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5.0 out of 5 stars The best and longest running series I have ever read
I checked out this book when I was in seventh grade and I have been hooked on the companions and their heralds ever since. The story of Talia and Rolan is written with intensity and a lot of plots that twist and turn and never truly reveal themselves until the third book in the series, Arrow's Fall. I have read all the books within the Valdemar series and everything...
Published on March 26 2004

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars This book is really age dependent
In fact, every single one of her books are age dependent, with the possible exception of the Black Gryphon and the White Gryphon. The younger you are, the more you will like them. If you haven't read many fantasy or young adult books, and are 15 or younger, you'll probably love it. I know, because I did. But now upon revisiting this book as an adult, I find it pretty...
Published on Jan. 10 2004


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5.0 out of 5 stars The best and longest running series I have ever read, March 26 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Heralds Of Valdemar Trilogy #1 Arrows Of The Queen (Mass Market Paperback)
I checked out this book when I was in seventh grade and I have been hooked on the companions and their heralds ever since. The story of Talia and Rolan is written with intensity and a lot of plots that twist and turn and never truly reveal themselves until the third book in the series, Arrow's Fall. I have read all the books within the Valdemar series and everything that has to do with this richly created world.
Talia is a daughter of a holderkin clan, there are several wives married to one husband, she is turning thirteen in this book and is about to be married off. It is her deepest desire to see the heralds that she read about in the books that are forbidden to her. She runs away after learning that she is to be married as soon as possible, while hiding in a hole near the road she hears the bells of what can only be a companion, she rushes out to see the magnificient horse and recieves the surprise of a lifetime. Later when she tries to recall what exactly happened the memories elude her. She decides that she needs to return the "lost" companion to the capital city of Haven, where the Heralds are known to live under the close watch of the crown. The monarch must also be a herald, chosen by the companions, for the crown to pass to them thus ensuring a noble and honest leader.
Heralds have something called "gifts" which allows them to be more useful to the crown, such as telepathy, empathy, foresight, farsight, fetching, firestarting, mind speech, animal mind speech, and the unusual mage-gift. These abilities allow the heralds to "talk" with thier companions through telepathy, it's not as odd as it sounds. Talia posseses an extremely strong ability of empathy, a gift that is very rare and very useful to the crown. Talia and Rolans travels are a short part of the over-all story and the things that happen when they arrive at the palace are well written and very entertaining.
I have read this story so many times that the cover has had to be repaired with tape. Every so often I reread this wonderful novel and am moved by the tender regard for the characters that Lackey displays and the amazing development that is evident throughout the trilogy. Talia is an amazing character and through the fantasticly written inner diologue the reader is able to feel and experience everything she does. If you enjoy this book also read the Last Herald Mage series, the character of Vanyel is also beautifully written.
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3.0 out of 5 stars This book is really age dependent, Jan. 10 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Heralds Of Valdemar Trilogy #1 Arrows Of The Queen (Mass Market Paperback)
In fact, every single one of her books are age dependent, with the possible exception of the Black Gryphon and the White Gryphon. The younger you are, the more you will like them. If you haven't read many fantasy or young adult books, and are 15 or younger, you'll probably love it. I know, because I did. But now upon revisiting this book as an adult, I find it pretty lacking in many areas, and downright cliche.
As far as writing style goes, this is probably her weakest book, which is understandable because it's also her first as far as I know. Character development is pretty non-existent, and she also constantly changes point of view to explain everything (which I always thought was a sign of poor writing really.) She also has some plot inconsistencies, but those only become really apparent when you start to read more books in her series.
Also, a lot of the elements that appeal to teens will seem cliche and overdone to adults, such as the poor downtrodden child lifted to heroism, the can-do-no-wrong beautiful white Companions, and general good vs, evil themes. However, these are the very elements that draw young readers to Lackey's books, and create such strong supporters of her works.
Lackey's books are not bad by any means, they are great for teen readers in fact, with some good themes in them. But if you are an adult who is thinking of trying them out, you probably missed the bus, and will find these books too juvenile for your tastes. Instead, I would suggest The Black Gryphon and The White Gryphon also by her, as they are more adult in theme and writing style.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Good World, Bad Writing., Aug. 3 2003
By 
Fire Sawin (NY United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Heralds Of Valdemar Trilogy #1 Arrows Of The Queen (Mass Market Paperback)
When I first read this several years ago, I was fourteen, and enjoyed this book immensely. I greatly enjoyed the world and
the magic, and the stories sparked my imagination. Recently I decided to re-read Arrows of the
Queen, and to see if it was really as good as I remembered. I was sorely disappointed.
Talia, the main hero, is a poor girl who is outcast from her family for wanting to read, and do
things other than her womanly chores. From here she is rescued by a white horse, really a
Magical being called a companion, and is taken back to the Collegium. At the Collegium, she is
trained to be a Herald, and one of the most important heralds.
Through out this story, a majority of the characters are flat, two-dimensional cut-outs, that are
endlessly patient, wise, and caring, if they classify as "good." If they are bad, they are just as
flat, and are selfish, unintelligent, and cruel, IF they even really show up beyond a brief mention.
Talia is magically good at just about anything she sets her sights on doing. What little depth of
character and tension there is in Talia is easily overcome with the help of her companion.
Lackey seems unable to hold any suspense, and the plot, what there is of one, is predictable.
She was obviously "in love" with the character at the time of writing, and this desire to see her
character succeed is made clear through the book, and early on one has the feeling that Talia
could not fail.
However, with all this said, there is some hints of quality in the book. The character of Jadus,
while short-lived within the book lept off the pages and came across as a clear character, even if
a bit on the perfect side (as all her characters in this book are). Skiff, while only playing the role
of the prankster, has hints of a more interesting past than the simple face he shows now. The
ride to the Collegium hints at a larger world that teases the imagination. However, one gets a
much better look at this world through her other writings.
In a sentence: If you want anything other than an imaginative distraction, this isn't the book to
read, and even then read the Mage Winds series (also by Mercedes Lackey) instead.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Good World, Bad Writing., Aug. 3 2003
By 
Fire Sawin (NY United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Heralds Of Valdemar Trilogy #1 Arrows Of The Queen (Mass Market Paperback)
When I first read this several years ago, I was fourteen, and enjoyed this book immensely. I greatly enjoyed the world and
the magic, and the stories sparked my imagination. Recently I decided to re-read Arrows of the
Queen, and to see if it was really as good as I remembered. I was sorely disappointed.
Talia, the main hero, is a poor girl who is outcast from her family for wanting to read, and do
things other than her womanly chores. From here she is rescued by a white horse, really a
Magical being called a companion, and is taken back to the Collegium. At the Collegium, she is
trained to be a Herald, and one of the most important heralds.
Through out this story, a majority of the characters are flat, two-dimensional cut-outs, that are
endlessly patient, wise, and caring, if they classify as "good." If they are bad, they are just as
flat, and are selfish, unintelligent, and cruel, IF they even really show up beyond a brief mention.
Talia is magically good at just about anything she sets her sights on doing. What little depth of
character and tension there is in Talia is easily overcome with the help of her companion.
Lackey seems unable to hold any suspense, and the plot, what there is of one, is predictable.
She was obviously "in love" with the character at the time of writing, and this desire to see her
character succeed is made clear through the book, and early on one has the feeling that Talia
could not fail.
However, with all this said, there is some hints of quality in the book. The character of Jadus,
while short-lived within the book lept off the pages and came across as a clear character, even if
a bit on the perfect side (as all her characters in this book are). Skiff, while only playing the role
of the prankster, has hints of a more interesting past than the simple face he shows now. The
ride to the Collegium hints at a larger world that teases the imagination. However, one gets a
much better look at this world through her other writings.
In a sentence: If you want anything other than an imaginative distraction, this isn't the book to
read, and even then read the Mage Winds series (also by Mercedes Lackey) instead.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Book, July 13 2003
This review is from: Heralds Of Valdemar Trilogy #1 Arrows Of The Queen (Mass Market Paperback)
This is not the first Lackey book I've read, nor is it the first book of the fantasy genre I have read. I first picked up this book after feeling mentally exhausted from reading the first 6 books of The Wheel of Time. Feeling not up to the task of digesting the bulky complexity of the 7th Wheel of Time book, I searched for some lighter fantasy tales in the library. And guessed what I found? The PERFECT fantasy to occupy my time!
Although I agree that this 1 book alone does not have much of a plot, it makes for an excellent introduction to the series, and creates the atmosphere and setting for future books well. The Collegium (school of the "Magical" people) makes for a firm base for all of the character's activities; almost all of the story takes place in the collegium.
The characterization is simply marvellous. Main character Talia, is a sweet-natured girl, with an abused childhood, which results in her reticence and lack of trust in people, especially men (who she sees as evil people). It cannot be said that Talia's character stays stagnant throughout the book as she does throws off most of her shyness after the failed attempt on her life near the middle of the book. Other characters, especially Tali's friends are also well-developed for a relatively short book as this.
Another thing to be said about the book is that Lackey is not afraid to make her characters die. Such deaths are really sad, and the thoughts of grief on the part of the characters is believable and done so well that you can't help but shed a tear with them. I did, though I am a guy.
It is a great book. Go read it, you can really sympathise with Talia.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Book, July 13 2003
This review is from: Heralds Of Valdemar Trilogy #1 Arrows Of The Queen (Mass Market Paperback)
This is not the first Lackey book I've read, nor is it the first book of the fantasy genre I have read. I first picked up this book after feeling mentally exhausted from reading the first 6 books of The Wheel of Time. Feeling not up to the task of digesting the bulky complexity of the 7th Wheel of Time book, I searched for some lighter fantasy tales in the library. And guessed what I found? The PERFECT fantasy to occupy my time!
Although I agree that this 1 book alone does not have much of a plot, it makes for an excellent introduction to the series, and creates the atmosphere and setting for future books well. The Collegium (school of the "Magical" people) makes for a firm base for all of the character's activities; almost all of the story takes place in the collegium.
The characterization is simply marvellous. Main character Talia, is a sweet-natured girl, with an abused childhood, which results in her reticence and lack of trust in people, especially men (who she sees as evil people). It cannot be said that Talia's character stays stagnant throughout the book as she does throws off most of her shyness after the failed attempt on her life near the middle of the book. Other characters, especially Tali's friends are also well-developed for a relatively short book as this.
Another thing to be said about the book is that Lackey is not afraid to make her characters die. Such deaths are really sad, and the thoughts of grief on the part of the characters is believable and done so well that you can't help but shed a tear with them. I did, though I am a guy.
It is a great book. Go read it, you can really sympathise with Talia.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Best of the Best!, Jan. 28 2003
By 
Chase Marshall (Ft. Collins, CO USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Heralds Of Valdemar Trilogy #1 Arrows Of The Queen (Mass Market Paperback)
Okay, to start off this is above all my fav book of all times! Mercedes Lackey is the best, no competition! Arrows of the Queen is a book for people who like the more, developing, emotional kinda books instead of pure action and carnage. I love this book and have read it many times, enjoying equally each. I cried, yes cried, at times, laughed and spewed a few indecent words while reading this book, even though I know what happens. The rest of the trilogy is great, but nothing can ever top Arrow's of the Queen. That is, if you're looking for a more thoughtful book. I do agree Misty's other books are quite good(Except the lacking in a couple of her newest novels), but still, this book is above all in the way she wraps you into the lives of the characters, makes you wish you were there to help to hold hands(Okay, maybe that's just me....). Anyway I hope people take this to heart and get this book. Though if you want to read the whole series, at least start with the Mage War trilogy. Then this even though it's not techniclly in chrono order but who cares! Enjoy! ...
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2.0 out of 5 stars Great for young readers, adults may want to give this a miss, Oct. 25 2002
By 
Francine taylor (Portland, OR, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Heralds Of Valdemar Trilogy #1 Arrows Of The Queen (Mass Market Paperback)
P>Obviously strongly influenced by Ms. McCaffrey's Menolly, Talia is oppressed and controlled and unappreciated by her family, who is narrow minded, unsupportive, and possessed of a "men rule, women are enablers" mentality. She runs away, or rather, is rescued, by a white horse which leads her into a situation where her talents can be appreciated and used.
On the surface it's a good story, and one which teenagers, and many adults who live dysfunctional lives, can identify with.
The problem is that if you are a reader looking for more than an escapist fantasy, and expect a character-driven author to be at least somewhat competent with characterization, you will be greatly disappointed.
Her "good" characters are possessed of all the same Good Traits; compassion, self sacrifice, humility and tolerance, and seldom possess any real (gasp) character flaws except things like excessive humility. None of them ever deliberately do anything that Isn't Nice to any fellow person or creature.
By contrast, the villains are the repository of every Evil to which the human character has laid claim. Sadistic to the extreme, they spend all of their time torturing and dominating anything they can get power over. The names change from book to book, but all the villains have pretty much the same personality.
The plots can all be boiled down to: "Bad Guy does Bad Things to Good people until the Good Guys manage to stop him.<P
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4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful light reading!, July 25 2002
By 
"keonie" (Melbourne, FL, US) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Heralds Of Valdemar Trilogy #1 Arrows Of The Queen (Mass Market Paperback)
If you're looking for a deep, involved, gritty fantasy novel, Arrows of the Queen is probably not the one for you. The plot is not complex -- in fact, there is little or no plot. There characters are rather straightforward, and completely black and white. There's no way to sympathize with the villains, and the hero(ine)s do not have a dark side.
That aside, I loved this book.
While not complex, Mercedes Lackey's first novel is definitely enjoyable reading. It's a sweet, fun, fairy-tale-ish story, enjoyable for all ages (I read it the first time when I was 10). The 'plot' is that of a young girl named Talia leaving a horrible life, where she is not accepted, and achieving her dreams. The qualities that she was punished for in her old life are ones that she is rewarded for in her new life -- that of a Herald. It's quite fun to read, and an excellent introduction to Mercedes Lackey.
Lackey -does- get better later on. Her world becomes less sugary-sweet, and her characters more interesting. Talia isn't that appealing -- but wait until later Valdemar novels, where you meet the wonderful Kerowyn. However, Mercedes Lackey's books don't make sense without reading this one. And reading this enjoyable but not deep novel is no chore at all.
Yes, the world is unrealistic. Yes, the country of Valdemar is too perfect, and would never be possible, even with magic. Yes, there is too much divine interference. However, despite those many flaws, Arrows of the Queen is one of the funnest Mercedes Lackey novels I've ever read. And, yes, I mean 'fun'.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Fantasy!, July 3 2002
This review is from: Heralds Of Valdemar Trilogy #1 Arrows Of The Queen (Mass Market Paperback)
Thirteen-year-old Talia lives an unpleasant life among the Holderkin. Her only escape is the world in her books about heralds. Talia wants nothing more than to be a herald and when her dream comes true she quickly that herald life, although thrilling and wonderful is a lot more complicated than she ever thought. She is to become the Queens Own, one of the most important positions for a herald. Her main task is to take care of the young spoiled Princess Elspeth, but even before she can do that she must start her training as a herald. This involves weapons practice, fascinating history classes, and complicated magic works. And to top it off Talia must endure the harsh treatment of people that would do anything to get rid of her.
I absolutely loved this book. Being my second Mercedes Lackey book, Arrows of the Queen is an amazing work of fantasy. The main character, Talia was very easy for me to relate to, even though our lives are very different. I'm definitely going to continue to read this trilogy (the other books are Arrows Flight and Arrows fall). Mercedes Lackey is a great author.
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Heralds Of Valdemar Trilogy #1 Arrows Of The Queen
Heralds Of Valdemar Trilogy #1 Arrows Of The Queen by Mercedes Lackey (Mass Market Paperback - March 3 1987)
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