Read magic s price by Mercedes Lackey Online


The final chapter in Mercedes Lackey's spellbinding fantasy trilogy! The Herald-Mage, Vanyel, and his Companion, Yfandes, are alone responsible for saving the once-peaceful kingdom of Valdemar from the forces of a master who wields a dark, forbidding magic. And if either Vanyel or Yfandes falters, both Valdemar and its Herald-Mage must pay the ultimate price. Original....

Title : magic s price
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ISBN : 6704199
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 355 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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magic s price Reviews

  • Kathleen
    2019-02-13 15:00

    Review may contain spoilers for those who have not read the first two books in the Last Herald-Mage series. Vanyel gets a new boyfriend. Sure, there's a lot of other stuff about ruling a kingdom steward-style for the ailing king and loads of heroic feats including surviving torture, defeating an entire army with several powerful mages, and dying a bloody death. But mostly, Vanyel gets an awesome new boyfriend. (view spoiler)[ It turns out that this new fellow is the reincarnation of the old fellow, but I choose to not care about the implications of that.(hide spoiler)] Because Stefen is not a Herald. He doesn't get a magic pony who loves him always because he isn't even a little bit self sacrificing. While he loves Vanyel, Stefen's first--and only--action is to for cover when the two of them are facing one of those armies I mentioned earlier. Stefen is a typical Bard. Not only is he as shaych as a jaybird, he has no problems with using his Gifts to show off, influence other people, or gain material wealth. He is perfectly willing to alternately nag and manipulate Vanyel to get what he wants from his lover, although he does accept and support Vanyel in his dangerous line of work. However, he doesn't entirely understand that heroic drive to help others to the utter exclusion of one's own comfort that defines all Heralds. In other words, Stefen is a realistic person. Not a common find in fantasy novels. This is definitely my favorite trilogy in the Valdemar series.

  • Contrarius
    2019-01-20 12:05

    Parts of these books I really like -- and then other parts make me want to either throw the book across the room, or smack Mercedes upside the head a few times.Lackey is pretty darned good at manipulating emotions when she sets her mind to it. I'm just as susceptible to melodrama as the next person, and probably more susceptible than many -- and Lackey's books don't lack for that. On the other hand, Lackey often doesn't seem terribly concerned with logic. For instance, an especially egregious (and significant!) example turns up when (view spoiler)[Vanyel "suddenly" notices that he's the last Herald-Mage. Seriously?? Seriously, nobody ever noticed that: 1. they were running out of Herald-Mages at a rapid rate; and 2. when they were already down to 4 Herald-Mages, nobody was worried when two of them suddenly died mysteriously; and 3. nobody cared that no new recruits had been turning up for training for YEARS?? Nobody went out to try to find any?? And 4. somehow the Herald-Mages IN Valdemar couldn't find anyone to train, but an evil mage in a DIFFERENT country could sniff out the potential recruits and kill em anyway?? SERIOUSLY????? (hide spoiler)]. Le Sigh. Anyway - these books can be fun, as long as you totally turn off any powers of critical thinking. Maybe have a few beers first. Go with the flow, try to think like a 15 year old girl, have a few sniffles, watch you brain bleed out your ears for awhile. Just don't try to apply any rules of rationality -- That Way Lies Madness.

  • D
    2019-01-18 09:48

    I had been warned. I sort of knew what was going to happen. I had no expectations, considering the trainwreck that was the first book. But when I read the ending, I was pretty muchI mean, after pretty much everything you've done for Valdemar, that's what you get in the end? Forget about duty, responsibility, and doing what was right because you can't do otherwise. As Pat Jr from Silver Linings Playbook more or less said, there's enough shit we have to deal with in real life, why can't we have a happy ending in books? And don't tell me that Vanyel had a happy ending. He was a hero in the end. But just fucking once, couldn't he have been selfish and not punished for it?(view spoiler)[Such as when he promised Savil that he would add to her shields but got distracted by Stefen. Vanyel needed the rest! He needed the sex, he needed that quiet moment with his lover. But no, Mercedes Lackey couldn't leave him alone, so Savil has to die because Vanyel dared let his guard down. WTF (hide spoiler)]I liked Stefen's parts. He was nice, he was supportive. He was relaxing. I'm all fort Stefen. But sorry, Stefen. You're not allowed to be perfectly happy.Massive spoilers ahead, also, tw for rape.(view spoiler)[Basically, Vanyel was all into facing Leareth and 'protecting Valdemar' that Stefen notices that he's changed. Basically a calmer, yet more destructive version of Tylendel after Staven died. Idk if that was intentional, but Vanyel should have known better than to copy Tylendel. He knew what it meant to lose your loved one in that way. He should have known better than to do the same to Stefen. WTF Vanyel.RAPE. Omg, TW: RAPE. The part where the bandits tie Vanyel up on his own harness, pinned Yfandes's tail on his back and raped him serially--well, what fucking purpose did it serve? To show us that it was real, to show us that Vanyel hadn't hit rock bottom yet? To show that Vanyel can count on Stefen? The whole thing was so horrible--like HORRIBLE OMG--and Vanyel broke, only to be slowly brought back to reason by Stefen and the wolves (can't remember what they're called).Was that needed? Pacing! Pacing! I know it's not the most important part of the story, but coming hard before Vanyel's face off with Leareth, it made the whole thing anti-climactic. We have seen Leareth in the first book. We know that all this was culminating into the final stand off between him and Vanyel, but we barely even see what Leareth was like. Who the fuck was he? Where did he come from? What did he want? What were his motives? Nope, you wouldn't get any of that, because you got Vanyel getting raped instead! What. I mean, really. WHAT. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • Experiment BL626
    2019-02-13 07:54

    The books are well written, I'm not debating that. What I am hating is the main character, Vanyel. I usually tolerate goody two-shoes to a great extend, but this character just want to make me barf. Pretty much he sacrifices everything in order to save his kingdom, a kingdom that doesn't even like him for who he is and only care for his supermagic. Frankly the ending suck, so if anyone is expecting a HEA or HFN, this series is not for you—it's a tear-jerker. It's one thing to give up your life for the greater good, it's another thing to give up your afterlife defending the kingdom that will totally forget about you within a month's time. The former suck, the latter blows it all to hell. Sure, they'll mourn for you...for a minute and then it's back to "omg, we need another mage to defend us." Lame. I feel so frustrated reading this series that I kinda wish Vanyel just died in the first book and saved me the trouble of reading the sequels.

  • Paul
    2019-01-19 06:57

    This initial fantasy trilogy is a really fun read.

  • Kathryn
    2019-01-24 08:08

    Last one! It's a toss up whether this one or the first is my favorite, it's so hard to pick. Anyway, here we go:Price is set about eight years after the end of Promise. Vanyel is no longer on the front lines of the war; he's been put in a more or less administrative position in Haven. That doesn't necessarily mean he's not working as hard. The king, Randale, who has been suffering from a chronic illness for years, suddenly becomes fatally ill, and the Healers don't even know what is causing his illness, much less how to cure it. Because Randale is either in too much pain to function, or is too doped up to function, a lot of his duties have fallen on Vanyel's shoulders. In addition, Vanyel is also the head of the Council, the head of the Heralds, and is helping train the Heir as well. Now, one of Vanyel's nephews, Medren, has come to Haven to study music. They're pretty close; Vanyel feels protective of Medren because Medren was in a similar situation as Vanyel when he was young. Medren has a room mate, Stefen, who has a Wild Talent; when Stefen sings or plays music, he can make people who are in pain totally forget about it. Medren and one of his instructors have tested Stefen's ability, and believe he can do this constistently, so they bring him to Vanyel's attention, figuring that Stefen can help Randale. What Vanyel doesn't know is that Medren has an ulterior motive.In the years since Vanyel's promotion, he's made some enemies, and a few attempts have been made on his life. Vanyel realizes that one of his enemies could easily decide to target someone he was close to if they weren't able to get him directly, so he's made an effort to isolate himself, in order to present as few targets as possible. Medren thinks his uncle is overreacting, and knows that Vanyel is very lonely. So, he's decided to try and hook Vanyel up with Stefen, who is also openly gay. Stefen has had a crush on Vanyel for years, but never had the nerve to approach him, even though Medren offered to introduce them. He's unaware that Vanyel is the one who is supposed to present him to the king, and when he realizes who's coming to meet him, he's floored.So goes the rest of the book, Stefen trying to get close to Vanyel, Vanyel discovering he has feelings for Stefen, but not wanting to put him at risk. It's a little more complicated than that, but again, spoilers, so that's all I'll say. Again, Misty's focus on this was to write a love story, and again, something has to happen besides the developement of the character's relationships. This time, one of Vanyel's nebulous enemies shows his hand, and Vanyel, sick of people he loves being targetted, decides to take the fight to him.The Review: Okay my beef with this one is that it was just too damn short. I wish it had been stretched out into a pentolgy! Seriously, I don't think that Vanyel and Stefen's relationship is as well developed as it could have been. Like before, some action had to happen, and that cut in on the relationship part. Of course, the action part really had to happen, and at least this time it didn't have that last-minute, tacked on feel, but still.That's the only negative thing I can think off with this one. Wow, maybe I'm still blind to it's other faults. Who knows?

  • Jason
    2019-02-16 10:44

    I was debating giving this book a three, because I did enjoy parts, but in the end I decided it just wasn't good enough. You can read other reviews to see what's wrong with it, but, in a nutshell: most of the issues in the story aren't well-resolved, such as the king's illness and the idea of Stefen as a reincarnation of Tylendel, and most importantly, who the hell Leareth is; there is a severe inconsistency in the difference between the deaths of the two herald-mages and Savil's death which is not explained; there is a seeming introduction (be aware that it's been a while since Promise) of *two* new species, which I found underdeveloped and inappropriate for the final book in a trilogy; I was very unhappy with the way Withen was very civil to Vanyel from the beginning but apparently not enough, since we still had to hear the whole sob story from the Tayledras; and finally, there really is no excuse for Vanyel, a war-hardened Mage and supposedly shrewd political player, not to have taken Savil's concerns seriously after Lissandra's and Kilchas's deaths. It went beyond stupid to being out-of-character and implausible.The characters were nice, maybe memorable (we'll see) but certainly people you could get invested in. But let's be honest, there are a lot of authors who come up with good characters. The book has some great ideas, too; I liked the idea of the companions and the way magic was handled. But in all honesty there is nothing that would make me recommend this book. I might recommend it if you wanted something that combined gay fiction with fantasy, but if you're only looking for one or the other, don't bother. I can recommend much better options.

  • Aphie
    2019-02-13 11:02

    Cheesy, tawdry, melodramatic with a hero who supposedly resembles a cross between Fabio, an elf and Gaston from the Disney Beauty & The Beast. I LURVED these so hard when I was a teenager, you better believe it.There's still a little voice inside, today, who says "But... protagonist! Romantic storylines and heroism and GAY(yay)!"

  • Saphirablue
    2019-02-10 10:49

    *sobs* I mean, I knew what would happen because it's told as a legend/as history in the "Heralds of Valdemar" trilogy but reading it when you are in love with the main characters? Yeah, that's heavy and I cried during the events in the end. :(First of all - I'm so happy that Van found some happiness and love again and that this love came in the shape of Stef - a Bard with the reborn soul of 'Lendel (not that either Van or Stef knew this). I'm so, so, so happy for this and them.Even though - it broke my heart for Stef. Having to live on for +60 years after Van died defending Valdemar. I mean, yeah, they got reunited in the end and keep on protecting Valdemar but still. He lost Van and had to live on with this hurt for 60 years. I just hope that he found some happiness in all these years.Even with the happiness - Van has been put trough the wringer in this. Having to feel his fellow Herald-Mages die (Savil, oh, Savil)? Knowing that he's the last one? Knowing that Randale is in pain and dying and not being able to help? And then realizing what Shavri did and knowing that they'll lose her too? The torture and rape at the hands of the men of the Master Dark? :( *hugs him so much*My heart has also been breaking for the other Heralds when they, thanks to the web Van modified, realized that Van is in danger (and not being able to help. Same goes for the Guards who came too late.) and when he died. OMG. I mean, we don't get to see this in the book, but my imagination is working just fine in that regard. *hugs them all*But, with all this - there have also been moments in which I laughed out loud because 'Fandes or someone else said/did something funny and I squeed when Starwind and Moondance made an appearance. :) I also love the fact that Jisa and Brightstar knew that Van is her/his father and that he got some (more) love and support due to this.Yeah, this book broke my heart and will stay with me for a while. But, I'm also looking forward to read more in this world because it's awesome. <3

  • Catherine Thompson
    2019-01-19 10:14

    The final book of The Last Herald-Mage trilogy finds Vanyel quite literally the last Herald-Mage. Most of the other Herald-Mages have been killed in battle, and no child has manifested the Mage Gift in years. As Van probes more deeply into the problem, he discovers that someone is targeting anyone with the Mage Gift--someone who is determined to bring Valdemar, already on the brink of losing its king, into utter chaos.In this book, we come full circle, as Vanyel finds love again and learns to trust. We also see how Vanyel sets in motion the wardings that keep mages from operating in Valdemar (and if you've read some of the later Valdemar novels first, as I had, you understand what that means to the series as a whole), as well as the origin of the Karsite prejudice against any of their own Gifted.I think I liked this one the best out of the three, even though in the end, it's kind of sad.

  • Melody
    2019-01-31 07:47

    3.5* from me. one of the big things i was missing in all three books in this series was some kind of central plot line that the books were following. when i'm reading a fantasy series i kinda want some deep plot in the background that the books follow slowly but surely. in this last book some portions felt really rushed and some things happened that just seemed useless and not important for the story. not entirely happy with how this ended and just in general how it all played out. still enjoyed the beginning and some parts of it though.

  • Caravaggion
    2019-02-02 08:48

    2.5hey ho i marathon read the last book of this series and tbh??? still won´t change my opinion the plot was rlly lame, it has lots of sad gays tendencies, there was a lot of love at first sight bullshit going on, plus all character interactions felt kind of flat and repetitive ://// it might just be me having way too high expectations for it but tbh? it was kinda mediocre still not bad tho, just not terribly good either

  • Riayl
    2019-02-09 13:12

    2.5Generally a character becomes more likable as a series goes on. But Vanyel actually seems to get worse or at least he doesn't much change as he gets older. It is one thing to see those things in a neglected, abused boy, but they become very unattractive in an adult man. I think part of the problem is that there are times here when he does or says something that just seems to come completely out of the blue. Instances I generally blame on author convenience. (view spoiler)["Oh, I want to kill off all the Herald-Mages and make Van feel even guiltier while I am at it so he can add to his "martyr/I-am-the-only-one-who-can-do-anything" aura. Therefore, even though just two pages ago he was suspicious of the first death I will now have him completely disregard his aunt's words." His aunt that is more of a mother to him than his real mother, his aunt who has been his teacher, friend and constant companion. "Not only will he completely disregard her but he will believe she is, and treat her as, a senile old woman. But once she is dead I will have him exact terrible revenge."Which brings me to my biggest problem with this whole series. The cornerstone of this series is Tylendel. He goes for revenge, uses his lover to open a magical gate, summons nasty creatures, his Companion repudiates him, suicides, breaks Tylendel's mind, the gate does a whammy on Vanyel, Tylendel kills himself, which compounds everything Vanyel is going through.So. The Companion casting him off is what really seemed to break Tylendel. Why does the Companion do this? Because he was seeking revenge. Or at least that is the assumption we are left with after having to listen to an earlier lecture from Savil on the subject. Now, maybe it was more how he chose to exact his revenge, by summoning the super-nasty. Okay, I can see where the Companion and others would be upset. BUT. But, he felt his twin die and knew what had happened. It certainly didn't seem like anyone was interested in getting justice for him and they all just left him alone with Vanyel. He closed his thoughts off to his Companion?-Well, I think that should have been a sign. The thing is, he was broken, he had gone just a wee bit more than slightly mad. With the way the relationship between a Herald and his Companion is portrayed it seemed awfully much like another case of author convenience here. Your child, brother, best friend, lover, whatever goes mad with grief so you cast them out of your life and then kill yourself...that is not a healthy reaction for anyone that is a part of that equation. You don't just throw someone out when they are sick and he was sick, with grief and anger. Even so, I suppose I could have been okay with it except that the Heralds and/or Vanyel are constantly seeking revenge for the death's of their fellow Heralds. So apparently it is okay to seek revenge for another Herald, that died while fighting a war, but it isn't okay to seek revenge for your twin who was ambushed and murdered. *twitch*THEN, in book two we have the stupid Herald that is beating the kid and his Companion with a whip. He isn't mad with grief, his brother didn't just die, he isn't taking revenge on a murderer, he is beating a Companion and his Chosen. But his Companion doesn't break their bond. So it isn't okay to do something out of mindless grief but it IS okay to do something because you are an asshole. I think Tylendel got a crappy Companion, that is what I think. I also think the Heralds are a bit...hypocritical. But Vanyel...*shakes head* I liked him in the beginning. Book two not as much and book three almost killed any liking I had for him at all. He moralizes, but only when it is convenient for him. When Stef gives him the amber and he gets all righteous on him and demands to know how he paid for it...he dropped close to rock bottom there. He makes Stef feel guilty and lectures him on how it could have gone wrong if the guy hadn't been on the up and up. Because Stef is obviously too stupid to figure that shit out on his own. It was like "Stef, you are lucky your friend just wanted you to turn the music up loud because he could have wanted you to go murder small children." (Okay in reality it was more like "Stef it is a good thing your friend only wanted you to soothe and make everyone happy because he could have wanted you to force them to buy something insanely expensive that they couldn't afford and therefore destroy their lives and leave their kids living on the streets as starving beggar children.") Um..yeah and just because the guy wanted it didn't mean Stef would do it. He blew the whole thing out of proportion and between that and the deal with Savil a little bit later, I just about walked away from the book because my liking of Vanyel had come close to rock bottom. The next little bit was just...ugh. The climactic battle was...not shown. I don't think it was shown. I don't remember it being shown. It is possible that I just totally skipped it though in my hurry to make it all end.The end was okay, mostly I was just glad it was over, which sucks because I've always enjoyed Mercedes Lackey's books before. I don't know whether this series just isn't as good or I'm getting pickier. *sigh*(hide spoiler)]

  • Avery
    2019-01-23 14:57

    I love it. It is really sad, but really good at the same time. Vanyel reminds me of Tylendel in his last moments. The way his obsesion with revenge has taken over. However, unlike Tylendel he has 'Fandes to set him right. Also he listens to Stefen more than 'Lendel listened to him. (view spoiler)[I think that Savil was right and that Stefen carries Tylendel's spririt because he knew about Tylendel's dying moment." (hide spoiler)]

  • Allie
    2019-02-17 06:52

    Ugh. So many things wrong with this book, where to begin…Magic’s Price, the third and final novel in Lackey’s Last Herald-uMage series, takes place nine years after the events of the series’ second novel, Magic’s Promise – which, when added to the 11-year gap between the events of books 1 and 2, puts us at a convenient 20 years after the events of Magic’s Pawn. “Price” centers on the political and personal upheavals threatening or taking place in (respectively) Valdemar: religious war may break out with another kingdom, while the king of Valdemar himself is literally wasting away. The Heralds are stretched thinner than ever, and even fewer Herald-mages remain.Our hero, Vanyel, has traded the military battlefield for a political one, being apparently the only person who can handle the dying king’s responsibilities of negotiating peace treaties, unifying and overseeing the Heralds, etc. Vanyel also – finally – has a lover. Meanwhile, a dark mage has begun a personal vendetta against Vanyel, attempting to kill or killing those closest to him. Finally the Herald-mage is able to track this “Master Dark” to his hiding place in a land far north of Valdemar – and there he and the mage have a deadly showdown.I had high hopes for “Price” when I began it. There was much more character expansion for Vanyel in the first hundred-odd pages, what with him finally deciding that yes, he is human, and yes, he does need and want a companion other than his Companion. Mystery also took to the stage in the book – who is this dark mage? Why has he chosen to target Vanyel? Is he the one responsible for the king’s disease? And what about Vanyel’s lover – why does he know or remember things only Tylendel (Vanyel’s first love and lifebond) would have known? But all these questions are maddeningly left hanging, while others are only partially fleshed out. It is hinted at, for example, that the dark mage (view spoiler)[might have been Tayledras. (hide spoiler)] Nothing comes of this suspicion. The reader is told flat-out that Vanyel’s new lover is (view spoiler)[his old one reincarnate; (hide spoiler)] Stefen never has an epiphany of this, while Vanyel himself doesn’t put two and two together until moments before (view spoiler)[his death. (hide spoiler)](view spoiler)[And don’t even get me started on Vanyel’s “dramatic end.” All we are told of his Final Strike – the thing that the entire series has been leading up to since halfway through book 1 – is a yell and flash of pain from Stefen. We are never even told exactly what the Final Strike IS. The moments leading up to his death that ARE from Vanyel’s POV are frustratingly lacking in emotion – there is no serene calm, relaxed resignation, regret, or even thoughts of Stefen. Just… nothing. (hide spoiler)]The book’s pacing is odd as well, dwelling at certain points for several pages then suddenly skipping ahead months at a time. The POV also switches around quite a bit more than in books 1 and 2, often resting with minor or unknown characters for lengthy periods before finally settling back with – wait for it – Stefen again. This happens even more frequently in the last 50 or so pages, at the height of VANYEL’S inner turmoil. I don’t want to hear a disposable character’s thoughts on an important scene, nor do I want Stefen’s view; this is VANYEL’S story. I want HIS POV. The book could have been much more engaging if certain scenes had instead been told through Vanyel’s eyes, like his (view spoiler)[torture and rape or final battle. (hide spoiler)]Then there’s the ending. (view spoiler)[Vanyel dies, and is given 3 choices (apparently, as we are cheated of this possibly fascinating scene as well, being told only of it later when Stefen encounters Vanyel’s spirit/ghost): he can go on to the Havens, be “reborn,” or stay behind to guard Valdemar in an up-til-now-completely-insignificant forest – which doesn’t even need guarding as Master Dark and his army have been decimated. Oh, and wait – Stefen can come too, but only after he spends 70 YEARS convincing everyone in Valdemar that yes, the Heralds can be just as good as the mages at defending the kingdom. (Why a Bard is going to be able to convince the Heralds and the rest of the kingdom of this is left unexplained. He just “can.” ) Stefen does so, returns to the forest, and is quite literally spirited away. (hide spoiler)]I wanted to like this book very badly. I’d enjoyed Pawn and liked Promise even more, hoping Price would clear up some mysteries and (finally!) give Vanyel a lover-boy. Instead, I was left with more questions than answers, as well as “fade outs” – is Lackey generally a prude when it comes to love scenes, or just a prude when it comes to gay ones? The book is worth reading to get closure on Vanyel's story, but it ultimately leaves the reader very frustrated - this end could have been so much better. Magic's Price is a very unsatisfying end to what could have been a great series, had it not been rushed in its final and most important book.

  • AnnaLund
    2019-02-14 12:14

    The last of the Valdemar-Vanyel-magic in this series, and it's taken me a couple of days to digest it. While reading it, I enjoyed it immensely, but it left a lot of questions hanging in thin air. I liked it well enough, it was a good story, but the last half of the book felt hurried, hastily and shoddily put together, and this had me falling out of the narrative more than once. I feel it was not up to Ms Lackey's usual standards. I have only a couple of excerpts from the whole book, which—for me—is telling. (And to be honest, there was a lot of "telling" going on, and not so much "showing")."He's like a cat; takes up far more space than is even remotely possible under the laws of nature." This made me giggle."I love you, too. You're absolutely the best friend, the dearest love I've ever had. I'll love you as long as there's anything left of me." This had me bawling my eyes out, and with good reason. I wish I wish Ms Lackey had written this whole last installment in the series in more chapters, with more words, more years, more story, more everything. I feel a little lost, a little bit like Stef. And I feel Stef was tricked out of his rights not once, but twice. (view spoiler)[First as Tylendel, and then as Stefen. Which I thought was very sad.(hide spoiler)]What I have loved through all three books, however—and what makes me give this last one a four-star rating—is the fact that for the first time, I am reading a story about a manly man (who isn't into fighting and muscles and shooting and blood), a man who is openly gay (but doesn't fiddle around making excuses ) and at last, a man who is strong. So strong. A new kind of manly-strong. Impressive. But I would like for someone to explain to me why the Dark Mage Leareth was after Vanyel, and who he was. Together with about 16 other questions that were left unanswered. It was a little bit like this: Vanyel arrives, Vanyel finds a new love, King is sick, new love can help, dark mage appearing and then Book Finished. Trilogy over. Story done. WHAT? Huh? there is a whole warring host of What? Who? Why? How? Really? When? and Were? running around my head now. The ending was not up to the rest of the opus. I much preferred the first and second books. We come full circle with this last one, but it's a wiggly-squiggly circle, one that doesn't roll well. It kind of fell apart when (view spoiler)[Savil was killed. (hide spoiler)] It all went out the window right about then, as if Ms Lackey was tired of writing this story and wanted it finished.Perhaps if Stef could step out of the pages and come sing me the final song? His Bard-gift is to make people live the story he sings—that would be of great help to my understanding right now. Frustrating. ***I was NOT asked to read this book by anyone, I paid for it with my own money, as I do for all the books I read, all the music I listen to and the movies I watch.

  • Jimmy
    2019-02-05 10:02

    The Last Herald-Mage trilogy concludes in this exciting and romantic novel, which had me both happy and sad at the same time. Some will argue that this is the best novel in the trilogy. For me, it was the first novel, Magic’s Pawn. Throughout the book Mercedes Lackey addresses all kinds love and all kinds of situations/issues lovers deal with because of this powerful love. And through all these, the message remains the same, and it is a message of tolerance.Karse’s self-proclaimed Prophet-King has declared war against all kinds of magic. Supported by religion, he claims that all users of magic are evil, and so are Valdemar’s Herald-Mages. Vanyel realizes that because of the kingdom’s open and supportive nature about it use of and users of magic in the kingdom, that it will need the alliance of surrounding kingdom’s in order to win this war. (view spoiler)[As Karse’s refugees flood to Valdemar to escape certain death, Van works with three powerful Herald-Mages, his aunt Savil, and the Guardians Lissandra and Kilchas. Together they work a spell that’ll network every herald and herald-mage inside Valdemar’s borders to one another. Because of the self-proclaimed Prophet-King’s eradication of the herald-mages and the existing shortage of herald-mages, Vanyel Ashkevron will be the very last Herald-Mage left alive, as they die in suspicious accidents. Along with his lifebonded Stefen, the most powerful Bard the Bardic Collegium has ever known, and his Companion Yfandes, the small band will travel to the far north in harsh winter weather. Vanyel will face the nightmare his Foresight has been showing him since his powers were first forced wide open. In his favor is(hide spoiler)]as the events and people change leading up to this moment, there is no way to tell how his confrontation against Master Dark and the last Herald-Mage will end. One thing is for certain. Valdemar will only avoid war and the overwhelming army of Master Dark if Herald-Mage Vanyel pays Magic’s Price.

  • Susan
    2019-02-03 08:11

    what a bummer of an ending omg. Vanyel lived one hell of a short and miserable existence.idek what I think of this trilogy? it was fun and easy to read but there were really weird elements to it lol. The last two books were better than the first in that it wasnt sO ANGSTY AMD DRAMATIC but nothing felt particularly cohesive. this book like, changed plot halfway through, from focusing on the growing relationship between Vanyel's new boytoy and Randale's declining health to the Greatest Threat to Valdemar Ever. the big baddie came out of fucking nowhere. how was i ever supposed to care?Vanyel, Savil and Randale died so unceremoniously too, I didn't really feel sad? I never felt anything for Randale or Shavri anyway, and I'm pretty sure I disliked Shavri by the end lol. Like okay, here's two characters who are absolutely the most important people in Vanyel's life and they never feature in the story in important ways lol. idk why I was ever supposed to care about Randale's issues at all... is it because i haven't read any other Valdemar books??? on the upside tho, enjoyable characters. Stef became my fave alongside Savil. He was more well written than the others; he was driven entirely by more relatable emotions, and is attached to characters like Medren and Vanyel, who we're um ACTUALLY invested in. It was pretty thoroughly demonstrated to the reader why we should care about him, rather than just telling us he's Super Important To Vanyel Ok. A solid improvement over the 'this is Shavri, the mother of Vanyel's child, she has 6 lines and one scene in this book but we should be invested in Vanyel's sexuality crisis!' scenario I had to put up with in the last book. BUT I also could have done without him being Tylendel reincarnated. ????? whyI probably would have enjoyed these more if I was younger lol. Still decent though!

  • Riva
    2019-02-04 07:07

    Audiobook ReviewI am writing this review after listening to all three books in this series. I’m glad I waited to review because I have adjusted my ratings from 5 to 4 stars on the overall story. This series is about Vanyel, a Herald Mage. It starts in Book 1 when he is about 16 and ends in Book 3 in his late thirties. This series was written in the 1990s, so I tried to listen to it with that filter. Back then, gay themed YA books were rare and gay themed fantasy book even rarer. Overall I really enjoyed this series. There were plot holes and misaligned time frames, but overall it is worth a listen. The narrator does a great job; 5 stars for him.Vanyel was a put through the ringer in the first book and his growth and recovery in the 2nd book to become the hero of the land was great. What I didn’t understand was why the author built Vanyel up as a hero for 80% of the series, only to take some of that away from him at the end of the 3rd book. There was some violence and violations in the 3rd book that doesn’t seem to serve any purpose to the story and I don’t believe it was appropriate for a YA book. In reaction to this violence Vanyel inadvertently kills innocent people; something that goes against everything he is for the previous two books. Then, the ending seems rushed and there are a bunch of things that remained unanswered. The author kind of gives a non-traditional HEA in the epilogue, but it was still a disappointing conclusion. That said, I’m still glad I got to know Vanyel and went along with him on his journey.

  • Erin
    2019-02-08 07:51

    I like this third book better than the second one in The Last Herald Mage trilogy. I especially enjoy revisiting the characters and seeing Stefan struggle to build a relationship with chaste and work-obsessed Vanyel. I rated this one only 3 stars, though, due to the horrific rape scene at the end. One of my primary complaints with Lackey's writing is her tendency to casually rape her characters and not deal with the consequences. This is the kind of topic that should not be tossed in as one of the pinnacle action events at the end of a narrative. Besides, I'm not at all convinced a rape had to happen in the first place. The trauma added nothing to character development or the forward movement of the plot. If anything, it derailed the story and Lackey had to quickly gloss over it to get back on track. If the author wanted to deal with themes of rape and recovery, better to have it happen earlier in the book (or earlier in the series as a whole) so that the ramifications to the character could be properly addressed. (Surely Vanyel's work as a Herald Mage has put him in situations with scummy individuals capable of acts like this before.) If Lackey was simply looking to test her character's strength and resilience leading up to the final battle, there are better ways she could have done that. I say spare yourself some unnecessary and unresolved heartache and skip this scene when you come to it. The book would have been complete without it.

  • Sophie
    2019-02-14 09:57

    Vaaanyeeeeeel.This last book in Vanyel's trilogy finally brings us his lifemate, Bard Stefen, who is wonderful. He's supposedly the reincarnation of Tylendel, but who cares, he's awesome all on his own.And the story comes full circle, as Vanyel goes through something very like the situation that was Tylendel's undoing in the first book. It's painful to read, especially since you know what's coming, but Vanyel manages to avoid going down the same revenge-driven path as Tylendel—interestingly enough, he is shaken out of his vengeful state partly by the actions of his enemy, which just goes to show that evil contains the seeds of its own destruction, although Stefen's love for him is an essential part of it as well. And Yfandes. Poor underappreciated Yfandes.I want to know more about the origins of this Lord of Darkness or whatever. Where did he come from? Why does he look like the Tayledras? Was he really responsible for Tylendel's death and Vanyel's almost-suicide? We never get to find out, sadly. Maybe his story is in another book. (Also, who was Stefen's family? Or did he really just spring into existence fully-formed, out of Tylendel's forehead or something?)The villains in this book are pretty cartoonishly evil, especially the dirty rapist bandits. I mean, come on.Because of Bard Stefen, this was the first time I actually read through the songs in the back of the book, and found that I quite liked them.

  • Emily
    2019-01-24 10:56

    "I told you I would never leave you when I Chose you...I knew what our bond would come to then, when I first Chose you - and I don't regret my choice. I love you, and I am proud to stand beside you. There is not a single moment together that I would take back."//I am legitimately so conflicted about this book. I figure that any book that can make me cry (that ending, like of course I was bawling) should get I high rating, but I have some issues with it that are kind of preventing that.I found that I could wrap my head around the magic, which just lead to me scanning over paragraphs about it. I also, in hindsight, think that a lot of time was spent focused on things that weren't particularly important, and I also found it difficult to figure out the main complication, because it just felt like complications were being introduced and then resolved super quickly. And of course, that one pretty shocking inclusion that I was not expecting; I didn't have anything against it necessarily, I just don't think it was important, and the same ending could have been reached without it happening at all...So all up, Van is still my baby, I cried, I really enjoyed the trilogy but this is the weakest of the three imo

  • Katie
    2019-02-12 08:13

    Skimming through some other reviews I passed one that called this book "Cheesy, tawdry, melodramatic". I completely agree, but I actually reveled in those facts while the other reviewer gave it two stars. :P It's definitely over the top and has some logic defying moments, but I find myself quite invested in Valdemar. I *was* a little torn on my rating and I think 4 stars is rounding up for me because there was a resurgence of the plot point that bothered me in the Vows & Honor books I've read so far, which, prepare for triggers people, is sexual assault in the form of a gang rape. I *will* say I thought the character reacted much more realistically and was actually shown to be dealing with emotional wounds after as compared to Vows & Honor where people seemed strangely unaffected (yes, people, plural, ugh), but...was that really necessary in my nice cheesy fantastical romp with telepathic horse-like creatures? It would not have taken anything away from the story or character development to leave it out and would in fact have improved the experience of reading quite a bit. Soooo be careful of Mercedes Lackey if you are triggered by such things, she seems to be sprinkling them into her world pretty liberally thus far.

  • Kris Irvin
    2019-01-22 11:46

    This is my favorite book in the Last Herald Mage trilogy. That said, I kind of hate this trilogy, so it's not saying much. Vanyel finally quit whining in this book. One thing I will say is that Lackey does a great job at showing Van's growth and maturation over the course of the story. I didn't think Van would ever suck it up, buttercup, and quit whining all the time. This book reads like an after school special in so many places. Van and Withen's reconciliation, for example, was so cheesy I had to go make nachos. And the lesson on how you can't choose to be "shaych," was so overdone and heavy handed. I rolled my eyes in so many places during this book. Sheesh. I can see why this series was considered groundbreaking back in the 90s, but it's just not my cup of willowbark tea. Readers, be warned that this book does contain some quite graphic and brutal scenes. There are no explicit descriptions, but you get the gist of what's going on and that's more than enough. I'm glad I finished the series. It's one I have meant to read for a long time. Now that I've read it, I will probably not revisit it. Ever. Because I really, really hate Vanyel. A lot.Re-read June 2017: I didn't mind the book as much this time but it still isn't my favorite Lackeybook.

  • SoloSetup
    2019-02-04 08:03

    Hello, hello there are spoilers all over this review. Consider yourself warned.I really wish there was more set up in the previous book for Vanyel and Stefen's relationship (and that Stefan was just a tad older but that's just me). It felt tacked on, rushed and just placed there to make the ending more of a gut punch. Fuck that ending by the way, and it's casual deployment of gang rape on Vanyel. What a horrendously lazy way to inject ineffectual drama in an already stuffed last 1/4 of the book. If the big bad isn't sufficiently fleshed out enough for the reader to feel in any way tense, then throw some rape in there. Lazy. Whatever else was in the book, I don't quite remember. I'm too angry over the lazy-ass ending. Then again, if I can't remember then nothing too important must've happened.

  • Emily
    2019-02-18 07:59

    I love this book, but when I say that I mean I like the first third of the book. The rest of it gets increasingly and unrelentingly more awful. Having read the whole thing when I'm thinking clearly I just stop the romantic part at Forst Reach.If you want to be super depressed and find yourself actively disliking the hero, go ahead and finish it. Otherwise pretend the whole thing is a short story and end it when Stef and Vanyel get together. I like to pretend that from there they have a series of adventures like By the Sword -- something swashbuckly but not fatal or horrible. In my pretend end of the book Stefan does something wonderfully cool to even out that weird hero-worship inequality. Then they live happily ever after and sure can do that ghost protecting postmortem thing if that matters. It isn't as tragic, but I like my ending better.

  • Ashley
    2019-02-07 11:51

    I didn't like the ending at all because you just knew he was going to die, if you had read the earlier books. You knew that as he approached the pass to hold off Master Dark, he was going to die and there was no suspense whatsoever. I think the ending would have been more meaningful had I not figured out what was going to happen.And I didn't really like the whole idea of Stefen being Tylendel's reborn spirit. It seems a little... farfetched, I guess. Well, not really farfetched - it just seemed too convienient - Oh, Vanyel's found a new love! But it's not really a new love because it's the old one reborn.Otherwise, the book is fine. One of the more deeper of Lackey's trilogy's, of the ones I've read so far.

  • Kogiopsis
    2019-02-12 11:08

    Loved this book. Absoloutely loved it- the entire series, actually, but this one...I knew HOW he was going to die, I knew WHEN he was going to die, I knew WHERE he was going to die- and I still almost cried. Poor Stef!Actually, I was closer to crying when Yfandes's tail was hacked off. For some reason, I really love the Companions.I did have a bit of a problem with the way he died- any RPer knows that the 'Final Strike' is incredibly cliche- though, usually, the 'Final Strike' leaves the user alive; this did not, which makes it a bit better. But still. The idea of an overwhelming death-blast when a mage is already down to puddles of reserves is just not right.

  • Jeffe Kennedy
    2019-01-25 10:04

    Another addition to my #readinghistory! Continuing the Mercedes Lackey lurv fest with the Last Herald Mage trilogy. OMG, so much goodness in Vanyel's history. Beautiful Vanyel. *sigh* He wasn't the first gay hero I read, I'm pretty sure, because I wasn't surprised at all by his sexuality. But I'd also had friends who'd come out as gay by then, so Vanyel's journey from not fitting in to finding his first lover felt familiar to me. I loved this story so much, even for its tragedy. Vanyel's arc from vain, pompous and largely worthless to heroic is nothing short of amazing

  • Spider the Doof Warrior
    2019-01-23 12:57

    This is my favourite book in the series, but there's one small problem.What does Mercedes Lackey have against Vanyel? He's such a nice guy, but he's got so many problems, it's not even funny. He gets a love in the first book, and all of those who read it know what happened and how much he had to suffer as a result. Then, fast forward to this book.But, at least there's a bit of happiness to look forward to for Vanyel.But it doesn't last.