the book starts off with a strange case of instalove between Talia and Dirk Like most readers, I don t like instalove, but I was willing to put up with it because I did ship the two of them They seemed to have very matching characters and looked like a good fit for each other It s funny how Lackey actually tries to defend her instalove plotline by explaining how that is something that is typical for Heralds, but in the process she ends up really cheapening the bond Making it almost seem like a compulsion than a choice Hardly romantic at all.But this was still ok with me, wasn t really interfering with the plot or anything But then Talia has to go on her first circuit ride, her last test before becoming a true, full Herald, and her appointed mentor is Kris, Dirk s strikingly handsome best friend They get snowed in together for about a month and out of nowhere, they start a sexual relationship with each other The first time they had sex which was Talia s first time all together literally came out of nowhere and I was so upset I had to put the book down and read a few chapters of LOTR just so I could calm down enough to get to sleep I mean, what the hell I couldn t be against this pairing if I tried Now technically Kris and Talia aren t in love, they re justwellfuck buddies Though Lackey prefers to term it friends lovers Puhlease I m guessing what she was going for was giving a female character a sexual relationship that wasn t about love and babies as is usually the case in this genre and indeed I ve seen her praised for that by other readers But I never condone a political or moral statement, even one I agree with, when it goes against the grain of the story you re telling and basically makes no sense I cringed every single time these two got together as there is a very long list as to why they shouldn t First off, it simply doesn t make sense This might be because Lackey has a bad tendency to tell rather than show when it comes to relationships She tells us that Kris and Talia form a strong bond Almost sibling like yeah right , but it doesn t show They re usually arguing or uncomfortable around each other, mostly because of Talia s Gift and Kris s poor handling of it as her mentor I actually cringed a little when he made a sexual joke towards Talia and I felt it go a bit against Talia s character to take it in stride rather than be embarrassed about it So finding that already awkward, you can imagine how I felt when they were actually having sex I mean there was no build up to this or hardly any She has an episode, he holds her, leans in to give her a brotherly kiss and suddenly they end up having sex Let me tell you, I have three sisters, I have never given them a kiss that could possibly, in any way, shape or form lead to that This really made me dislike the characters There is no restraint whatsoever This is especially strange for Talia who has actually held back in spite of opportunities for five years and now all of a sudden she decides to go for itwith the best friend of the guy she s in love with makes me wish that her first would have actually been with Skif after all It gets worse when you realise that Dirk has suffered a lot as being in the shadow of his handsome best friend as far as women are concerned He was elated when Talia proclaimed that she wasn t tempted by handsome features and that there wasn t much danger of her and Kris being out in the field alone Nice one, Talia Right now, I feel that Dirk is just way too good for you.Kris is even worse Whilst Talia may not have known exactly how much Dirk has suffered under women choosing Kris over him, he does and he knows full well just how much his best friend is into this girl and he STILL decides to sleep with her What a douche He even keeps calling her little bird which is a nickname Dirk uses to refer to her This just creeps me out The fact that he s actually taking her virginity makes it only feel all the worse And he s her mentor for gods sake She a young teenage woman under his responsibility, show some fucking restraint already Now I could have forgiven this if it was just a spur of the moment kind of thing, but no There is no guilt, no second guessing, they just go right on fucking for the rest of the book I also could have forgiven this is Kris was perhaps in love with Talia, or Talia maybe started to doubt her feelings for Dirk or something, but again no, he just fancies her sexually and as a friend and so does she I mean, they even talk about Dirk and what a great couple he and Talia could make in between their sex sessions I could not believe what I was reading, not once did either of them think I don t know, maybe we shouldn t be doing this, neither of us needs it that badly, this could really complicate things and it might really hurt a person we both care a great deal about Not once How self centred and shallow are these people Just when I thought this whole situation couldn t get worse, it did It finally occurs to them think critically about their relationship, because neither of them is in love and they re afraid the other one might be You d think this might be a good point to stop having sex and maybe talk to each other Forget it, let s just ignore the problem and keep having sex Eventually Dirk sends them a gift which reminds them of the possible life bond he and Talia might share, because we are already talking about it like that besides the fact that she s currently in a sexual relationship with another man and hasn t had a single romantic moment with Dirk This finally triggers Kris to talk to Talia about how she might be feeling for him than he for her and she responds by getting angry and literally knocking him out This is them followed by a naked chase in a lake until she calms down and then she proceeds to have sex with him again I couldn t believe what I was reading at that point and this is where I put the book down and didn t come back to it again until I had calmed down a few days Lackey tries to play this off as just a friends with benefits type of deal but fails miserably as the two start acting lovey dovey around each other, calling one another things like Love and Dearheart and whatnot If she wanted to write an actual romantic subplot she either should have left the attraction to Dirk out of it all together or have had the latter be Talia s mentor and have an actual love story This lukewarm, very wrong, in between just ruined things for me She also tries to paint it off as no big deal Casual sex between strangers or acquaintances may be a thing, but sex between friends is often than not very messy and should not be entered into on a whim and having sex with your crush s best friend your best friend s crush is ALWAYS going to be problematic This is what bothered me the most about all of it, I think Literally at no point in the novel does Lackey make it seem that what Talia and Kris are doing might be wrong or ill advised, while I can give a very long list of why it is hide spoiler

  6. says:

    Talia has problems with her empathy in this book, which I liked because everything within her own power seemed to come far to easily in the first novel Two people of opposite sex are snowed in on the road, make out, and it does not lead to everlasting love and babies I really like Lackey s style.2017 Reread Update The little touches really make this story last the test of time where other genre fiction from the time often seems dated Abortion is absolutely a reasonable option for a rape victim Having sex is not the end all be all of a relationship Sex work is problem, but not a moral deficit on the part of the woman Rape is not sex And there are a hundred other issues that have nothing at all to do with sex, which a circuit judge has to deal with, woman or not My favorite judgment continues to be when Talia sees past the dispute brought to her by two plaintiffs and points out a serious underlying issue that no one asked her to deal with This is very obviously the second book in a trilogy, but that is no bad thing It s an important part of Talia s journey I highly recommend the world of Valdemar, but definitely start this set of books with Arrows of the Queen.

  7. says:

    Probably closer to 3.5 stars but rounding up I enjoyed it, but not as much as Arrows of the Queen I recently learned that the trilogy was originally written as one book and split into three it makes the stopping points make sense I think this one moved a little slowly than the first one, but it dealt with interesting topics Onto the third

  8. says:

    I m tired of having to struggle for what seems to come easily to everyone else.I started this book than a month ago, but only got about 20 pages in before I was absorbed in something else I picked it up again today, and started again from the beginning.I enjoyed reading it, but it felt a bit like both too little and too much happened over the course of about 300 pages There was some interesting character development, and I continue to like Talia as a protagonist, but there was very little urgency to the plot at any point I m still planning to read the next book, which I ve heard is a good conclusion to the trilogy.

  9. says:

    Finally continuing on the Heralds books Interesting though choppy book with some highs and lows, but probably enough to get me to read the last one

  10. says:

    This was a very frustrating read, enough so that I gave up partway through Given the enjoyment I got from the first book in the series, it was very disappointing Why Where to beginlet s try making a list 1 One of the things I enjoyed most about book 1, Arrows of the Queen, was Talia s growth from an abused, repressed child to a confident, wise beyond her years Herald For this installment in the series, the author undoes all of Talia s emotional growth and reverts her back to that insecure, hesitating child All because of some court rumours Seriously As soon as Talia finds out about the rumours, the bulk of the narrative becomes focused on her lack of confidence and internal processing of her self doubt It was rather tedious after a while.2 The fact the Kris so easily doubts Talia s ability to control her gift is highly questionable to me, given that so much emphasis is placed on the inerrancy of a Companion s choice Ronan chose Talia to be the Queen s Own According to every single character we ve met in this world, the Companions never make mistakes Everyone apparently knows and accepts this as a truth they ve based their entire system of government on it And yet Kris, who is surely at least somewhat aware of his uncle s political aspirations, immediately and continuously doubts Talia based on a question from his uncle regarding her character What 3 I cannot stand a plot that only works if the characters don t talk to each other If Talia had just once mentioned to Kris all the doubts she was now having, or if Kris had just once pushed her a bit to find out what was wrong, or spoken to her about his own doubts, instead of repressing and dancing around the issue, this book would have been over by chapter 4 Incredibly frustrating.Maybe the book picks up in the latter half, but the pacing would have to be incredibly fast for anything significant to happen beyond getting Talia back to where she was at the end of book 1 Oh well I may try to find a synopsis and then skip ahead to book 3, as I really do enjoy the world of the series and kind of want to see where it goes Hopefully things will improve.

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