Book - 2008
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In this chronicle of the early history of Valdemar, Mercedes Lackey's bestselling world, a thirteen-year-old orphan named Magpie escapes a life of slavery in the gem mines when he is chosen by one of the magical Companion horses of Valdemar to be trained as a Herald. Thrust into the center of a legend in the making, Magpie discovers talents he never knew he had--and witnesses the founding of the great Heralds' Collegium.
Publisher: New York : DAW Books, Inc., c2008
ISBN: 9780756405762
Characteristics: 340 p. ; 24 cm


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IndyPL_SteveB Dec 30, 2018

Mags, an orphan forced into years of slavery conditions at a gem mine is rescued and taken to be a student at the brand new Heralds’ Collegium in Valdemar’s capital city of Haven, where trainees learn to be Heralds, Bards, and Healers. In the Collegium, he makes several friends, learns to use his magical mind powers, and discovers that an unknown evil being is trying to kill him. The second book in the series adds Kirball, a war-game training sport where Collegium teams compete to score points by throwing a ball through a goal or capturing the other team’s flag.

If any of this sounds reminiscent of a certain boy wizard raised in misery, elevated suddenly to a school of magic, where he makes two close friends, gets involved in a ball sport with lots of zooming around, and has an unexplained mental link with a serious evil guy… well, I beat you to it. There is a lack or originality here, but Lackey is an excellent storyteller who will hold the attention of upper elementary and teen readers. The characters are good and the balance of information, emotional drama, and action are calculated perfectly to keep you reading. It’s a popcorn book, in a way, but really GOOD popcorn.

Jun 12, 2013

This book is the back story of the development of the Collegia System in Valdemar.

weickartsmith Aug 06, 2012

This book really is a great way to start a new Herald Story. I love how it is a believable story that uses not only magic but pure self motivation to make a change and create what becomes an excellent story.

Mar 04, 2011

Borrowed Jul, 09, 2009

Aug 27, 2010

You'll likely like it if you like other Valdemar novels but it's even a good read if you've no knowledge of the world created by M. Lackey. Here, the Heralds', as well as the Bardic's and Healer's college is new, but the focus is once again on struggle, hope and friendship.

Jul 27, 2010

If you know this series = it is the start of the college and how heralds reacted. As usual characters that you can identify with.

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Apr 19, 2014

d2lbrokaw thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

Jun 12, 2013

Shenandoah thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over


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