Throwback Thursday-Queen’s Own by Mercedes Lackey

Queen's Own (Valdemar: Arrows of the Queen #1-3)

Arrows of the Queen * Arrows Flight * Arrows Fall

Recently, life has thrown me some curveballs, so I decided to re-read a character story that was similar to what I was going through.  I found Arrows of the Queen early in life (either junior high or early high school) and loved the story then for almost the same reasons I wanted to read it again now.  Also, DAW recently released the trilogy in a single paperback, which rekindled my desire to read the series.

The Complete Arrows Trilogy

I want to be honest here; I usually skip Arrows Flight in my re-read because not much happens.  As one of Mercedes Lackey’s earliest writing endeavors, this trilogy suffers in a couple ways.  First, the middle book is almost dead space with most of what is described being too drawn out.  This really could have been a beefier duology and been a bit better for it.  Second, the pacing is just a little off at times.  I like getting to know how Court and Collegium work, and I like getting to learn more about Talia’s friendships, but there aren’t quite enough pages devoted to the action sequences.  They read as very abrupt.

Readers who aren’t accustomed to older styles of writing in the fantasy genre may become frustrated or annoyed by the editing presented in the originals.  And, I haven’t had the opportunity to examine the new release to see if the editing was updated at all.  However, I think the story of acceptance, bullying, family, and adventure overcome these minor negatives.

The reasons why I love this tale are tied to the main character, Talia.  As a child, she was raised in a household that didn’t provide love or acceptance for who she was as a person.  Then, when she traveled to the capital to become a Herald, she was met with bullies and court intrigue from early on, plus she had to work through her issues of trust, friendship, and communication.  Mercedes Lackey shows a great deal of knowledge about the human psyche and emotions.  Anyone who wants more LBGTQ, female empowerment, and diversity in their fantasy should check out any of Lackey’s works as she was one of the originals to feature positive reactions and acceptance of what was mostly considered normal (in the worldbuilding) relationships of that nature.

Also, who doesn’t love horse gods 🙂

OVERVIEW from the publisher

Available in a single volume for the first time, Mercedes Lackey’s debut trilogy of Valdemar!

The Complete Arrows Trilogy contains the three extraordinary novels that launched Mercedes Lackey’s remarkable career and sparked the imaginations of millions of readers across the world.

The Arrows trilogy tells the story of Talia, a daughter of the repres­sive Holderfolk, who is Chosen by the immortal Companion Rolan to become one of the legendary Heralds of Valdemar.

Companions like Rolan are mystical horse-like beings with powers beyond imagining—including the power to sense an awakening potential for special talents of the mind in certain young men and women, like Talia.

With Rolan’s help, Talia will learn to master her unique mental abilities of telepathy and empathy, and will grow from an uncertain and inexperienced Herald trainee to become the most important Herald of all: the Queen’s Own.

And together, Talia and Rolan will fight to protect the queen, the heir to the throne, and the entire kingdom—from dangerous conspiracies, looming unrest, vicious treachery, and even an evil and ancient sorcery beyond the magic of the Heralds themselves.