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Arrow's Fall (Valdemar: Arrows of the Queen #3)

4.15 of 5 stars 4.15  ·  rating details  ·  13,070 ratings  ·  157 reviews
With Elspeth, the heir to the throne of Valdemar, come of marriageable age, Talia, the Queen's Own Herald returns to court to find Queen and heir beset by diplomatic intrigue as various forces vie for control of Elspeth's future.

But just as Talia is about to uncover the traitor behind all these intrigues, she is sent off on a mission to the neighboring kingdom, chosen by t

Paperback, 319 pages
Published January 5th 1988 by DAW (first published 1988)
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Harry Potter Boxset by J.K. RowlingElla Enchanted by Gail Carson LevineThe Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. LewisUglies by Scott WesterfeldCircle of Five by Jan Raymond
Best of YA and Children's Fantasy
33rd out of 445 books — 548 voters
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Favorite Mercedes Lackey
9th out of 88 books — 49 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Crossposted to my blog...

This actually is about all three of the books, but I figure you've probably read the first two before getting to this one.

Once, just once, I’d like to read a fantasy novel wherein the young protagonist doesn’t make everything one hundred percent worse by not telling someone in authority that there is a problem.

Take Arrows of the Queen, the first book in Mercedes Lackey’s The Heralds of Valdemar series. The protagonist, a young girl named Talia, is Chosen by one of the co...more
I loved this last installment to the Heralds of Valdemar series. That’s pretty much all I have to say – it’s a tie for my favorite book out of all three (the tie being with the first).

I think Mercedes Lackey read my previous reviews, because the pacing went up by a considerable amount. There were only a few places in the text where the plot lagged, and even when it did, I could see why it was written that way. Elspeth grew a lot this novel, I think, despite the meager amount that was written abo...more
And so the disappointing Arrows of the Queen trilogy ends. This book is actually the best of the three as far as being an actual fantasy novel - we have a real mage-war, lifebonding, near-death experiences, use of Gifts, and some political intrigue. Unfortunately, all this excitement literally happens in the final third of the book. The latter two-thirds are AGAIN plagued with the what-if-she-thinks, what-if-he-thinks of the second book. People, you are GROWN ADULTS, some of you with TELEPATHIC...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 07, 2014 Sophie rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Sophie by: Kathleen
Being home sick gives you lots of time to read books about magical horses. This one isn't as strong as the previous, but in my stuffed-up state it was entertaining enough.

(view spoiler)...more
This was by far my favorite book in the trilogy. The fact that just when I thought I had things figured out the author threw me an unexpected ccurve ball that had me on the edge of my seat waiting to se how the characters interacted to both the events and reacted to one another.This book ripped my heart out and slowly mended it back together with it's romance, tragedy, and even sometimes humor. Just as talia seemed to be getting comfortable in her skin and position the unexpected happened and I...more
***some spoilers ahead!***

I never thought this series took off. It all felt like a big build up to nothing. The entire series, even this finale, felt like the main character encountered a problem then solved it, then encounters a new one, and solves it. There's no cohesion, no building up. In this book, the main bad guy is defeated rather handily, without much fan fair, actually. The secondary bad guy who might have held some depth besides just being evil, turns out to just be evil after all, an...more
Growing up my mom was always reading several books at once, usually biographies / autobiographies or other things that I deemed "serious" reading along with those cheap grocery-store checkout-aisle romance novels with the red covers. She called those her "candy novels"- little substance, quick and enjoyable reads, but they don't quite fill you up intellectually.
No offense intended, but Mercedes Lackey provides my "candy novels". The writing, plot line, character development and other literary el...more
Jeremy Preacher
This is the strongest book in the trilogy, I think - the stakes are raised significantly, and there is some resolution to the major plot threads. The writing is again better than before. It's still flawed, though. The not-talking-to-each-other problem takes up the first third of the book, and is tedious in the extreme. The rape and torture in the middle third feels a bit... not gratuitous, exactly, but cheap, like Lackey couldn't think of a non-obvious way to heighten the tension. And the pacing...more
The last part of Talia’s story. She finally gets back to Haven to serve as Queen’s Own Herald, and try to work her love life out. She’s lifebonded to the homeliest of the Heralds, but he resists because he can’t believe she loves him, especially since she just spent a year with the handsomest Herald. There’s trouble over the border with Hardorn—the prince has sent a marriage proposal for Elspeth, heir to the throne—but the queen is wary because of her own history. She married a younger son of an...more
This, along with Arrows of the Queen, is one of those books that I go back to whenever I have a gap in my reading and an afternoon or so to fill, not wanting to dig into anything more substantial. It's a satisfying end to the trilogy, while still leaving the way for the series that she wrote about Valdemar after that. Elspeth's story in the Winds and Storm series in particular are teed up nicely. Make no mistake about it being a brutal book, though, with a whole section of rape and torture, alth...more
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Apr 22, 2010 Lisa (Harmonybites) rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Fantasy Fans
This is the conclusion to Arrows of the Queen and Arrows Flight, which should be read first. I think this is a satisfying resolution to all the threads established in the first books. I like how Talia grew through all three novels and Lackey certainly made me feel for her characters. Well, the ones on the "good" side. This author's and series greatest flaw is arguably that she creates a very black and white world, with villains in the twirl-the-mustache mold, and this is no exception. Combined w...more
This book was much better than the first two. A lot more satisfying. More action, better character building. I did get tired of the whole "I wonder what so and so is thinking, feeling... and I'm sure it's this, but I'm not going to ask or bring it up" avoid the issue thing. It just makes me want to scream "OUT WITH IT FOR PETE'S SAKE!!!" All and all, just this one book makes me want to read more from Lackey now. I think this series was some of her begining books, and I've a couple of her books t...more
This book concludes the trilogy centered on Talia very nicely with an epic battle and a wedding. The evil prince of the foreign kingdom manages to be frightening by employing magicians although the torture with his childhood nanny borders on comically evil. The characterization of Talia's love interest Dirk falters a little in this book as well, when their romance is left mostly to the magical life bond between the pair. I really preferred their love stemming from their shared snarkitude in Arro...more
this whole trilogy underwhelmed me. the writing wasn't fantastic, it was a little simplistic both in plot and in character development. there was a lot of telling, not a lot of showing; there was barely a time when i felt any emotional connection to any of the characters. that said, the plot wasn't awful, the world creation was decent, and i think if the different plot threads had all been woven together instead of brought up and dealt with episodically the entire trilogy would have been much mo...more
Probably my favourite of the trilogy. Emotional but well-written. Ties up most of the loose ends nicely. I always forget about the middle part though, probably because I mix it up with when they visit Hardorn in the later books. The ending is super sweet, but I don't mind because by that time Lackey has me in her thrall.

It's cute to come back to this original trilogy after reading all the other novels and see where she started from and how things don't quite mesh, but you ignore it anyway for th...more
I know I am going to get a lot of flack from the Mercedes Lackey fans out there and I am sorry, but this is the 2nd series I have read by her and I have to say I am just not impressed. I am a huge Science Fiction/Fantasy fan and have read many books in the genre. I loved the idea of Heralds and Companions but sadly that idea did not translate into something that I enjoy reading. I am guessing these books are for the Young Adult audience, which in it self is not a bad thing. I have read some YA s...more
Nicole N.
Of all three books, this one is by far my favorite despite all the difficult scenes to read. I also didn't expect it to end abruptly. I turned the last page, expecting more, only for there to not be any more to read. :P I guess I'll just read the other stories by Lackey.

Talia and Kris return from their circuit near the Border only to find that a certain Prince Ancar from the eastern country of Hardorn seeks Elspeth's hand in marriage. Some argue that Elspeth isn't read to marry yet, arguing her...more
Setting/World Building: 4/5.
Main Character: 4/5
Other Characters: 3/5. Kind of disappointed by the lack of depth to the villains.
Plot: 2/5
Writing: 2/5
Triggering/Issues: 2/5. Character death, but even worse, rape followed by torture (of the sexual sadist variety). Also triggering is the way the aftermath is handled (or rather, the way it isn't really handled at all).

AVERAGED TOTAL: 3.1 out of 5, rounded to 3. 2.8 out of 5, rounded down to 2, after a few days had passed and I was still mad.

Oh, ho...more
i really enjoyed this world she created, and i really enjoyed the way she wrapped up the final book in the trilogy. There were some slow parts, but that happens in most stories :) I know most folks like to critique this trilogy as being obvious that it was her first books, but i dont mind...i enjoyed the ride and had fun!
I think ill check out "By the Sword" next.
This is by far the worst book in the trilogy. The love plot is... well, irritating and, as I suppose is somewhat suitable given her age and the age of her beau, juvenile. I find Talia's relationship with Kris in book two, and even in this book, more interesting than her relationship with Dirk (granted that's partially because of the complication of Dirk, but ultimately he's more entertaining as a complication than a leading man). I think this is because, while I like Dirk, I found his character...more
Political Intrigue? Intriguing. Awesome special gifts? Exciting. Magical horses? YES, please.

BUT: too much melodrama and angst ruined the wonderful elements of this book, such as the weird baseless romance, immature dialogue, thoughtless plot devises, and a never ending cycle of self-doubt spread among several different characters. A bit of self-doubt is healthy, but no one ever learned a lesson in this trilogy about speaking up and talking to each other. I wish it was just part of the world bui...more
Very enjoyable, though the ending felt somewhat anti-climatic. Still, the story wrapped up nicely and I've been assured that the characters reappear in further books in the series.
Consistently EVERY time I read this book I bawl. However, it is such a good book that no matter what happens I read it and fall in love over and over.
Like eating a pint of ice cream on a day you are felling lousy. No nutritional value but it makes me feel better.
I still cry when I read this book. So sad. And so happy. A magnificent ending to a great trilogy.
Michelle ♣ Ndayeni
With this, the final book in the Heralds of Valdemar trilogy, we see many different plots come to maturity. Chief among them of course is Talia's story, for we finally get to see her taking on her full responsibilities as Queen's Own and we see her dealing with her personal problems and relationships in a much more mature fashion. Her main story arc comes to a close here, with most of her various relationship problems finally being resolved one way or another, though as the Weatherwitch Maeven h...more
***Dave Hill
The third of the initial Valdemar trilogy, it stands between the other two in quality. Part of the problem is with the mixed perspective -- much of the story (the better parts, in fact) is about Talia and her assumption of duties as the Queen's Own, but the latter part of the book (perforce, due to some plot events) shifts the PoV to others. This fleshes out the story some, but also weakens the emotional impact of what happens with Talia and with the rest of the tale.

None of this is helped by a...more
Such a fast-paced book! I was surprised to find myself so engrossed, because when I started, it had been full daylight, and when I finished, it had started to grow dark with the setting of the sun. My roommates were especially surprised to see that I had not moved in all that time. But I couldn't help it, as I usually can't when reading a good book. One page just seems to follow another, and before I know it, I'm finished.

Talia was everywhere in this novel. She had all of her duties as the Quee...more
The second book dragged a little, but this one made up for it. Everything that was kind of just floating around in the background for the first two books finally all came together. The lifebond stuff kind of made me roll my eyes, but I'm reading a book about magical white horses that telepathically bond to super special humans, so I guess I can deal with it. Despite the magical horses and such I really enjoyed the trilogy.

Two semi-minor dislikes. First, there's a period in the book where Talia m...more
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Mercedes entered this world on June 24, 1950, in Chicago, had a normal childhood and graduated from Purdue University in 1972. During the late 70's she worked as an artist's model and then went into the computer programming field, ending up with American Airlines in Tulsa, Oklahoma. In addition to her fantasy writing, she has written lyrics for and recorded nearly fifty songs for Firebird Arts &...more
More about Mercedes Lackey...
Arrows of the Queen (Heralds of Valdemar, #1) Magic's Pawn (Valdemar: Last Herald-Mage #1) By the Sword (Valdemar: Kerowyn's Tale, #1) Magic's Price (Valdemar: Last Herald-Mage #3) Magic's Promise (Valdemar: Last Herald-Mage #2)

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“Little Robin had been brought by Lord Orthallen—although he had the feeling that his lord did not realize it. The boy was a part of his household, though Orthallen seemed to have long since forgotten the fact; and when the order came to pack up the household and move to the Border, Robin found himself in the tail of the baggage train, with no small bewilderment. He'd been at a loss in the encampment, wandering about until someone had seen him and realized that a small child had no place in a camp preparing for warfare. So he was sent packing; first off with Elspeth, then pressed into service by the Healers. They'd set him to fetching and carrying for Dirk, thinking that the child was far too young to be able to pick anything up from the casual talk around him, and that Dirk wouldn't think to interrogate a child as young as he.
They were wrong on both counts.
Robin was very much aware of what was going on—not surprising, since it concerned his adored Talia. He was worried sick, and longing for an adult to talk to. And Dirk was kind and gentle with him—and had he but known it, desperate enough for news to have questioned the rats in the walls if he thought it would get him anywhere.

Dirk knew all about Robin and his adoration of Talia. If anyone knew where she was being kept and what her condition was, that boy would.
Dirk bided his time. Eventually the Healers stopped overseeing his every waking moment. Finally there came a point when they began leaving him alone for hours at a time. He waited then, until Robin was sent in alone with his lunch—alone, unsupervised, and more than willing to talk—and put the question to him.
Dirk had no intention of frightening the boy, and his tone was gentle, "I need your help. The Healers won't answer my questions, and I need to know about Talia."
Robin had turned back with his hand still on the doorknob; at the mention of Talia's name, his expression was one of distress.
"I'll tell you what I know, sir," he replied, his voice quavering a little. "But she's hurt real bad and they won't let anybody but Healers see her."
"Where is she? Do you have any idea who's taking care of her?"
The boy not only knew where she was, but the names and seniority of every Healer caring for her—and the list nearly froze Dirk's heart. They'd even pulled old Farnherdt out of retirement—and he'd sworn that no case would ever be desperate enough for them to call on him.”
“Elspeth had the joyous task of breaking the news to the rest of the Council. There was no such accord among the political leaders of Valdemar as there was among her military leaders.
Lord Gartheser was speechless with outrage and shock; Bard Hyron was dazed. Lady Kester and Lady Cathan, still seething over Orthallen's accusations of complicity with the slavers, were surprised, but not altogether unhappy. Father Aldon had closeted himself in the tiny chapel of the Keep; Lord Gildas was with him. Healer Myrim made no attempt to conceal the fact that Orthallen's treachery had not surprised her. Nor did she conceal that his demise gave her a certain grim satisfaction. But then, she might well be forgiven such uncharitable thoughts; she was one of the four Healers who were tending Talia's wounds.
Once the bare bones had been told to the Councillors as a group, Elspeth went to each of these Councillors in turn, privately. She gave a simple explanation of what had occurred, but would answer no questions. Questions, she told them, must wait until Talia had recovered enough to tell them all more.”
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