I was joined by Jackie @ Death by Tsundoku in 2019 while reading Mercedes Lackey’s (and later co-author Larry Dixon’s) large collection of Valdemar books. We got through 16 total, including the following series and one stand-alone novel:
This year, we’re cutting back a smidge and tackling 10 books total, including one stand-alone novel. We’re also switching some things up! At first, I was considering reviewing one trilogy at a time, instead of individual books. I asked other readers and bloggers how they felt about it, including bloggers who also read and review series. It can be a tricky balance between keeping readers along for the ride and losing people along the way.
However, looking at some #ReadingValdemar stats for the year, I found that there were 276 comments left on my reviews! Thank you so much for the conversation! Whether you read along, you appeared engaged with my thoughts on each novel.
Introducing. . . the new reading schedule and meme!
There will be some other changes, too: though Jackie @ Death by Tsundoku and I love talking about the books, we’re not getting much traction there with our blog readers in terms of conversation. My goal is to share 3 posts total per week — and no more! — at Grab the Lapels, so doing away with a thread that only Jackie and I and few others are interested in frees up some space for more engaging content.
That doesn’t mean we don’t want to hear from you in the comment section, especially if you are reading along or have read the books on our schedule before! Indeed, we’re getting a bit sneaky. At the end of our reviews, Jackie and I will each leave a question for the other to answer in the comments. Feel free to insert your two cents!
Afraid to commit? Consider reading only Brightly Burning, a stand-alone novel that doesn’t need context. Want to jump in for a little while? Read along with the Gryphon trilogy, which is the oldest (chronologically in the universe) and explains the make-up of the world before Heralds and Companions existed.
Buckle up for #ReadingValdemar 2020!
I’m not going to read along, not unless I start at a new library and they have one as an audiobook, but I enjoy your analysis, I enjoy the focus on SFF, even if it is mostly the second F, and I enjoy your conversations. I must say I also appreciate that each time your blog has a change of direction you’re up front about what you’re doing and the reasons for doing it.
I’ve never seen anyone review an audiobook of a Lackey novel, so I Googled to see if any even exist. The do, but they’re expensive on Audible — over $20 per book. The CD versions are twice as much. If you want to join in for just one book, Brightly Burning would be it.
Thank you so much for your kind words. I work hard to do things intentionally, but sometimes I’m not sure if it’s come across. I mean, I started GTL to review small-press books by women, but now I catch myself stumbling down the SFF road, and lately I’ve had a few erotica titles. So, it’s reassuring to me that my audience is catching what I’m throwing.
Also, did you see the lengthy comment I added on your post about Moll Flanders? I did finish reading it and left you and Lisa a comment, but I couldn’t remember if you’d replied.
Thank you, dear Shell!
I love that you have people transparent options for joining up at the end of this post. Very creative! I am 100% stealing it for my own and updating my post right now. XD You’re wonderful. I am looking forward to it!
I know it’s a lot to commit to, and though many people believe that you can jump in anywhere in Valdemar, I think some of the plots that thread through many books (such as Falconsbane and the circles left behind by the mage storms) would be confusing if leaping in. I tried to think of places where not must history or context would be needed.
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Smart! I wonder if we can ipck up the Skiff and Alberich books the same way? Perhaps Skiff over Alberich, only because there’s that whole history with Karse thing…
Oh! I think Skiff and Alberich’s books would work well because it’s back when they first meet. When we learned who they were in the Heralds of Valdemar trilogy, we didn’t know much about the beef with Karse; therefore, I don’t think it should be an issue that there IS history. In fact, I think Exiles of Valdemar explains how Alberich left Karse and went to Valdemar.
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I’ll try to jump in for one or two! I have never read a book by Mercedes Lackey (another shameful secret). I think part of the problem is with blogging, it feels like there is a lot of pressure to stay current / relevant, so I end up reading what’s mostly new instead of the backlog.
Anyway! Hoping you enjoy this. Are these re-reads for you and Jackie or are these new-to-you?
(Also – I checked your site against another browser, Chrome is not giving me issues with the pictures overlapping text. I just wanted to let you know since it would make me crazy trying to figure out what is wrong. It was Safari that was having issues.)
Ah, Safari! Okay, thanks. I work at a public library in the computer lab and am working SO HARD to train everyone to use Chrome.
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Haha. I actually prefer Safari (I think it’s more user friendly). But it definitely feels like it doesn’t keep up as well as Chrome.
The only books that were re-reads for me were The Last Herald Mage trilogy. Everything else is brand-new. Jackie hadn’t read any Lackey before we started on this journey. One thing Jackie noted is that all of these books are origins stories, so she’s got me convinced that you could jump in with any of the trilogies.
We’re so excited to have you! ❤