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Foundation: Book One of the Collegium…

Foundation: Book One of the Collegium Chronicles: A Valdemar Novel (original 2008; edition 2009)

by Mercedes Lackey

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Title:Foundation: Book One of the Collegium Chronicles: A Valdemar Novel
Authors:Mercedes Lackey
Info:DAW (2009), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 432 pages
Collections:Your library

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Foundation by Mercedes Lackey (2008)

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DISCLAIMER: I LOVE Mercedes Lackey and the worlds she created especially Valdemar. I am heavily biased to the world. However, my review is an attempt at impartiality... kinda.

Mags is an interesting character. His background is different from many of her former characters and we have a more realistic view of the world that initially blasted her fans into insane flights of fancy. Mags is an uneducated but very intelligent slave who ends learning about the world in and around Haven. There is tales of people being abused, people escaping notice of the Heralds and how they can do it; tales of poverty and theft on the streets of Haven; and an introduction to a new WarGame that trains Heralds and Guards while entertaining the Court and the People. The readers she is aiming to bring into her world need to have a foundation, or a setting at least. While those of us who find the information and scenes a bit repetitive may "enjoy" rolling our eyes and continuing the story, the rushed and railroaded feel of the story as she attempted to curtail the extra long explanations and stories may put a new reader off. However, I encourage a new reader to continue reading. After the introductions are done, perhaps you could go find the first book she ever published about Valdemar: [b:Arrows of the Queen|13986|Arrows of the Queen (Heralds of Valdemar, #1)|Mercedes Lackey|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1296358547s/13986.jpg|834071]

When I first read and listened to this book Nick Podehl had no other performances. I had trepidation, but bought and listened anyway... and was thrilled! The guy did a great job, I wanted more of his performing and ended up watching for new series read by him. Eventually, he got great renown because he was picked up for another famous book series and now his portfolio is greatly expanded. I highly recommend listening to Nick Podehl wherever you may find him. ( )
  niaskywalk | Dec 27, 2016 |
Another Valdemar series gets off to a great start. It begins like most Valdemar stories - a mistreated child is Chosen by a Companion and goes off to become a Herald. This is set much earlier in the history of Heralds though, at the founding of the Collegium and the beginning of formal training for Heralds replacing an apprenticeship system. Mags' closest friends are in the other disciplines - a Healer trainee with a special affinity for herbs and a Bardic trainee from a family of famous bards. Because his strongest power is Mindspeach, he finds himself caught up in an as-yet unknown threat to the kingdom. Start of a 5 book series rather than a trilogy this time. Lackey has been one of my favorite authors for many, many years and this story doesn't disappoint. ( )
  SF_fan_mae | Sep 22, 2016 |
One of my favorite parts of the Valdemar epic saga are the Collegium so I love that there is now an entire series based on them! Foundation is the first in a (so far) five book series set in the Collegium. While Mags is the center of the series from the Herald Collegium, the Bardic and Healer Collegiums are also at play through Mags' two best friends.

Mags has spent his childhood as little more than a slave, a paid worker in name only. He has been neglected and abused his entire life and seen those around him treated the same way. In fact, if it wasn't for the fact that he had a natural knack for finding the "sparklies," life would have been even worse for him. But no matter how bad it has been for him, he has still remained kind and loyal, often sacrificing what little he has for others. And then one day, his entire life changes when a white clad Herald and a seemingly crazed horse come charging into the mine to claim him. At first, he is terrified, completely uinaware of what is happening to him. He doesn't realize that this will prove to be the best thing to ever happen to him.

I love Mags,one of my all-time favorite characters in the Valdemar series. He is uneducated, but far from unintelligent. When he is finally exposed to knowledge, he soaks it up like a sponge, ever aware of how little he knows about the world around him. He has lived a life of mere survival, never experiencing anything other than mistreatment at the hands of the mine's owner.

This is one of my favorites, full of mystery and intrigue and emotional characters!

NOTE: The books in this saga were not published in chronlogical order, but it is on her website here, about 3/4 of the way down the page.

My Recommendation: Admittedly, I am a Mercedes Lackey junkie, but this is one of my all time favorite series within the entire saga.

FTC Disclosure: Regardless of how I received this book, this is an honest review based on my own opinions. ( )
  Kiki870 | Oct 19, 2015 |
I've been disappointed for a while with Lackey's books. It seems like, when she decided to team up with her husband, the general quality level of her Valdemar books dropped significantly, and they began to read like YA titles. Very YA titles. And so I drifted away. I'd read the new ones, be a bit ho-hum about them, and wander off to something else.

I really feel like the first two books of the Foundation trilogy are a return to the writing style of the Arrows and Last Herald-Mage titles. They're not quite as grand -- the first books of a series tend to be the best, in my experience, and Lackey has done some significant exploration of the history and world of Velgarth. That she's able to return to some of the simplicity and grandiosity of the first few books really was a very pleasant surprise.

I just want to say, on the off chance that she checks the reviews for these books, that Lackey was really my introduction to epic fantasy as a genre, and it's really been something I've enjoyed for my whole life as a consequence. I was 13 when I started with the Last Herald-Mage, and it's been fifteen years of absolutely amazing adventures, and through her, I've had my eyes gently opened to some of the more pressing issues of our times. I would not feel guilty giving these books to a young adult in the early teenage years, depending on maturity levels, but also feel as though they're written for an adult.

Either way, definitely worth a read. Writing style and story are on the same level as Brightly Burning, though Mags is not as legendary or as outstanding as Lavan Firestorm -- which is not necessarily a bad thing. I hope I don't have to wait two more years to find out where Mags ends up. :) ( )
  lyrrael | Oct 18, 2015 |
Wonder why I stopped reading the Valdemar novels... I loved these stories! ( )
  ladypembroke | Nov 22, 2014 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Mercedes Lackeyprimary authorall editionscalculated
Lee, Jody A.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Dedicated to the memory of Alex the Grey and the continuing research of Dr. Irene Pepperberg.

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Mags did not shiver in the cold; his body was used to it by now.
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Book description
As with Lackey's ARROWS OF THE QUEEN, a young person is rescued from wretched circumstances by being "Chosen" to become a Herald.  Here, Mags, a child held in slavery and forced to work a mine with other child slaves, is bewildered by his transition to training and boarding school.  
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0756405246, Hardcover)

The long-awaited brand new novel in the bestselling Valdemar series.

In this chronicle of the early history of Valdemar, Mercedes Lackey?s bestselling world, a thirteenyear- old orphan named Magpie escapes a life of slavery in the gem mines when he is chosen by one of the magical Companion horses of Valdemar to be trained as a Herald. Thrust into the center of a legend in the making, Magpie discovers talents he never knew he had?and witnesses the founding of the great Heralds? Collegium.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:58:50 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

In this chronicle of the early history of Valdemar, Mercedes Lackey's bestselling world, a thirteen-year-old orphan named Magpie escapes a life of slavery in the gem mines when he is chosen by one of the magical Companion horses of Valdemar to be trained as a Herald. Thrust into the center of a legend in the making, Magpie discovers talents he never knew he had--and witnesses the founding of the great Heralds' Collegium.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 2 descriptions

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