Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Arrow's Fall - Mercedes Lackey

Arrow's Fall - Mercedes Lackey
Arrow's Fall (Heralds of Valdemar Vol. 3)
Mercedes Lackey
DAW Books
Copyright: 1988
978-0886774004

The amazon.com product description:
With Elspeth, the heir to the throne of Valdemar, come of marriageable age, Talia, the Queen's Own Herald returns to court to find Queen and heir beset by diplomatic intrigue as various forces vie for control of Elspeth's future.
But just as Talia is about to uncover the traitor behind all these intrigues, she is sent off on a mission to the neighboring kingdom, chosen by the Queen to investigate the worth of a marriage proposal from Prince Ancar.
The back cover blurb:
Valdemar's Peril!

With Elspeth, the heir to the throne of Valdemar, come of marriageable age, Talia, the Queen's Own Herald returns to court to find Queen and heir beset by diplomatic intrigue as various forces vie for control of Elspeth's future.
But just as Talia is about to uncover the traitor behind all these intrigues, she is sent off on a mission to the neighboring kingdom, chosen by the Queen to investigate the worth of a marriage proposal from Prince Ancar. And, to her horror, Talia soon discovers there is far more going on at Prince Ancar's court than just preparation for a hoped-for royal wedding. For a different magic than that of the Heralds is loose in Ancar's realm - an evil and ancient sorcery that may destroy all of Valdemar unless Talia can send warning to her Queen in time.
This is the third book in the Heralds of Valdemar Trilogy, following on Arrows of the Queen and Arrow's Flight, and all I can say on finishing it right now is WOW! This was a re-read, and even knowing the story ahead of time, I found myself absolutely racing through the book, more or less in just over a day.

Talia is only just barely back from a very eventful internship (as told in Arrow's Flight) when she is plunged right back into the court intrigues with news of a proposed royal wedding between Elspeth, the heir to the throne of Valdemar and Prince Ancar of the neighboring kingdom of Hardorn. Most of the Queen's councilors are all for the proposed union, but Elspeth is less than happy with the idea, and the Queen herself has doubts.

Add to all this Talia's personal problems and you've got a potent mix. There's quite a few moments here that knowing the story and also knowing about the later written books in the series just make better. And quite a few loose ends that you don't even realize are loose until they're tied up in this book. Or, at least you think they're tied up.

A lot of the story is personal interactions between the characters - sometimes how a simple misinterpretation can have dramatic results.

One of the neat things in the early Mercedes Lackey books are is the section of songs at the end: Arrow's Fall and Magic's Price both have them, and there were even cds made with the songs and music. The one for the Heralds of Valdemar was called Heralds, Harpers and Havoc. It's now more or less unavailable, but I'd love to hear opinions of it from anyone who's heard the music.

I really enjoyed this re-read of all three of the books and I'm looking forward to continuing my read through of Mercedes Lackey's books for my Valdemar Reading Challenge. Arrow's Fall was also read for the Hardcore Re-Reading Challenge.
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