Title: Magic’s Promise
Author: Mercedes Lackey
Series: The Last Herald Mage #2, Valdemar #5
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Fantasy, Romance
Publisher: Daw fantasy
5th sentence, 74th page: The Inn had certainly marked his passage into a different world, though young Vanyel Ashkevron, more than half a prisoner of his escort, had not gotten the attention that Herald-Mage Vanyel got now.
The wild magic
Is taking its toll on the land. Many Heralds and Herald-Mages have died fighting to preserve peace. Even Vanyel, the most powerful of the Herald-Mages is almost at the end of his strength, in need of a respite from the dual threats of war and dark magic.
But for Vanyel, there can be no reast. Not when his Companion, Yfandes, receives a summons which can’t be ignored – a desperate cry for help which draws them both into the heart of a magical holocaust in the neighboring kingdom. Almost overwhelmed by the devastation they discover there, Herald-Mage and Companion must try to unravel this tragic mystery. Is the young Prince Tashir, a newly Chosen Herald who can’t control his own magic, responsible for the destruction? Or is Tashir a pawn in a deeper, more deadly game – and, if so, will Vanyel be able to find and defeat the true destroyer before this master of dark powers can strike again?
It took me a while to pick this one up after the first book in this series. Actually, I had to go and read an entirely different, but happier book to be able to face more of Vanyel’s tale. But, on the same token, I was just itching to find out what happened next in his journey. And, let me tell you, I wasn’t disappointed!
The book starts years after Vanyel has learnt to deal with the pain of his loss. And I say deal with, not accept. And not move on. Sometimes there is only one true love in life, and I can’t fathom losing such a one so early in life. I found that very thought to be so incredibly gut-wrenching and heart-breaking. But, also in dealing with such loss in life to serve and protect others, a kind of light and inspiration. That we may feel pain, and we may lose loved ones, but there is always someone left behind who needs you. I think that this is a tie for many people to the living world, and it very much struck me that this was the case with Vanyel.
Not only has Vanyel found a purpose in a life without romantic love, but he also has managed to gain control of an unfathomable amount of power. I loved that this was a story about a man with power – who used it for the greater good.
Even though I still think that this is the darkest series I have so far read by Lackey, I also found it to be the most inspiring. It’s true that there is no light without the dark, and I think that this is just so beautifully highlighted in this book. Just make sure you have some chocolate next to you to light your way in the darkest moments…
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