Sunday, September 3, 2017

Arrows of the Queen - Mercedes Lackey

Arrows of the Queen - Mercedes LackeyArrows of the Queen
Mercedes Lackey
DAW Books
Copyright Date: 1987

The product description:
Follows the adventures of Talia as she trains to become a Herald of Valdemar in the first book in the classic epic fantasy Arrows trilogy

Chosen by the Companion Rolan, a mystical horse-like being with powers beyond imagining, Talia, once a runaway, has now become a trainee Herald, destined to become one of the Queen’s own elite guard. For Talia has certain awakening talents of the mind that only a Companion like Rolan can truly sense.

But as Talia struggles to master her unique abilities, time is running out. For conspiracy is brewing in Valdemar, a deadly treason that could destroy Queen and kingdom. Opposed by unknown enemies capable of both diabolical magic and treacherous assassination, the Queen must turn to Talia and the Heralds for aid in protecting the realm and insuring the future of the Queen’s heir, a child already in danger of becoming bespelled by the Queen’s own foes. 
The very first Mercedes Lackey I ever read if my memory's not playing tricks on me (I know the date is more or less correct as I remember the waits for the third of the Gryphon set and also for the later Mage Storms books to be published), back in the mid '90's. I've been hooked ever since! I remember initially borrowing this trilogy (Arrows of the Queen, Arrow's Flight and Arrow's Fall) from my local library and renewing it twice (I wanted to re-read the books right away). At any rate, I chose to re-read this one now for the Valdemar Reading Challenge I've been running again this year.

Arrows of the Queen was the first book Mercedes Lackey wrote in this world and it is still one of the best entry-points I think. We, along with Talia, get introduced to the basic concepts of how this world and the country of Valdemar work, along with a brief history of it. In some ways it's a bit idealistic, but not by too much - I could wish more of the countries in the "Real World" worked as well as Valdemar seems to.

When I was borrowing Arrows of the Queen and the other Valdemar novels from the library, this trilogy was shelved with the YA books. I still think that it's equally as good a read for the teen audience as the adult fantasy readers. For the most part there's nothing too, too graphic in them, and many of the issues that Talia and the other characters face may resonate with younger readers - though I wouldn't suggest much younger than teens.

Like most of the other Valdemar-based novels, this is one that I can nearly always come back to and enjoy no matter how I'm feeling.

All of what I said here has been said previously in my earlier review of this book, found here. Honestly, I expect I'll be saying it again in some future year too. I've lost count of how many times I've re-read this one.

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