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Topic: Help with starting Mercedes Lackay

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Subject: Help with starting Mercedes Lackay
Date Posted: 7/17/2009 10:42 AM ET
Member Since: 10/2/2007
Posts: 1,008
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I have Vows and Honor 1-3  The Oathbound, Oathbreakers and Oathblood.

I also have Heralds of Valdemar 1-3 Arrows of the Queen, Arrow's Flight and Arrow's Fall.

I also have By the Sword (Kerowyn's Tale).

Where is a good place to start? Do you have a better suggestion for trying this author? These will be my first foray into Lackay and I would like to do it right, I guess!

Date Posted: 7/17/2009 12:12 PM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2009
Posts: 1,564
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I read some of these years ago but honestly don't remember much about them, so I'm trying to slowly get them all again.  I found this list of suggested reading order that I will probably use since I don't know any different, lol.


Date Posted: 7/17/2009 12:39 PM ET
Member Since: 12/14/2005
Posts: 26
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If you want to read them chronologically, check out the wikipedia page for Mercedes Lackey- it tells which ones are prequels, etc. Very helpful- the books weren't written in "order", so it can get a little confusing trying to decide what order read them in. Her website breaks them down too, but not as detailed. Here's the list I'm using (I'm about 1/2 way- yay!)

The Black Gryphon ,The White Gryphon,The Silver Gryphon

Magic's Pawn,  Magic's Promise, Magic's Price

Brightly Burning

The Oathbound , Oathbreakers, Oathblood

Exile's Honor, Exile's Valor, Take A Thief

Arrows of the Queen, Arrow's Flight, Arrow's Fall

By the Sword

Winds of Fate, Winds of Change, Winds of Fury

Storm Warning, Storm Rising, Storm Breaking

Owlflight, Owlsight, Owlknight

Of course, you don't have to read them in order- some series you may want to skip (like the pre-history books). I just think it's fun to see how the "worlds" progress throught time. And then there are all her other series. . . :)

Hope this helps!

Date Posted: 7/17/2009 12:42 PM ET
Member Since: 7/8/2005
Posts: 1,010
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She is one of my favorite authors.  I would start with Arrows of the Queen.  Besides her Valdermar series, her Elemental series is good.  Retelling of fairy tales with magical elements.  Wizard of London is excellent. 

Date Posted: 7/17/2009 1:13 PM ET
Member Since: 10/2/2007
Posts: 1,008
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Thanks for the info everyone!

Michelle - I don't know if I'm gonna trust you - I tried Megan Whalen Turner because of your rec's on this board and now I keep re-reading them!

Edited to fix spelling

Last Edited on: 7/17/09 1:14 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/17/2009 7:56 PM ET
Member Since: 7/8/2005
Posts: 1,010
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Ooh, good another Megan Whalen Turner fan/convert.  I swear her books are so addicting.  She is working on book #4-which is supposed to come out sometime next year.  You need to see if you can find the audioversions too.  The King of Attolia version is fantastic-I love Costis.


Date Posted: 7/18/2009 4:15 AM ET
Member Since: 1/19/2008
Posts: 14,818
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i would *highly* recommend starting with Heralds of Valdemar 1-3 Arrows of the Queen, Arrow's Flight and Arrow's Fall.  the first one there lays out Valdemar for a main character who doesn't know how any of it works - so we get it all too.  i think the first time through it's better to read the various Valdemar trilogies in roughly published order.  on re-reads i will usually do chronological order.

By the Sword kind of goes after the Arrows trilogy, but i think that one makes a little more sense if you've read the Oath books first.  so with what you already have, i'd read Arrows, then Oaths, then By the Sword.

after that, i'd probably go for the Magic set next, then Winds and Storm.  i can re-read just the Arrows trilogy occasionally, but if i read Winds i always have to read Storm as well.  but the Gryphon books were published during the same timeframe as the Storm books, and they do tie together somewhat, so i'm not sure which trilogy there is better to read first for the first time through.

Date Posted: 7/18/2009 11:08 AM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2008
Posts: 167
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I'm slightly ahead of you Courtney, I only recently started the Valdemar series. Started with the three Arrow books then By the Sword, from there I've either read the back trilogies or followed the "current" timeline depending on what the library has available. So far I've had no problems following events/people/wars etc. even with all the jumping around. Lackey seems to have done an excellent job laying all the necessary ground work in the first three books. Hope you enjoy this series.

ETA: cool, I've finally hit 100 posts : - )

Last Edited on: 7/18/09 11:09 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/15/2009 12:24 PM ET
Member Since: 8/3/2009
Posts: 55
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I would also recommend the Obsidian Trilogy (The Outstretched Shadow, To Light a Candle, and When Darkness Falls).  I ended up getting a free copy of the first one for my Kindle through a promotion Tor was doing and then had to read the other two.  I guess maybe it's not a true Mercedes Lackey book since she co-wrote it with James Mallory, but they were my first exposure to her and I thought they were great.  Based on this thread I guess there are some other good ones by her I need to check out too!

Date Posted: 9/29/2009 4:38 PM ET
Member Since: 7/13/2009
Posts: 23
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I would recommend her Dragon Jouster series. It is by far my favorite. I thought that it was well written, and it was hard for me to put down. :D

Date Posted: 10/3/2009 12:43 PM ET
Member Since: 11/6/2008
Posts: 187
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When I started reading them (more years ago than I want to admit) I started with "By The Sword".  Then I read Magic's Pawn,  Magic's Promise, and Magic's Price; this set is probably one of my favorite of all of Lackey's Valdemar books.  Then I read Vows and Honor; I think that was the first set published...guess I am not sure.

I haven't read her for a while because I didn't like her Elemental series much, but I recently picked up the first three novels of the "Tales of the 500 Kingdoms".  So, I hope those will be good.  Anyone read those?

Date Posted: 10/5/2009 11:47 AM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2008
Posts: 167
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Hmmm, I've read both the Elemental and the 500 Kingdom series and I felt they had a similar "feel" in that they are both variations of fairy tales, have a very loose story arc running through the series, and include strong (for Lackey) romantic elements. I like the 500 Kingdom series better because it included more humor (mostly of the self mocking variety). I suggest you give the first 500 book a try and if you like it you probably will enjoy the rest of the series (and visa versa). IMO the Valdemar series is more straight fantasy compared to the Elemental and 500 Kingdom series.  Hope this helps.

Date Posted: 10/6/2009 8:06 PM ET
Member Since: 9/29/2009
Posts: 2,551
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I would recommend her Elemental Masters series if you like a bit of romance in your fantasy. One of my all time favorite books by Lackey is If I Pay Thee Not in Gold which she wrote with Piers Anthony. But that has a bit more Anthony than Lackey and gets a tad dull in the middle before picking up again. To Take a Thief is another great book of hers that I think gets overlooked more than it should.

Date Posted: 10/28/2009 3:06 PM ET
Member Since: 2/22/2008
Posts: 913
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I have almost everything she's every written and I have read most of them.  I didn't care for the 500 Kingdom series at all, and listed them on PBS after reading the first one.  I read one of her urban elf series (Chrome Born), and hated that it contained a story line about a father sexually molesting his young daughter.  I was ready to write to Misty about that one.  All of her other books I have enjoyed very much.

If you at all enjoyed If I Pay Thee Not in Gold, try Through the Ice.  It was written by a young teenager who later passed away, and was cleaned up by Piers Anthony.  I was amazed and thrilled that it was such a great book, and that Anthony made only grammatical, spelling, and punctuation changes.  Try it, and I think that you will be well pleased.


Date Posted: 11/4/2009 8:33 AM ET
Member Since: 10/7/2009
Posts: 446
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Lackey is my all-time favorite. I like the "harder" stuff but I always go back to Lackey for a comfort read.  I started with the Arrows books then went on from there, as long as you do each character set in order you should be fine.  I reread them chronologically now,  I tend to reread the whole set every couple of years.  The only time this bugs me is with To Take a Thief, she changes his back story between the Elspeth books and his own.  I understand why but it always makes me take a step back in my head and jolts me out of Valdemar for a minute if you know what I mean.  My favorite set is the Vanyel books but I like the ones with Larry Dixon too, they have a very different feel then the rest. The Vows and Honor ones would have to be next.

The only one of hers I haven't cared much for was Gwenhyfar.  I felt the first half was like reading a Valdemar book (insert Kerowyn or any other warrior woman story here) then the second half was just getting good when it ended. 

Aileene - ,
Date Posted: 11/7/2009 11:56 AM ET
Member Since: 10/30/2009
Posts: 339
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I recently found and read her 'new' book 'Foundation' its set in the valdemar world, but more of a pre-cursor to what she has already written. I was wondering if anyone here knew  when the next book is coming out since it is touted as a series and the first book gave a bit of a cliff hanger.

As for Favorite re-reading order: I like the Arrows of the Queen Series and the Last Herald Mage (depending on my mood these are interchangable for which series I read first) My other favorite series is her Oath and Vows, with Tamra and Kethry, I especially like the last book/story in that series, but I think you need to read all the other stories (Kethry/Tamra that is) to 'get' the full impact of it.



p.s. This makes me want to have my husband go up to the attic and bring the box with those books down (too many books and not enough room on the shelves lol)