When I was 16 years old, I hung out with high school seniors. That’s right, the older teens. Not only that, but my hometown is also the location of a large university. Many of my senior friends were already duel-enrolled in college classes. They had parents who let them act like college students, and they did Really Grown Up Things, like travel to Ann Arbor for the weekend to hang out with other cool people. They were beyond the cliques of high school; in fact, they seemed like they didn’t belong in those hallways, as if someone had forced them to duel-enroll in high school. I thought maybe this was all magic that could only be seen by my 16-year-old eyes, but no. Looking back at photos, they still look Really Grown Up. They look like European models. Why were they hanging out with me??
Two of these mature, amazing, talented folks introduced me to Mercedes Lackey, and in particular, the Magic trilogy from the Valdemar universe. I was surprised; I didn’t know anyone who read fantasy. But one girl had checked out the trilogy from the library and then loaned it to me (I don’t recommend this). The series just slayed me. So caught up was I in the three novels — Magic’s Pawn, Magic’s Promise, and Magic’s Price — that I asked for the books for Christmas so I could have them forever (after returning the other set to the library — late). I got what I asked for, and another trilogy from the Valdemar Universe, the Arrow trilogy.
But I never read the Arrow trilogy. Those 18-year-old friends moved away, most of them to the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. And I just felt lost. And I didn’t read anymore Mercedes Lackey.
Last year, I was writing to Alicia from Kernels of Nonsense and somehow, after talking about fantasy series we enjoy, each ended up by a bunch of books. What a bad influence she is! I got the remaining novels in the Valdemar Universe, meaning I now own 15 Mercedes Lackey books, 12 of which are unread and 3 that were read 17 years ago.
In 2019, I crafted a plan to read all 15 books then shared my intentions with Jackie at Death by Tsundoku. Jackie has graciously decided to join me in a buddy read! Some other readers have expressed interest as well, but since the series is not as popular as Anne of Green Gables or by an author with prestige like Margaret Atwood, I don’t expect tons of people to join. If you are interested, or have read other Mercedes Lackey books, let me know in the comments!
Note:(because there are 15 books, the first 3 months are doubled up)
January: Arrows of the Queen and Arrow's Flight
February: Arrow's Fall and Magic's Pawn
March: Magic's Promise and Magic's Price
April: Wind's of Fate
May: Winds of Change
June: Winds of Fury
July: Storm Warning
August: Storm Rising
September: Storm Breaking
All of these books can be found cheaply as mass market paperbacks online, and some of them come in omnibus form, cutting a few bucks off. I’ve also discovered them in libraries, as Lackey is quite popular and prolific. (My library has 70 results when I type in the author’s name, including the Valdemar Universe).