I have loved Mercedes Lackey’s books for thirty years. As I said in my review of her last book, I still have the SFBC omnibus of the Last Herald Mage trilogy on my shelf and Ican’t tell you how many times I read it.
I haven’t read many of her Valdemar books in the last few years. I listened to the audiobooks of the Collegium Chronicles series, which was fun, but I felt it dragged on too long, with too many kidnappings, and Mags’s accent drove me bananas. I lost touch with the series when my library stopped buying the ebooks of the Herald Spy series after Closer to Home, and I was disappointed in Spy, Spy Again, the third volume in the series focusing on Mags’s kids.
Last year, when I reviewed that book, I said that I hoped that Mercedes Lackey kept on writing Valdemar books. Well, my hopes were answered! I just finished reading her newest novel, Beyond, the first part in a trilogy? series? about the founding of Valdemar. It was so much fun! (BTW, Thanks again to NetGalley and DAW for an eARC in exchange for an honest review.)
This book goes way back to before the founding of Valdemar the country, when the Duke of Valdemar the region of an evil soul crushing empire dreams of escaping with his people to a new land. In this book, the characters pop, the story flies, and the FUN is back. I loved seeing little tidbits that help connect the dots to the books we know and have loved for years. And this book is a lot less rapey than the last one. All I can say without spoiling things too much is Vrondi!!!!!
If you like the Valdemar books of old, you’ll enjoy this. Can’t wait for the next one!