Magic's Pawn - Last Herald Mage, Bk 1 Author:Mercedes Lackey Though Vanyel has been born with near-legendary abilites to work both Herald and Mage magic, he wants no part of such things. Nor does he seek a warrior's path, wishing instead to become a Bard. Yet such talent as his, if left untrained, may prove a menace not only to Vanyel by to others a well. So he is sent to be fostered with his aunt, Savil,... more » one of the most famed Herald-Mages of Valdemar.
But strong willed and self centered, Vanyel is a challenge which even Savil can not 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 have already grown beyond anyone's ability to contain, placing Vanyel, Savil, and Valdemar itself in desperate peril.« less
I would have to say the 3 books of this trilogy are the best books Mercedes Lackey has ever written. These were the first books I read by her and i've read them over 150 times. I reread them at least once a year and sometimes more. I would highly recommend them to anyone. Vanyel just touches you heart and his story won't let you go. I would post my paperback copies on here as I finally obtained an omnibus hardcover copy but they are well loved and spine creased so bad you can no longer read the title.
Vanyel's disdain for swordsmanship earns him an unexpected exile--at the High Court of Valdemar under the guardianship of his stern and implacable Aunt Savil, one of the legendary Herald-Mages. A young man's painful discovery of his own immense talents and his true nature form the core of this richly detailed fantasy, the first in a new series set in the same world as "The Heroes of Valdemar."
I don't normally like Mercedes Lackey books. I'm not certain why, but most of her stories leave me cold, and I forget about them shortly after I close the cover of the book. But Magic's Pawn is different.
I truly care about Vanyel Ashkevron, the main character of this series. He is handsome and proud and arrogant and lonely and desperate and scared and insecure, all at once. There are moments in the story when I wish he would be a little less insecure and chin up, but those moments are rare. Mostly, we see Vanyel develop his talents and discover his true identity while identifying with him and cheering him on to each new phase in his development.
The magic/fantasy world of Magic's Pawn is typical Lackey, serviceable but forgettable. The main plotline is likewise not particularly memorable but merely serves to display Vanyel's thoughts and emotions. The main selling point of this series is the complex character interactions and Vanyel is the star. Other characters pale in comparison, especially the seemingly unnecessary Companions.
I will continue to Magic's Promise, the next book in the series, to see if Lackey can keep me interested in Vanyel's future trials and tribulations.
This book is an emotional roller coaster in the best possible way. Vanyel, the protagonist in this series, is easily relatable and had me cheering and crying out loud for him. There is a lot of action and drama that keeps the pages turning.
Every time I read this trilogy, it brings me to tears. But in a good way, really. Obviously, I remembered just about everything from the many, many, many times I have read these books before. But they're still very exciting and fun to re-read - like watching a favorite movie until the tape wears out. The romance is fun too. I'm looking forward to finishing this trilogy, because of the fun of reading it. I like it much more than the "The Mage Wars" trilogy... only the Talia books are better, in my opinion... and maybe not even those because I like Savil so much.