Changes: Giving up on Valdemar

Mercedes Lackey Valdemar The Collegium Chronicles 1. Foundation 2. Intrigues 3. ChangesChanges by Mercedes Lackey

And it is on this day, the 23rd of April, in the year two thousand and twelve, that I, Ruth Arnell, having been ushered into the world of fantasy readerdom by Arrows of the Queen, have given up on Valdemar.

Mercedes Lackey was my gateway to fantasy as a teenage girl. Valdemar was fascinating to me, but after 30some-odd books set in the world, the magic has faded, especially in the volumes written with her husband Larry Dixon.

This is the third book in the COLLEGIUM CHRONICLES series, and I have chronicled my problems with the previous two books in the series, Foundation and Intrigues. Those problems are magnified in this volume. More kirball for no apparent reason. The same fights with the same characters. Dialect so strong that it made my head hurt to wade through it. Life’s too short to read bad books. This one hit the fifty page mark and got tossed (gently) aside. The only thing that saved it from a broken spine was that I had checked it out of the library.


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RUTH ARNELL is a retired professor of political science in Idaho. From a young age she has maxed out her library card the way some people do credit cards. Ruth started reading fantasy with A Wrinkle in Time and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe — books that still occupy an honored spot on her bookshelf today. Ruth and her husband have a young son, but their house is actually presided over by a flame-point Siamese who answers, sometimes, to the name of Griffon.

View all posts by Ruth Arnell

5 comments

  1. I love the “proclamation” tone of your first sentence. :D

  2. Ruth; Well, Lackey met her destiny by getting you into reading fantasy. Years ago I read three of the Diana Tregarde books, which were urban fantasy before it had that name. I thoroughly enjoyed them and have never read another Lackey book since. It’s worked for me.

  3. Kelly, I do have quite the authorial voice, don’t I? :)

    And Marion, I loved the Diana Tregarde books. She did a short story recently with Diana in college that was quite good, in Trio of Sorcery, which was actually a great collection as a whole. It reminded me of why I used to love her writing so much. The old covers for the Tregarde books are so much better than the new ones.

  4. Shaun /

    Funny – I started reading Lackey for the first time on the same date!

    Only because it’s the most-often mentioned example of a homosexual main character in fantasy. The angst and femininity is a bit much to handle, but if the story gets better once Vanyel leaves the Holding, I might keep reading.

  5. The Valdemar series used to be fantastic, but I think it’s played out and this series is the result. I gave up two books ago…

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