Reviews,  SJardine

Valdemar by Mercedes Lackey : Review

The refugees from the Empire have established a thriving city called Haven with the help of the Tayledras and their allies. But the Tayledras have begun a slow withdrawal to the dangerous lands known as the Pelagirs, leaving the humans of Haven to find their own way.

But even with Haven settled, the lands around Haven are not without danger. Most of the danger comes in the form of magicians: magicians taking advantage of the abundant magical energy in the lands the Tayledras have cleansed; magicians who have no compunction about allying themselves with dark powers and enslaving magical beasts and the Elementals themselves.

Kordas, his family, and his people will need all the help they can get. But when a prayer to every god he has ever heard of brings Kordas a very specific and unexpected form of help, the new kingdom of Valdemar is set on a path like nothing else the world has ever seen.

Perfect for longtime fans of Valdemar or readers diving into the world for the first time, the Founding of Valdemar trilogy will delight and enchant readers with the origin story of this beloved fantasy realm.

I was super pumped and more than a bit nervous when I finally managed to get my hands on a copy of this book. I’ve been a huge fan of Mercedes Lackey’s for 23 years now and the founding of Valdemar is a story I’ve wanted to read since I picked up the first book in this series. Valdemar by Mercedes Lackey turned out to be everything I’d hoped for and was honestly way better than anything I’d ever imagined over the years. With Valdemar Mercedes Lackey has once again proven that she’s a master of her craft and knows how to write a truly engaging story.

In the span of the past 36 years, more than 30 books and 8 musical albums have been released that chronicle an in-world history spanning more than 2000 years. So one of the things I found most impressive about this book was how well Mercedes Lackey managed to maintain the continuity in a book that’s a prequel to almost that has been released. Any major inconsistencies can easily be put down to the fact that the albums we got were written by in-world bards and minstrels and were always meant to be more entertaining than historically accurate.

Not only were we treated to the enthralling tale that was the story of Valdemar’s founding, but we also got long-awaited answers to pivotal questions that have been on my mind for over two decades. Questions such as, “Who was the first grove born?” and “How did the populace of Valdemar genuinely react when a cadre of magical horses with the ability to speak mind-to-mind suddenly arrived proclaiming a divine mission?” were finally addressed in a very satisfying manner. Though to be fair Valdemar managed to leave me with enough new questions that I now want to see the history between the founding and Mag’s books get fleshed out by the author.

All in all, I really enjoyed every moment spent reading this book, and my only gripe is that it had to come to an end. I would’ve loved to see more of the Heralds’ training learning just how important they will be to the success of Valdemar as a country. As well as seeing how Haven and Valdemar grow and expand as more villages and people join the rapidly expanding Valdemar. I can’t recommend this book enough to fellow Mercedes Lackey fans, and for those who haven’t started the series yet, I highly suggest giving it a go. It’s just plain fantastic.

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