Monday, February 8, 2016

Magic's Price by Mercedes Lackey

Valdemar- the once-peaceful kingdom protected by the magic of its Herald Mages- is now beseiged on all fronts. The king lies near death, the neighboring land of Karse wages a relentless war against Valdemar, and the forces led by a master of dark forbidden magic are massing to stroke the final devastating blow against the kingdom.

And Vanyel, the most powerful Herald-Mage Valdemar has ever known, has become the primary target of the evil which is reaching out to poison all the land. With all his fellow mages slain, Vanyel alone remains to defend his people against the dark master’s army. Yet a dream vision has revealed to Vanyel the fate which awaits should he and his Companion Yfandes take up the dark master’s challenge. And if either Vanyel or Yfandes falters, the dream will become a horrifying reality in which both Valdemar and its last Herald-Mage must pay the ultimate price….

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Arguably the best in the trilogy, this final volume is also the most emotional in many ways. Anyone whose read the Heralds of Valdemar trilogy knows how this one ends - Talia learns the basics of the story in one of her classes - but even knowing what's coming doesn't lessen its impact when it comes. I'm not ashamed to say that it still gets me every time no matter how many times I've read this (though admittedly not as badly as it did the first few times).

A lot of things come full circle for Vanyel in this book. Visions that he has had since he was a teen in book one make their appearance once more and finally come to their grim fruition. He finds love once more after many years alone but also has to watch many of his friends and others he holds dear die. After being broken for so very long, he finally manages to find peace of a sort and is whole at long last though sadly he does not get much chance to enjoy it. Overall, this book is a bit of a grim ride, though one that is still well worth taking. If you've come this far with the trilogy you certainly wouldn't want to stop now. I could possibly go on, but then I'd just be rehashing the story too much, so I'll simply state that this remains one of my favorite trilogies of all time, and this one is my favorite book within it. A definite must-read recommendation for this.

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