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

4.17 of 5 stars 4.17  ·  rating details  ·  15,227 ratings  ·  193 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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Jean Absolutely! I had them all in paper and am replacing them as ebooks (my new living space has limited room for "stuff.") I am re-reading them now and…moreAbsolutely! I had them all in paper and am replacing them as ebooks (my new living space has limited room for "stuff.") I am re-reading them now and finding they have aged gracefully.(less)
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Community Reviews

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Talia is back from her one and a half years of internship. She now can start on her duty as the Queen's adviser (actually, her title in the book is different, but the job description is exactly the same). It turns out the court's intrigues are way more deadly than the patrolling of borderlands. Her love live is also kind of bad, and there is also a matter of extremely grim prophesy about her future.

For better or worse, this trilogy in general and this book in particular are built around the cha
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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Shera (Book Whispers)
This is the book that truly changed everything for me in the world of Valdemar. The other two books clearly show how hard and trying the life a Herald is. They emphasize how every Herald from 11-90 is ready to die for their country. Lackey isn't afraid to kill off characters through the course of Arrows of the Queen and Arrow's Flight, but this one drives the knife home.

Talia is just coming back from her circuit run and will be joining the court as the official Queen's Own with her own vote and
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, h
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
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
***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
Dang, this one was downright boring. I really like Mercedes Lackey's other books and just can't figure out what went wrong for me with this one. The writing seems dumbed down in this series, but it was bearable in the first two volumes.

I appreciate that some of the seemingly stand-alone events in book 2 of this trilogy come full circle and the book got good for a few pages towards the last third, but it was very hard to slog through. Characters continue to be one-dimensional and the dialogue got
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)
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
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
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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
Elise Edmonds
A great end to this trilogy (I read them as an omnibus). All loose ends tied up satisfactorily - although I wasn't sure how she'd manage it at one point! I found myself really immersed in the characters and the world.
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
Sigh...I wanted to like this book, but...

(view spoiler)
Kristy Halseth
If you are reading this series in chronological order, and come late to the Valdemar books, this trilogy seems weak. It is much simpler, it skips over huge sections of things that could have helped flesh out the story and boils them down to single sentence comments here or there, and this one seem strongest in the trilogy.

But one has to remember, this was one of the earliest sets of books in this series and feels like it started out for a young adult or children audience rather than adult. Even
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
Arrow's Fall is a stronger book than Arrow's Flight but nowhere near as good as Arrows of the Queen; I debated for a while between giving this two or three stars, but considering I gave the middle book a two, I think this one deserves a weak three. (I really wish Goodreads at half-star ratings because I thought about this for far too long.)

The first third of Arrow's Fall is, basically, an angst-fest; there are some political machinations going on, but the focus is mostly on Talia and her relati
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
Catherine Thompson
The final volume in Lackey's first Valdemar trilogy brings Talia's story full circle. Returned from her internship circuit, Talia is now a full Herald and Queen's Own, with a seat on the Council and a full vote. The Council is pressing Queen Selenay to make a marriage contract with King Alessandar of Hardon between his son Prince Ancar and her daughter and Heir Elspeth, but neither Selenay nor Elspeth is keen. Talia is dispatched with Herald Kris ahead of an official visit to Hardon to check thi ...more
Recently, I was talking to Hubby about preferred reading order. A series as prolific as Valdemar certainly has a timeline, but there are a number of reasons to read the books in publication order. Not the least of which being that, well... in chronological order, the somewhat clumsy and overly earnest first books might not show so well after reading thirteen of the later books.

I don't mean that as a censure, either. Sure, the first book has a Mary Sue main character, and the plot reflects that a
A fairly disappointing ending to a lackluster series. Very uneven depth to both the story and the characters - overdeveloped in some areas and bare bones in others. After having run across Mercedes Lackey's name so often over the years I am pretty disappointed in what I've read so far. I'll try one more book in the hope that this, which was her first outing, I think, is the weakest of her series. Not overly optimistic, though.
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  • In Celebration of Lammas Night
  • The High King's Tomb (Green Rider, #3)
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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 &a ...more
More about Mercedes Lackey...

Other Books in the Series

Valdemar: Arrows of the Queen (3 books)
  • Arrows of the Queen (Heralds of Valdemar, #1)
  • Arrow's Flight (Heralds of Valdemar, #2)
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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“I'm consumed with curiosity because if I know Dirk, he probably sent his family a two-tine note—"I'm getting married. I'll be there in a week,"—and no further explanation whatsoever."
Skif laughed, and admitted that that was just about what Dirk had written, word for word.”
“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.”
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