Magic's Pawn

Magic's Pawn

Book - 1989
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Groundbreaking epic fantasy series in Mercedes Lackey's Valdemar universe * Lambda-Award winning novels with heartfelt high adventure and magic

Though Vanyel has been born with near-legendary abilities to work both Herald and Mage magic, he wasn't no part in such things. Nor does he seek a warrior's path, wishing instead to become a Bard.

Yet such talent as his, if left untrained, may prove a menace not only to Vanyel but to others as well. So he is sent to be fostered with his aunt, Savil, one of the fame Herald-Mages of Valdemar.

But, strong-willed and self-centered, Vanyel is a challenge which even Savil cannot master alone. For soon he will become the focus of frightening forces, lending his raw magic to a spell that unleashes terrifying wyr-hunters on the land.

And by the time Savil seeks the assistance of a Shin'a'in Adept, Vanyel's wild talent may have already grown beyond anyone's ability to contain, placing Vanyel, Savil, and Valdemar itself in desperate peril.
Publisher: New York : DAW Books, [1989]
Copyright Date: ©1989
ISBN: 9780886773526
0886773520
Branch Call Number: LAC
Characteristics: 349 pages ;,18 cm.

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r
ryner
Feb 09, 2018

Vanyel is not the eldest son his parents were hoping for. Small of stature, fair of face, and with no talent for combat with heavy arms, he's the object of abuse and ridicule by his father, his father's advisers, and even his younger brother. His heart's desire is to be left to himself to play his instruments and to eventually study with the bardic college. But finally fed up with Vanyel's inadequacies, his father forces him to pack his bags and sends him away to live with his no-nonsense aunt Savil, whom he hopes will drive some strength and discipline into him.

I feel lukewarm about this book. I was irritated from the start by the lack of dimension to the peripheral characters in Vanyel's life -- the vain and vacuous mother, the father for whom he'll never be good enough, the evil and brutish advisers -- all archetypes I've seen before. My hopes were elevated at Vanyel finding a kindred spirit in Tylendel, but then I was rolling my eyes in incredulity at the velocity and utter perfection of their relationship. I appreciated Lackey taking that risk, and in 1989 no less, and the story gets some props later on for taking a sharp and sudden turn from what I had been expecting. However, overall the author hasn't made me care enough about Vanyel to find out what happens in book two.

s
Stefanie1981
Jan 31, 2018

This is a very dramatic story. Wish it was in book format.

BostonPL_AnnaD Oct 04, 2014

Magic’s Pawn by Mercedes Lackey
Read by: Anna/Central Teen Room
Originally posted to the Teen Blog on 12/3/2011.

I started reading this book before I really knew what I was getting into. I knew it was a fantasy book written over twenty years ago now, and it had been recommended to me by a friend of mine who had mentioned something about gay romance in the book. I was a little interested, and unsure where it would go, considering the age and content of the book.

I have to say I was very surprised by it and once I got into it, I simply could not put it down. Please don’t let the cover fool you. It might look aged, but this is a truly ageless book. It is fantasy after all.

This is the story of a young man, 16-years-old, who is destined to take the place of his father in charge of the keep where they live. The only thing is, Vanyel doesn’t want that job. He wants to be a bard, to play music for others. He doesn’t want to fight, and the armsmaster who teaches him is ruthless and cruel to boot. But when he gets shipped off to his aunt who happens to be a herald mage, he finds that his life doesn’t have to be so boring. He falls in love with a fellow male student there, and it is this love, which he’d once thought forbidden, that changes his life forever. Young Vanyel has strengths he never knew he had, strengths he’ll need to learn to control, if he’s to survive, and save the country.

This is the first book in a trilogy, entitled The Last Herald Mage by Mercedes Lackey, and if you enjoy fantasy novels and gay romance, you’ll love this book! I don’t know what else I can say about it, other than it’s a book you need to check out today.

d
dance4jov
Mar 20, 2012

omg, AMAZING book, will love it forever and ever and ever. perhaps one of the best gay ya fiction. it sure helped me through a rough time and helped me learn. and of course it was pure torture to put it down!

l
ladyshallot
Mar 19, 2012

One of my favorite books. It's definitely a guilty pleasure. I recommend it to anyone who's looking for a good heart breaker. Vanyel remains one of my favorite Mercedes Lackey characters.

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BostonPL_AnnaD Oct 04, 2014

BostonPL_AnnaD thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

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