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The Complete Arrows Trilogy (Valdemar) Paperback – August 4, 2015
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“Lackey has created a complex, interesting world.” —American Fantasy Magazine
“The story is well told, and the major characters are well-drawn. As a whole, the trilogy offers evidence of Lackey’s...potential to become a major figure in the field.” —Booklist
“So well-crafted you’ll want read it an entire night. The Heralds are all people you know, or wish you knew.” —OtherRealms
About the Author
- Publisher : DAW; First Edition (August 4, 2015)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 720 pages
- ISBN-10 : 075641119X
- ISBN-13 : 978-0756411190
- Item Weight : 1.41 pounds
- Dimensions : 5.94 x 1.48 x 8.98 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #118,515 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from the United States
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I really wanted to like this, as Ms Lackey does a lot for aspiring authors and she gives a lot of good advice. I suspect that, being (one of?) her first book, she just hadn't learned that advice that she gives to others yet, and I am hopeful that reading her later works will show marked improvement. The problems read like a beginner's list of "things you should not do:"
1) Head jumping. One paragraph will be from the perspective of one character, and then without notice, in the next paragraph we are in another head. Then maybe we jump back the next paragraph. Or the next paragraph might be some sort of omniscient POV that can see things none of the characters can. It is very distracting to a generation of readers used to the tight 3rd person limiteds of GRRM or Erikson etc.
2) Showing instead of telling. Over and over and over, I kept longing for some actual showing but instead getting the main character making major progressions in half a page, things like "over the next few weeks she practiced hard and by the end she was really good at X." Half the time I felt like I was reading a synopsis of the story and not an actual *story*.
3) Mary Sue: the lead character is an infamous Mary Sue, she is better than everyone else at everything and everyone loves her immediately and will do anything for her.
4) WHERE IS THE CONFLICT? There was a short 5-page conflict at the beginning until she was rescued by a magical unicorn; and there was a brief time where she dealt with some very mild bullying that we were then told went away (not shown). Other than that, there was no "story", all we see is Mary Sue gaining more and more powers as she grows up a bit. I *guess* the "plot" as it were must be in the last two books?
5) World-building: the world building has some hints of what I am assuming is a talent that gets much better in her later books, but what is displayed in this book is simplistic and surface. Most annoying to me at least were the magical "companions": there's some handwavy background that they were created by a magician, but the mechanics of how they work and come back to life and just magically get reborn and show up somewhere when another one dies are completely skipped, as if that isn't something you are allowed to be interested in. In their "choosing", they evoke the horror of Rowling's "Sorting Hat" (given Rowling's hacktastic writing, it's not beyond the pale to think she stole this idea from here).
The second and third books though fall into some horrible cliches. The second spends most of its time in a snow bound cabin so the heroine can have sex and almost destroy herself with self doubt, then heal. The third is drive by misunderstandings that simple conversations would clear up, followed by terrible rapes that the heroine gets over after a few weeks of healing. Ugh.
I can see why these were such popular books, but if really recommend, if your an adult, to start with some of her more adult books.
I first read The Arrows Trilogy by Mercedes Lackey many years ago and periodically revisit it so was thrilled to find them in one volume for my Kindle. I immediately pre-ordered it and eagerly waited for it to come out. The Kindle edition was very well done. If there were any errors they did not stand out in my memory so they weren't glaring ones.
Ms. Lackey knows how to develop characters that you come to care about. You feel their angst as well as their joy (at least I do). Even though I have read these books many times, the emotions brought forth in them were just as strong this reading as they were the first time I read them. Her Valdemar series is one of my top all time favorites and I usually pre-order every one of them.
As a hint, when will the older SERRAted edge books be on Kindle?
Top reviews from other countries
But then, with the beginning of book two, I thought it to be the start of Talia's exciting time as a Herald and sadly, it was not. She is on her internship and when I heard it was in the inhospitable north, I thought there would be battle and mystery and stuff. But the whole book mostly consists of Talia and her assigned Herald being cloistered in some waystation in the snow. Wow. Not exciting. And to make things worse, the whole character development that happened in book one was just wiped away and there is a constantly worrying and angsting Talia just sitting around. I'd say something about Kris, the Herald she is interned with, but he is just a prop, he never feels like a real character.
When I thought the second book in the trilogy oftentimes is the filler with issues, I learned here that book three sadly didn't raise the bar any further. I disliked the plotline, the black and white villains, the stuff happening to Talia that have no real consequences whatsoever and the overall pacing.
So I'm afraid that this trilogy started out pretty good and went on a slow decline from there. I won't read any other books of that author, I'm sorry to say. Just not as good as other authors write about the theme.
Zwei Gründe haben mich davon abgehalten mehr als 3 Sterne zu geben. Die Geschichte ist nicht unbedingt originell, bzw. es gibt viele andere Bücher die ähnlich sind, was aber nicht unbedingt schlecht sein muss. Des Weiteren fehlen mir Höhepunkte und emotionale Tiefen. Also kein wirklicher Spannungsaufbau, schneller Tod oder Verschwinden von Bösewichten, und an manchen Stellen wird zu viel an anderen Stellen zu wenig auf Talias Emotionen fokussiert. Im Großen und Ganzen konnte ich nicht wirklich mit den Charakteren mitfiebern. Sie blieben für mich alle relativ flach und farblos. Trotzdem bereue ich es nicht die Triologie gelesen zu haben, obwohl ich wohl keine weiteren Bücher von Mercedes Lackey lesen werde.