Announcement: the year-long buddy read of 2019. Mercedes Lackey, here we come!

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 PawnMagic’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!

The Schedule: 
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
October: Owlflight
November: Owlsight
December: Owlnight

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).


  1. I don’t usually go for fantasy/magic, etc. in my reading, but when it’s done well, it can be very effective. I hope you’ll enjoy this journey!


  2. Yay! I am definitely curious and will be reading the Arrows of the Queen in January with you. I love fantasy and am notoriously picky about it 🙂 so if it is ok, I will commit to this book to see how much I enjoy both the author’s writing and her world building. If it’s a hit with me, I’ll be gladly joining you along for next reads.

    I’m so excited about Arrows of the Queen! 🙂


    • oh, Wendy! I would be so glad if you did! So far, Jackie and I are talking about doing discussion pieces together. Basically, that means that we would create a Google doc or something like that and right back and forth to each other on our thoughts about what we read. I know I plan on reviewing every book, and she’s going to review each series.


  3. Can we also discuss how cool the name “Mercedes Lackey” is??? Wowza. I won’t be reading these books with you, but I will definitely following along with your read-along to see how you enjoy them. And if they will be as good as you remember them from your teens!


  4. I’m not that keen on fantasy sorry but love your idea of revisiting a favourite from your teens. I can understand why those seniors made a beeline for Ann Arbour at the weekend; it has a European buzz that would make it so different to anything else around in Michigan…..

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Just call me your friendly neighborhood enabler. I kind of really like these cheesy covers. I think buddy reads are the perfect way to stay motivated to read a book. I applaud you ambition to tackle this entire series. I really hope you enjoy the experience and I look forward to reading your reviews of these ones.


    • i dont know how to break it to you but there are way more than 15 Valdemar universe:

      The Mage Wars
      The Black Gryphon (1994) with Larry Dixon
      The White Gryphon (1995) with Larry Dixon
      The Silver Gryphon (1996) with Larry Dixon

      The Last Herald Mage Trilogy
      Magic’s Pawn (1989)
      Magic’s Promise (1990)
      Magic’s Price (1990)
      The Last Herald Mage (1990 – omnibus)

      The Collegium Chronicles
      Foundation (2008)
      Intrigues (2010)
      Changes (2011)
      Redoubt (2012)
      Bastion (2013)

      Brightly Burning (2000)

      Vows & Honor
      The Oathbound (1988)
      Oathbreakers (1989)
      Oathblood (1998)
      Vows and Honor (1993 – omnibus)

      Exile’s Honor (2002)
      Exile’s Valor (2003)
      Take a Thief (2001)

      Kerowyn’s Tale
      By the Sword (1991)

      Heralds of Valdemar
      Arrows of the Queen (1987)
      Arrow’s Flight (1987)
      Arrow’s Fall (1988)
      Queen’s Own (1987 – omnibus)
      Heralds of Valdemar (1990 – omnibus)

      The Mage Winds Trilogy
      Winds of Fate (1991)
      Winds of Change (1992)
      Winds of Fury (1993)

      The Mage Storms Trilogy
      Storm Warning (1994)
      Storm Rising (1995)
      Storm Breaking (1996)

      The Owl Mage Trilogy
      Owlflight (1997) with Larry Dixon
      Owlsight (1998) with Larry Dixon
      Owlknight (1999) with Larry Dixon

      Valdemar Short Story Collections
      Sword of Ice (1997)
      Sun in Glory (2003)
      Crossroads (2005)
      Moving Targets (2008)
      Changing the World (2009)
      Finding the Way (2010)
      Under the Vale (2011)
      this one just came out this month Seasons

      that’s from her web site but its not complete you need to add
      The Hills Have Spies Eye Spy Spy, Spy Again last one coming soon
      Closer to Home Closer to the Heart Closer to the Chest thats 44


      • We know there are more. This is a three year project, so we read 16 books in 2019. Coming in 2020 are the Gryphon books, Brightly Burning, the Exiles of Valdemar, and the Oath trilogy. I hope you’ll join along! Look for a schedule in early January.


  6. So the first two books are available via audiobook on Hoopla… I told Jackie that you can count me in for the first trilogy at least. I also participated in the AoGG read-along, but it was really hard for me to stay all caught up. I’ll do my best!

    I’ve never read of this author… BUT with a name like Mercedes Lackey, how can I resist? Actually, it sounds a bit like a strippers stage name, which makes it all the more awesome. The first book we are reading was published the year I was born, so if that isn’t a sign I should participate I don’t know what is!


  7. What a lovely idea! Maybe I’ve read one of her books, years ago when I first started sampling women writers in SFF, but I can’t recall. I certainly remember admiring the cover art over the years though. When I think of her, I think of Katherine Kurtz, but I don’t think I’ve read anything of hers either. Isn’t it funny how some writers get connected in your mind, for seemingly no-good-reason? I’ve got two series to read for next year as well, so I can’t think seriously of joining you, but I will take a peek for the books on my next second-hand-bookstore crawl and let you know if I come up with any!


    • Lackey has several stand-alone novels, too, which may suite you if you’re still looking for SFF authors. The Black Swan is a famous novel she wrote. I feel like Lackey turns up on most shelves because she’s everywhere and her covers and plot synopses do tend to snag people’s attention.


  8. […] series.  If you are interested in participating, you can read Melanie’s post here ⇒ Announcement: the year-long buddy read of 2019. Mercedes Lackey, here we come! or Jackie’s post here ⇒ #ReadingValdemar : Reading Merecedes Lackey in […]


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