Monday, February 2, 2009

Valdemar (Mercedes Lackey)

Over the last couple of days I've been thinking of starting on Mercedes Lackey's "Valdemar" fantasy series. I'm kind of dreading it, because there are at least 26 novels, spanning some 2,000 years in the history of a nation. It'll take me about that long to finish off the 26 I've got.

It's a really impressive series, and Lackey is crazy prolific. But I have a feeling that I'm going to have some of the same problems with this series that I did with her Diana Tregarde books. She can tell a story, but at times she's shrill, overbearing, and fussy. If you're going through a break-up or you're in the aftermath of one, you need to read something else or some of the books will cut you to pieces with their love stories and lost loves.

Oh, and most of her point-of-view characters are women. There are a few male POV's, and some of them are straight, but many of her guys tend to be gay. In this Utopian fantasy world, most people don't seem to care about that, but those who do tend to be protrayed as the stereotypical homophobe.

As far as characterization, the entire series is strongly character-driven. Real people and their interactions are complicated, imperfect, fragile, petty, and irrational, and Lackey develops her stories with this in mind. These same ideas shape each character, too--they don't all have the same interests or abilities.

The series is broken down mostly into trilogy sets:

Mage Wars 1-3:
01 Black Gryphon, The (w/ Larry Dixon)
02 White Gryphon, The (w/ Larry Dixon)
03 Silver Gryphon, The (w/ Larry Dixon)

The Last Herald-Mage 1-3:
04 Magic's Pawn
05 Magic's Promise
06 Magic's Price

Lavan Firestorm:
07 Brightly Burning

Vows & Honor 1-3:
08 Oathbound, The
09 Oathbreakers
10 OathBlood (Short Story collection)

Alberich 1-2:
11 Exile's Honor
12 Exile's Valor

13 Take A Thief

Talia 1-3:
14 Arrows of the Queen
15 Arrow's Flight
16 Arrow's Fall

17 By the Sword

Mage Winds 1-3:
18 Winds Of Fate
19 Winds of Change
20 Winds of Fury

Mage Storms 1-3:
21 Storm Warning
22 Storm Rising
23 Storm Breaking

Darian 1-3:
24 Owlflight
25 OwlSight
26 Owlknight

I don't know if I'm up for a cover-to-cover coverage of the whole set. For the blog's purposes, it'd be better if I broke it into the trilogies and singles, with something else in between to get me through the Lackey fatigue.

No comments: