This is it! The last year in which Jackie @ Death by Tsundoku and I will read Mercedes Lackey’s fantasy universe, known colloquially as the “Valdemar series” (despite taking place in several fictional countries beyond Valdemar).
I ask myself: Would I have read all of these books alone? I’m not sure. Given the fact that they take up a book slot (I plan about 5 books per month) every month in my reading, I might have easily been lured away from Valdemar if Jackie weren’t here with me. It’s like we’re holding hands and running through a fantasy world of people with mind magic and animal avatars for deities — and hold her hand keeps me going. Once we hit the end of 2021, I know I will be incredibly proud that Jackie and I stuck to it for three years.
Is this just about Jackie and me? Absolutely not. We’re asking you to read along with us. Did you miss the first two years? That’s not a problem. Most of Mercedes Lackey’s Valdemar books are written as trilogies in which you are introduced to a main character and follow them for three novels. You don’t need to read any other trilogies before that. Thus, now is your opportunity to read Lackey’s newest Valdemar books (the most recent was published in 2020).
However, a note: you can see on the read-along schedule below that the books are sort of clumped. The first series has five titles (The Collegium Chronicles), then a trilogy (Herald Spy) and another trilogy that follows the previous books’ main character’s children (Family Spies). Based on the books’ synopses, all the titles in 2021 build on each other, continuing the story with the same main character. On the other hand, Lackey is known for getting readers up to speed no matter where they start her books, so if you only want to read a trilogy this year, I’d bet that you can do so without losing out on anything.
In 2019, my #ReadingValdemar posts had a lot of traffic. However, in 2020 I started to feel shy about reviewing a series. Readers and comments are more sporadic. Thus, I would share a second review the same day I posted a Valdemar review. In 2021, I’m not doing that; I’m going to proudly review each book and hope you appreciate what I have to say, even if fantasy series aren’t your jam.
Lastly, thanks to my spouse for creating these beautiful graphics for Jackie and me. Every year he puts together stunning images for our read-along, and he’s outdone himself once again.