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Topic: Mercedes Lakey question

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Subject: Mercedes Lakey question
Date Posted: 4/9/2009 1:22 AM ET
Member Since: 4/16/2008
Posts: 576
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I'm very new to fantasy - well, let's say unexperienced because I have read fantasy books since I was young...though mainly just re-read the few I had and liked.

My question is basically what do people who read a lot of fantasy think of Mercedes Lackey. I read The Black Griffon (I think that was the name) about a million times when I was in middle school.  I remember really loving it and I've been looking for it again and can't find it at my local B&N....but while I was searching I noticed that she's written a TON of books. When I see an author that has a bajillion I immediately think of people like Jodi Picoult, Danielle Steel, and Nora Roberts - authors who I don't particularly have anything against but I don't necessarily equate them with quality.  They are authors who I feel like if I've read one of their books, then I've read them all. Is Mercedes Lackey like that?

I'm also terribly lost in the fantasy section.  I just bought A Wizard f Earthsea  by Ursula Le Guin....I'm hoping I picked a good one lol. What are some great series that I can get into? Keep in mind I LOVED the Griffin one...so maybe something like that?

Date Posted: 4/9/2009 4:22 AM ET
Member Since: 1/19/2008
Posts: 14,812
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Mercedes Lackey is one of my favorite fantasy authors.  i've liked just about everything she's written solo, and a lot of things she's been co-author on.

but if you liked The Black Gryphon, did you read the rest of the Mage Wars trilogy?  (and The Black Gryphon is in the system here.)

after that, i'd go with the other books set in the same world - but *much* later.  there are a variety of trilogies within the larger Valdemar universe, so i'd go next with the set that starts with Arrows of the Queen (Heralds of Valdemar, Bk 1) then try to read the remaining sets in the general order they were published in - Vows and Honor, Last Herald-Mage, etc.  i believe most of the Valedemar books, except the newest ones, are available in the system.

i'm also fond of her series that begins with Joust (Dragon Jousters, Bk 1)

Date Posted: 4/9/2009 9:00 AM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2009
Posts: 1,564
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I haven't read all of them, but years ago read a couple of the valdemar trilogies and loved them. 

Date Posted: 4/9/2009 11:26 AM ET
Member Since: 7/8/2005
Posts: 1,010
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I love her books.  Her Elemental series is good also-it deals with fantasy retelling of fairy tales.  Her Valdemar series is also excellent.  Also her Joust series is especially good-deals with dragons in an Ancient Egyptian like setting.

Date Posted: 4/9/2009 11:47 AM ET
Member Since: 3/28/2009
Posts: 441
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I would NEVER dream of comparing Ms. Lackey to Nora Roberts - but I don't want to start a fight, so I'll just say: the worlds that are in Mercedes Lackey's books and series are so rich and fully imagined from the start, that it is perhaps easy for her to create new stories / books within those worlds? Like Valdemar, for example - 20+ books within that 'country'/myth. Or 19th century England - Elemental Masters. The most recent series has definitely been 'lighter' - the 500 Kingdoms - but I have really enjoyed them, too. Get reading! I don't think you'll be disappointed that they don't live up to your memories - I had the same experience with Raymond Feist and the Pug books. I read them in my teens and just 'rediscovered' them as an adult (35 - so 20 years' difference in my perspective) and am enjoying them as much if not more than before!  And FYI - I have the White gryphon and the other Gryphon books and LOTS of other Lackey ready to post in a few days, check out my shelf!

Date Posted: 4/9/2009 10:19 PM ET
Member Since: 11/23/2008
Posts: 453
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Mercedes Lackey is one of my favorites as well. I love almost everything. If you want some specific suggestions feel free to PM me. Dolly

Date Posted: 4/10/2009 11:17 AM ET
Member Since: 7/8/2005
Posts: 1,010
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Hey about the Nora Roberts comments, she is good too.  Her In Death series (J.D. Robb) is about a futuristic cop in New York city has wonderful world building and is awesome.   But different strokes for different folks.



Matt C. (mattc) - ,
Date Posted: 4/10/2009 7:15 PM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2008
Posts: 3,849
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I have to say I was surprised to see how many of Mercedes Lackey's books are carried by the local bookstores...but I think this has more to do with how popular she remains, not how prolific she is.  Some authors might have fifty or even a hundred published novels, but the bookstore will only carry a few of the more recent/better selling ones.   Mercedes Lackey is different, and I have an example.  I collect DAW published books (which includes nearly all of Lackey's books).  I have close to 600 titles.  I believe more than half of my collection is first editions, and almost none are 4th print or higher.  Right now I am reading the second Valdemar book, Arrow's Flight published in 1987.  It is a SIXTEENTH printing.  I don't think that many print runs have been necessary with any other DAW author.  It's the same for her other books.  I just picked up two other Lackey books at random...15th and 7th printings respectively.  A C.J. Cherryh that happens to be next to me?  First edition.  Another random check with the closest ten DAW books?  Nine first editions and one second.  Dead serious.

Date Posted: 4/12/2009 4:42 PM ET
Member Since: 4/16/2008
Posts: 576
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oh wow! thanks for the suggestions.  I did read the Gryphon triology.  Though the only one I owned was the Black Gryphon.  I might have to start getting them again. :)

oh and the Nora Roberts comment was mearly an example of how my mind works when I see that an author has written a bajillion things.  :) I've not actually read Nora Roberts...but I have read Jodi Picoult and don't so much love her.  I probably shouldn't judge Nora though until I've read her.  But that's where my  mind goes lol

thanks again everyone. I'm going to have to pick up some of your suggestions.

Date Posted: 4/13/2009 12:34 AM ET
Member Since: 1/31/2009
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You really can't go wrong with the Le Guin. It is a series if you like it as much as most others do.
Date Posted: 4/16/2009 11:27 AM ET
Member Since: 12/29/2008
Posts: 6,386
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I second (or more like fifteenth?) all the recommendations for Mercedes Lackey.  I really love the Valdemar series, expecially the Last Herald Mage (Magic's Pawn, Magic's Promise, Magic's Price) and the series with Talia (Arrow's of the Queen, Arrow's Flight, Arrow's Fall) and the oathbound (Oathbound, Oathbreakers), and I also like the stand-alone books from the same world (Brightly Burning, By the Sword - which is my complete favorite).  I've reread them a number of times.  But I never got that into the next sets of them, and I read the Joust series and while I loved the first two I was not such a fan of the last two.  That's just me.  I'm amazed at what Matt said about how many reprintings of her books there have been.

LeGuin is great, and definitely a classic.  I've recommended other times here but I'll do so again - I love everything by Guy Gavriel Kay, especially the Fionavarr trilogy (Summer Tree, Wandering Fire, Farthest Shore).  Talk about interesting characters and complex, well-thought-out worlds - I love him.