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Arrow's Fall (Valdemar (Chronological) #34)

4.18  ·  Rating Details ·  17,152 Ratings  ·  240 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

(showing 1-30)
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Oct 27, 2014 Evgeny rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
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
Jan 14, 2015 Jessica rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 20, 2014 Amy rated it it was ok
Shelves: ya-fantasy
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
Nov 06, 2012 Jessica rated it it was ok
***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
Sep 08, 2010 Kristina rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult, fantasy
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
May 09, 2016 M rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
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
Mar 24, 2013 Allie rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, valdemar
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
Nov 01, 2011 Gail rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
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 ...more
The final book in the first trilogy of Valdemar books. As I was expecting, this book was quite a bit better than the middle book. Having said that, it wasn't exceptionally good.

Overall I found the whole plot a little bit to simplistic and obvious from the start. There were a couple of minor twists but most of it played out as I expected. The identity of the bad guy had been hinted at since book 1, and there was really only one possible suspect. Another thing that bothered me was that these book
Dec 27, 2015 terpkristin rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, kindle, 2015
A nice conclusion to the Arrows series. Like Arrow's Flight, it might be more of a 3.5 star book, but I rounded up. I really liked the entire series, even if it was YA and clearly a "first" series. This is the kind of book that brought me into the genre to begin with. I wish I had read it when I was younger, especially for how it handles "adult" topics of death, homosexuality, etc. If this ever came out in audio, I'd read it in a heartbeat.
FIRST OFF: This book should hold a trigger warning of many forms of abuse, although not in graphic detail, I assume it would be enough to send someone into a tailspin if these sorts of traumas are still fresh in their minds. I don't want to spoil the book since it is quite a Twist I guess, but it is also quite horrific. So please be warned that if mentions of sadistic torture, suicide, sexual abuse and death upsets you, maybe don't read this book just yet. Or read it and be warned since like I ...more
Nov 25, 2015 Gracy rated it it was amazing
Yeeeeeep couldn't help myself. Finished it a day after I started it, thanks to reading while I'm supposed to be sleeping, supposed to be working, etc. I adore Mercedes Lackey, it's no secret. I have not read either of the preceding books in this particular Trilogy, and yet I felt like I knew Talia and her cohort very well just a short way into the book. As she often does, the characters develop while simultaneously revealing backstory, and the plot progresses all the while. This book was, also ...more
Feb 04, 2015 A B rated it did not like it
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
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
Nov 29, 2011 Jeremy Preacher rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
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
Oct 07, 2014 Sophie rated it liked it  ·  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)
Apr 07, 2014 Crystal rated it it was amazing
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
Mar 19, 2011 Rebecca rated it really liked it
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
Oct 24, 2010 Melissa rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, fantasy, series
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Apr 22, 2010 Lisa (Harmonybites) rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 15, 2008 Millerbug rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Feb 01, 2016 KC rated it did not like it
Shelves: fantasy
while execrable dialogue ("catling?" "dearling?" "heartling?") and a saccharine sentimentality as subtle as the color in a Lisa Frank illustration may be par for the course in a Valdemar novel, the ponderous pacing of this offering was unendurable. what really undid it for me was the stupidity of the main characters: in one scene, they recognize that the villain's objective is to weaken the protagonist's relationships with her friends. half a chapter later, and THEY'RE ALL FIGHTING BECAUSE OF ...more
Jun 01, 2011 emily rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy, 2011
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 ...more
Aug 29, 2010 Kathleen rated it liked it
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
Jan 26, 2012 Erika rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, 2012, lackey, valdemar
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
Jeffe Kennedy
Feb 15, 2016 Jeffe Kennedy rated it it was amazing
Continuing with my #readinghistory additions to Goodreads - Arrow's Fall winds up Talia's trilogy. This book gave me all the feels. This was the first I read where the heroine was truly tortured and where the extremity of the experience was treated with all appropriate gravity. She doesn't instantly recover or go dancing about in triumph. She survives and prevails. Also, when this arc comes around in By the Sword, with Talia facing her fears and Kerowyn noting it - wow! It stills gives me chills ...more
Feb 11, 2012 Widdershins rated it it was ok
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.
Dec 03, 2009 Lisa rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi-fantasy
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.
Nov 15, 2015 Jeanne rated it really liked it
All of those guns (arrows?) patiently placed on the wall in the first two books of this fun trilogy are taken down and used in this one – although presumably there are others that will be used in later volumes by this author. Light and enjoyable reading, but darker than earlier ones in this series, but it all comes together well in the end.
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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...

Other Books in the Series

Valdemar (Chronological) (1 - 10 of 56 books)
  • The Black Gryphon (Valdemar: Mage Wars #1)
  • The White Gryphon (Valdemar: Mage Wars, #2)
  • The Silver Gryphon (Valdemar: Mage Wars, #3)
  • The Last Herald-Mage (Valdemar: The Last Herald-Mage, #1-3)
  • Magic's Pawn (Valdemar: Last Herald-Mage #1)
  • Magic's Promise (Valdemar: Last Herald-Mage #2)
  • Magic's Price (Valdemar: Last Herald-Mage #3)
  • Brightly Burning (Valdemar, #8)
  • Foundation (Valdemar: Collegium Chronicles, #1)
  • Intrigues (Valdemar: Collegium Chronicles, #2)

Share This Book

“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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