Monday, October 26, 2015

Arrow's fall by Mercedes Lackey

Arrow's fall is the third book in The Herald's of Valdemar series so this review contains ***SPOILERS*** about what happens in Arrow's of the Queen and Arrow's flight.  The books can be read independently but you will enjoy the series more if you read it in order.

Returning to the city of Haven after 18 months riding Circuit is a return home for Talia, but it is also the first step to taking up the mantle of Queen's Own Herald.  Until now Talia may have supported Queen Selenay on a personal level but completing her internship means she can now assume all her rights and responsibilities - especially her voting rights on the Council.  It seems as though she is not even going to get a chance to shake off the dust of her travels before she has to step into her role because there are plans a foot to marry off the Heir as soon as possible - and the Heir desperately wants Talia's help.  

When Talia exercises her rights it becomes clear to other members of the Council that Talia is no longer a child, a student, or someone that can be otherwise ignored - she is a full Herald, and a Herald who outranks them all when it comes to swaying the opinion of the Queen.  When her personal world starts to crumble around her she dives into her professional role, including setting out on a visit to the neighbouring kingdom of Hardorn to investigate the proposed groom Prince Ancar.  Far from home and in a strange land Talia and Kris are on uncertain ground.  When they finally meet Ancar it sets in motion a series of events that will bring Talia to the lowest of lows and the greatest of loses, and she will need all her strength to save the ones she loves from a new and deadly enemy.

Arrow's fall is the final book in The Herald's of Valdemar series and is the hardest and most emotional of the books the read.  Talia has come into her own as a Herald and as a young woman, but she is still vulnerable especially to emotional influences on her life and the people she loves.  While I have read this series before and I knew what was coming, I still shed a few tears when the inevitable scene happens and we experience loss and pain (physical and emotional) through Talia's eyes and the eyes of her friends and (chosen) family.  There are some truly emotional scenes, and for the first time we truly get a taste of warfare and what it means to make decisions that result in death and loss.  

While it is an emotional read, especially the second half, this is a powerful and memorable introduction to the world of the Herald's of Valdemar.  For people who also read other books in the series you can see the seeds of story lines and events in other books starting here, and for those of you who are just discovering the series for the first time there are some truly amazing story lines coming if you keep reading books from this world.  This is the book with the most adult themes in the series, and while they are not needlessly graphic or gratuitous, they can be difficult to read.

If you have enjoyed this foray into the world of Valdemar then consider starting The mage winds trilogy which begins with Winds of fate.

If you like this book then try:

Reviewed by Brilla

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