Author Topic: LACKEY, Mercedes  (Read 10161 times)

SylviaSybil

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Re: LACKEY, Mercedes
« Reply #15 on: November 23, 2009, 01:33:22 am »
I read the Arrows of the Queen trilogy when I was in middle school, and loved it.  I picked it up recently hoping to relive some nostalgia.  Wow.  Her writing has come a loooong way since this trilogy.  I mean, it's Mercedes Lackey.  You expect wish fulfillment fantasies, over the top abuse, the power of your One True Love, and maybe some clumsy yet earnest attempts to address gender and social issues.  They're Cinderella stories.  The protag gets beaten down to the lowest of the low, and Lackey milks the angst for all it's worth.  Then they finally triumph through the power of the hidden strength they didn't know they possesed and with the help of a Deus Ex Machina.  The audience cheers and goes away satisfied. 

But this trilogy is so, so...I don't want to say "bad" because I see the seeds of what will grow into the light hearted wish fulfillment fantasy we all know and enjoy.  But if I had picked this series up at twenty instead of twelve, I never would have read another book of hers.  Heck, I probably wouldn't have finished the first book.  Talia is just so perfect.  Everyone around her thinks about how perfect she is, and on the rare occasion that someone thinks ill of her, they later regret it and angst about how wrong they were to have doubted her perfection. 

Compare the Arrows trilogy to the Magic's Pawn trilogy.  It's basically the same story.  But Vanyel has actual flaws, and no, "I have low self esteem because my father and brother beat me endlessly as a child" is not a flaw.  Vanyel screws up all the time and gets called out for it.  His story even starts because he gets sent to military school for being such an unruly brat!  But Talia is the perfect almighty chosen one, which would be bad enough without constantly switching to other people's POVs so they can tell us how awesome Talia is.  No wonder I loved this book so much at 12; what whiny angsty teenager wouldn't identify with Talia?

I'm not sure if I'm going to finish reading the trilogy or not; I've forbidden myself to torture myself by reading books I've already decided are bad, but I remember the ending of the third book as being very satisfying and over the top in the declarations of One True Love, which is actually what I was looking for when I was skimming my bookshelf.  An overwrought emotional One True Love, that is.  Not a satisfying tale, because these books have already failed on that front.
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kikucat

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Re: LACKEY, Mercedes
« Reply #16 on: November 23, 2009, 07:30:21 am »
Yeah there's a big difference between Arrows of the Queen & her 500 Kingdoms books ;)

SylviaSybil

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Re: LACKEY, Mercedes
« Reply #17 on: November 23, 2009, 12:17:11 pm »
I've never read any of the 500 Kingdoms books, but I keep hearing how good they are from various different people.  Unfortunately, my library does not have internet searching/requesting for all books, so I can't get them that way.
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Kaelyn

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Re: LACKEY, Mercedes
« Reply #18 on: November 28, 2010, 10:59:47 pm »
Has anyone read Trio of Sorcery yet? It is three UF shorts. I am curious if it is any good before I purchase it. I am guessing it is because I like Mercedes's other works but I figured it wouldn't hurt to ask. :)
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SylviaSybil

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Re: LACKEY, Mercedes
« Reply #19 on: December 01, 2010, 01:51:26 am »
Wow, over a full year between responses! liongrin

Sorry, don't know about Trio of Sorcery. :(

I did try the 500 Kingdoms series.  I read the first four books.  While I like the idea behind it, I think the execution is lacking.  I'm a little tired of perfect heroines being right all the time.  Book 4 was poorly edited with two glaring contradictions I noticed (they bury the robbers' bodies twice and get different loot off them each time, she introduces herself to the same people twice and gets two different reactions each time) and that was the breaking point for me.  I have to turn my brain off to read Lackey in the first place, poor editing is just insult to injury.
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Kaelyn

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Re: LACKEY, Mercedes
« Reply #20 on: December 01, 2010, 12:18:27 pm »
I haven't read her 500 Kingdom series, I like the series she writes with James Mallory though. I think it is the Obsidian Trilogy.
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CheeseBK

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Re: LACKEY, Mercedes
« Reply #21 on: February 16, 2015, 04:58:02 am »
Because it came up in another thread - I'm putting some info here on Lackey's Valdemar series
the valdemar-books are actually older works by mercedes lackey

I think the original books are Arrows of the Queen -  Arrow's Flight   - Arrow's Fall
She expanded on the books in Valdemar quite a bit, there are more than 30, I think. I've read approx. 15 of them, but the original three books are still my favourite, but Lackey's writing was back then not as good as it is today. But there is so much promise in the books. I also quite liked Take A Thief and By The Sword.
I did not enjoy the books with Elspeth (the Mage Winds books) as main character that much, I just couldn't quite relate to her. I did like the Collegium Chronicles (Mags), but they are set a very long time before Arrow's of the Queen.
There are - IMO - weaker and stronger books in this series. If you start with Arrows of the Queen, you can always go either way (to the books before or after) to expand.

here is a link to her Valdemar books:
http://www.goodreads.com/series/50054-valdemar-chronological

I would start with Arrows of the Queen. Mostly because then you can also watch Lackey's writing style improve over the years :)

Bat

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Re: LACKEY, Mercedes
« Reply #22 on: February 16, 2015, 11:50:21 pm »
Phoenix and Ashes is in the Elemental masters series, but Cheese is right, the can be read as stand alone.  It's been a while since I read them, but if I remember correctly the only thing the books share is being in the same world, not having the same characters.


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