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Magic's Promise by Mercedes Lackey
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2,494112,441 (4.11)37
Member:kmn
Title:Magic's Promise
Authors:Mercedes Lackey
Info:DAW Books (1994), Paperback
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Magic's Promise by Mercedes Lackey

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Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
An excellent book that chronicles an all-out adventure covered in mystery and mixed with major character growth on the part of Vanyel, the Herald Mage. Miss Lackey takes you on a journey through a potential border-dispute between two countries on the edge of Valdemar, Vanyel's country. Mix in a murder/mystery plot, magic, and the mystique of the Heralds of Valdemar - and you get an excellent piece of work. But wait! As with most of Mercedes Lackey's novels, you get excellent character growth - including many self-analysis from Vanyel, who struggles to come to grips with his sexuality, the suicide of his previous lover, and the manner in which his "legend" escapes from reality into fiction, aew and fear. Simply one of the best efforts from a second book of trilogy I have read in a long time. It will keep you turning pages long into the night. ( )
  TommyElf | Jan 5, 2014 |
I remember reading it years ago and loving it to death. The wow-ness has faded , but i still enjoyed reading it this time around. It seems more of a young adult book than an adult book due to the writing style, but the story is entertaining. One of my favorite Lackey series to date. Vanyel is a great character. There are some stories where the really good writing takes the book far, and there are some where it's the story that takes it far. This is one of the latters. I still cant place my tongue on exactly what the magic is, but there is magic there. ( )
  Kassilem | May 20, 2013 |
I have to admit, I hesitated on whether to rate it 3 or 4 stars.

The book started rather annoying, but I have to admit, it got much better near the end- particularly if you can overlook the weird placings for emphasizing the words; and every two (whiny) sentences, too. Once you get past that, and are able to read a full sentence fluidly enough, the book's not half bad.

In fact, I enjoyed it! But that doesn't mean I didn't find faults, or things that didn't appeal to my preference on books.


Likes:

* The story is interesting, catching, even, and I feel for the lifebonded-loss from book one and all that... a bit.

* The old characters (well, all secondary characters) are a bit smarter, or at least, a bit more lovable, a bit nicer to deal with.

* The new characters are nice, interesting, and much less whiny than our main character.

* The main character has kinda grown. A little tiny bit.


Dislikes:

* Although the story is interesting, there's 300 pages of whining and 44 pages of real point to it.

* "Am I whining?" he asks, yes dear, since book one, and a little too much, now that you're asking. But then, on book one he was a teen, and that was okay(ish), excusable at least. On this one he barely has an excuse.

* Really? 300 pages to figure out you oughta stop brooding?

* God, I hated hated hated the "I am so gay, really, I'm gay, but oh maybe I like this woman, and oh I'm such a stud that I have 1934820357284750341 sons, and oh, what a stud I am, everyone wants in my pants! But I'm angsty and sad and won't let anyone close. Oh wait, no, I don't like women, I really am gay after all. But I can still bang girls to give my friends who can't little offsprings."
Huh-huh. Yeah, right.



But yes, I will go read the next one! :P ( )
  AshuritaLove | Apr 7, 2013 |
The Vanyel "Last Herald-Mage" books are one of my comfort reads, and I probably re-read them every year or so. They are angsty and over-dramatic, but still incredibly appealing. The second is my favorite of the three. ( )
  lquilter | Apr 7, 2011 |
The Last Herald-Mage trilogy continues with this second novel, in which Vanyel has accepted his responsibilities as a Herald and has aged, not only in years but also in experience. Gone is the whiny and insecure teenager we knew from the previous book, replaced by an older and wiser man, one who has seen far too many battles, and far too many dear friends fall in the line of duty.

We have, in short, someone who's quite earned his chance to be a nervous wreck.

What starts off in a fairly boring way (Vanyel returning to his family home for a rest) quickly gets the action going when he and his Companion receive an urgent call for help, and quickly get embroiled in a murder investigation, political and magical assassination, and something that, improperly handled, could devestate more than two countries with a spectacularly large and magically-triggered earthquake.

Business as usual, then.

When I'd first read this series, I was much younger, in my teens, and this book was my least favourite of the trilogy. Now I find myself liking it a lot more, partially because I can relate a little more to the adult that Vanyel has become. While this doesn't necessarily say much for Lackey's ability to convey characters well to any age group, it does speak well for her ability to create characters that readers of certain age groups can relate to.

If there's anything that really grated on me while reading this, it was Vanyel's identity crisis. He goes through a period of not being able to figure out if he's really homosexual or just happened to hall in love with a man. Which, on its own, may sound like a wise thing to ponder, but half the time, the way he went about it made me want to smack him on the head. Consider the time he's in disguise and is being pawed at by a rather despicable woman, who turns his stomach, and then is hit on by a creepy man who gives him the same reaction. He spends the next few pages wondering why, if he's really gay, didn't he just give in to the man hitting on him, and if he's not gay, why doesn't he just sleep with the woman the way she wants. And it took him over half the book to figure out, "Oh right, being gay doesn't mean I'll automatically hop into bed with every single male I come across." Admittedly, he chastises himself for forgetting then what he knew so well when he was young, that sex and love are different things and that he prefers love, or at least affection, to go along with sex, but still. Hearing him debate over and over again whether or not he's really gay just wore on my nerves after a while, and it got frustrating to read.

I still enjoyed the book, following along with the murder mystery and piecing together little clues myself (that's the fun of reading about mysteries, after all), but frankly, this book could have been cut from the trilogy without affecting the main plot very much. It's good for building character, for tying up some minor loose ends, for introducing a character or two that will play minor parts later on, but aside from emotional healing, it doesn't play a very large part in Vanyel's story. More could have been written about him battles on the Karsite border, I think, and have been more important to the plot of the trilogy as a whole. ( )
  Bibliotropic | Jan 20, 2011 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Mercedes Lackeyprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lee, Jody A.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Dedication
Dedicated to: Elizabeth (Betsy) Wollheim. Who said - "Go for it"
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The blue leather saddlebags and a canvas pack, all bulging with filthy clothing and miscellaneous gear, landed in a corner of Vanyel's room with three dull thuds.
Quotations
Surrounded as it was by newer, smaller outbuildings of whitewashed stucco, it [Forst Reach] resembled a vast and rather ill-natured gray granite hen squatting among a flock of paler chicks.
Baby Heralds wrecking rooms, adult Heralds making magic Gates and then falling through them half-dead, a possible war on the Border, and still somehow the beds get made. What a world.-- p. 187
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Book description
THE WILD MAGIC is taking it's toll on the land. Many Heralds and Herald-Mages have died fighting to preserve the peace. Even Vanyel, the most powerful of the Herald-Mages is almost at the end of his strength, in need of a respite from the dual threats of war and dark magic.

But for Vanyel, there can be no rest. Not when his Companion, Yfandes, receives a summons which can't be ignored - a desperate cry for help which draws them both into the heart of a magical holocaust in the neighbouring kingdom. Almost overwhelmed by the devastation they discover there, Herald-Mage and Companion must try to unravel this tragic mystery. Is the young Prince Tashir, a newly Chosen Herald who can't control his own magic, responsible for the destruction? Or is Tashir a pawn in a deeper, more deadly game - and, if so, will Vanyel be able to find and defeat the true destroyer before this master of dark powers can strike again?
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With King Randale stricken by a mysterious illness and the powerful Herald-Mage Vanyel at the end of his strength, a neighboring kingdom is threatened by a magical holocaust. The wild magic is taking its toll on the land, and even Vanyel, the most powerful Herald-Mage to ever walk the world, is almost at the end of his strength. But when his Companion, Yfandes, receives a call for help from neighboring Lineas, both Herald-Mage and Companion are drawn into a holocaust of dark magic that could be the end of them both.… (more)

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