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Exile's Honor (Heralds of Valdemar, #6)
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Exile's Honor (Valdemar: Exile #1)

4.16  ·  Rating Details  ·  9,271 Ratings  ·  113 Reviews
Alberich had spent most of his youth in the Karsite military schools training to be an officer. As the son of an impoverished mother, he had no other career choice open to him. And Alberich had risen in the ranks with almost unnatural speed. He developed expertise with many weapons and excelled in academic subjects with an ease that was the envy of his classmates. But in f ...more
Paperback, 431 pages
Published October 7th 2003 by DAW (first published 2002)
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Cory It's entirely possible. It's also not ideal. The focus of all of Lackey's 'Herald' books is centered on the relationship between the protectors of…moreIt's entirely possible. It's also not ideal. The focus of all of Lackey's 'Herald' books is centered on the relationship between the protectors of Valdemar - the Heralds - and their something-more-than-horses, the Companions. The 'first' book (not chronologically) - and by far the best introduction to Valdemar, Arrows of the Queen does an excellent job of introducing this relationship, and subsequent books add more detail. Exile's Honor doesn't - its focus is elsewhere, namely fleshing out the backstory of characters/events central to Arrows and its sequels.

OTOH, it is a chronological prequel, so it's not necessarily going to spoil any plots - Lackey's books are more of a collection of the tales and legendary figures of Valdemar, organized in shorter arcs, rather than a progression of sequels (for example, I had no idea this was officially "#6"); take a look at the chronology on the Valdemar wiki for a better idea of how this works. (less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jeremy Preacher
Nov 24, 2011 Jeremy Preacher rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
This is up there with my very favorite Valdemar books. I started reading Valdemar stuff when I was nineteen or twenty so I very much appreciated the perspective of an adult approaching the Land of Magical Horses and Sunshine with rather more skepticism than most of the series' protagonists.

There's the usual epic battle, personal tragedy, and Herald-school hijinks, but the meat of the book is the series of ethical issues Alberich is faced with, and they're approached in a thoughtful way. It's eas
Mar 01, 2010 Chuck rated it it was amazing
I'm behind on my blogging, so this will be fast.

I have to say that, of all the Valdemar books, I think the 'Rein of Selenay' timeline is, by far, the best.

And the "Exile's" series are the best of the best.

These follow the fortunes, and lack thereof, of Alberich, a Karsite refugee and former captain in their army, as he makes a place for himself in Valdemar. Alberich has been a soldier since he was a child, and has taken to heart the ideas of honor, service, and his religion. And yet the priests
Sep 11, 2009 Eh?Eh! rated it it was ok
Shelves: babble-added
The problem with books that are chronologically set before the time of the latest books is that the author has to choose how much backstory to reveal and how obvious to make this case a little too obvious. She really pounds the point home that he has to tougher than anything his students will face outside in order to help them survive - tougher! survive! aarrrrgggghhhhh!! Nice fleshing out of part of the world she created, maybe not requiring sooo much paper to tell it though.
***Dave Hill
Sep 03, 2013 ***Dave Hill rated it liked it
Shelves: text
This 2002 novel was the first of a modern trio of books revisiting the Collegium in the period leading up to the original Valdemar books (the Arrows of the Queen trilogy). This volume recounts how Alberich became a Herald, leaving Valdemar's enemy Karse for exile in Haven as Weaponmaster Second. In the process, he finds a way to fit in, to build his reputation, and to become part of the history of that era.

The book is enjoyable, and a nice insight into one of the more myserious / forboding chara
Mercedes Lackey’s Valdemar series provides one of the cornerstones of my reading history. After discovering her when quite young, I still follow new additions to the series - nearly twenty years later! I read and re-read these books over and over again throughout my youth, but I haven't re-read this series in its entirety in a long time - and never as an adult. There are some new books added to the series since the last time I read them, so this re-reading project is pretty exciting for me since ...more
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Sep 29, 2010 Lisa (Harmonybites) rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Hardcore Valdemar Fans
Shelves: fantasy, fiction, novels
I'm a fan of Lackey's Valdemar books, and was excited to see a new one when I first saw this in stores, yet the first time I tried it, I couldn't even finish it. There are books in the series I'd recommend that could make you a fan of them: such as the books about Vanyel (The Last Herald Mage trilogy starting with Magic's Pawn) or about Talia (Heralds of Valdemar trilogy starting with Arrows of the Queen). Then there are the books that if you do find you love this world, I could recommend buying ...more
May 08, 2013 Bibliotropic rated it really liked it
Shelves: valdemar
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 17, 2009 Alison rated it really liked it
This is the first book by Mercedes Lackey that I recall reading, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that it is solid fantasy - not extraordinary, but just good and satisfying, like chocolate cake - and excellent escapist reading.

This was my first introduction to the world of Valdemar, and I'm impressed that I never felt that there was something I should have known but didn't. I'm also impressed that, with the exception of names and a few random words (like "chava"), the author doesn't use a
Jun 08, 2012 Maria rated it it was amazing
Alberich is a great character and I thoroughly enjoyed the religious philosophy in this book as well as Alberich's soul-searching concerning his honor. I worry sometimes that honor is a concept that is fast getting lost in today's world, so it was wonderful to see a whole book set around this theme. I know it made me think a bit harder about faith, power, corruption, tolerance, and greed, just to name a few concepts that are highlighted by the book. Of course, all the philosophy made the action ...more
Mar 17, 2014 Brittany rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Now, this is what well-drawn characters look like! For the most part, I'm generally inclined to steer clear of prequels that follow the background of characters that aren't central to a later sequence of books. (See: many of Anne McCaffrey's "later" novels.) However, I was out of reading material so I gave it a shot. And it was well worth it. This follows Weaponsmaster Alberich's story before and as he became a Herald from Karse. The characters are well-developed and unique. The story was wonder ...more
Dec 03, 2010 Corey rated it it was amazing
Outstanding writing; this fantasy book is easy to follow and makes you want to keep reading. It's about a soldier in the Karsite army who has the gift of Foreseeing, which is a magical ability forbidden by his culture. In intro, he is found out and put to the stake to be burned. Luckily, his companion (sentient horses who speak via telepathy, although he doesn't know it at that point) rescues him and takes him to Valdemer, where he starts a new life. Good book about honor, morals, showing the ki ...more
Dawn Phelan
Aug 20, 2010 Dawn Phelan rated it really liked it
Having previously read a number of the Valdemar books in the order they were published, rather than in the order of the history, it's interesting to go back and now re-read the series in the order the adventures take place. I can see now the little hints that are dropped that will later lead into something more and concepts that are expanded on later in the series' timeline.

There are some good lessons in this book...tolerance, acceptance, understanding, and, most importantly I think, a governme
Rhonda Abello
Dec 27, 2015 Rhonda Abello rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 15, 2015 Lexen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
This book introduced one of the most fascinating characters I have as of yet had the privilege to meet in a Lackey book. I can't spell his name, but his history is so radically different than any other character. To anyone who has ever known what it means to be an outsider, you will find a kindred spirit in this stoic but uncompromisingly honorable man.

Of all the books I have read by Lackey so far, this is the one most concerned with religion, philosophy, spirituality, and most tellingly, morali
Feb 19, 2015 Wrenbird1202 rated it it was amazing
This book follows Alberich of Karse after he is chosen as a Herald. Alberich is a captain of the Sunsguard, the Karsite army. When the Sunpriests decide to burn him for his visions of the future, he is rescued and chosen by a Companion of Valdemar named Kantor. Unable to return home, he agrees to give life in Valdemar a chance. He goes on to become Weapons-master's Second. When the Sunpriests of Karse hire the Tedrel companies to attack Valdemar, he is torn between his homeland and his new home. ...more
Feb 01, 2015 TheCosyDragon rated it it was amazing
This review has been crossposted from my blog at The Cosy Dragon . Please head there for more in-depth reviews by me, which appear on a timely schedule.

Alberich has been rescued from almost certain death by the fires of Karse. But did he really want to be rescued? Drowning in a new culture, there is little he can do to save himself.

Alberich is one of my favourite male protagonists in the Valdemar series. He's always thinking hard, and his honor is the most important thing about him. I could rea
Aug 04, 2015 Elise rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
I loved learning more about Alberich's backstory since he is one of my favorite minor characters from Lackey's earlier books. The story moves quickly and skips weeks, days, or even years to keep the fast pace. Alberich's change from Sunsguard to Herald is believable, and the questioning he does along the way provides deeper insight into his character.

I took off a star because this is the book where Lackey's world begins to have contradictions. The Holderkin are mentioned as well established in t
Sep 10, 2014 Deidre rated it really liked it
Liked this book a lot. Just started reading Lackey (used to scorn fantasy, I was a sci fi reader, not into swords, sorcery etc, I thought) and having the Karsite character was interesting. Nicely done, filled with tragedy and peace, as well.
Jan 30, 2014 Meagan rated it it was amazing
I forgot how much I like Alberich, but this book definitely reminded me. It suffers from the same problem as so many other Lackey books, though I never noticed them as a middle/high schooler. Some things are overly simplified, and I still feel like the actions of the kids Tedrel are absolutely bizarre, despite the explanation for them. The inherently good Valdemar and starkly contrasting Karse got a little ridiculous at times (for example, I feel like their poor would probably sneak across ANY b ...more
Apr 21, 2015 Cory rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, young-adult
I love Lackey's habit of writing the stories of the legends and minor characters who pepper the lives of her "main characters". This is the backstory of a distinctive, idiosyncratic, and beloved character from the "present day" of Valdemar (as I think of it, since I am a Talia fan through-and-through). Not for the new reader - stick to the Arrows of the Queen trilogy as your introduction to this world, or you'll be as confused as the titular exile, Alberich, who never quite finds the free time t ...more
Paula Pattison
Jul 14, 2015 Paula Pattison rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book and the fact that it expands on the characters of Albericht and Selenay. It kept me gripped until the end.
There were a couple of bits that didn't sit so well with me though. They were single sentences that didn't fit and seemed like such anachronisms that they stuck with me. One was the statement that Albericht "didn't give a toss" about something and the other when a companion used the word "bollocks". I have no particular objection to either word, they just didn't f
Jan 04, 2016 C.K. rated it liked it
This is the first ML book I've enjoyed since the STORM RISING series. That being said, the self-insert character grated on me after a while.

On the bright side, reading this means I got to forget that ML has dragged on Mag's story for 5 books or so when it should have ended after the first two. Seriously.

That being said, the second in this series, EXILE'S VALOR is nowhere near as well done. The self-insert Mary Sue ML crafted herself is grating. Read this book, forget there's a second, and igno
Jul 06, 2011 Laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, beach-read
I was thrilled when I learned that Mercedes Lackey had decided to tell Alberich's story. I was even more excited when I found a hardcover copy at Half Price Books for the same price as a paperback.
Alberich is one of the more interesting characters in Valdemar. He's a former soldier for the enemy, the Karsites, and a man of honor (as referenced in the title). He is also, as noted in one of the books, the only teacher at the Collegium whose students die if he fails to teach them well. He's living
Jeremy Preacher
Dec 20, 2011 Jeremy Preacher rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This is up there with my very favorite Valdemar books. I started reading Valdemar stuff when I was nineteen or twenty so I very much appreciated the perspective of an adult approaching the Land of Magical Horses and Sunshine with rather more skepticism than most of the series' protagonists.

There's the usual epic battle, personal tragedy, and Herald-school hijinks, but the meat of the book is the series of ethical issues Alberich is faced with, and they're approached in a thoughtful way. It's eas
Dec 21, 2010 Cynthia rated it liked it
Alberich is a great character, and I enjoyed his journey.

This is a book that covers over 5 years worth of events, with lots of interesting events going on. But the writing is incredibly cerebral. Something exciting happens! Then Alberich thinks and ruminates for a chapter or so, and decides that something is so. Someone suggests something exciting! Then Alberich thinks and ruminates for a chapter or so, and decides to do it. It's a slow book for that reason.

Reading these books from a non 10 year
Nov 25, 2008 Speedtribes rated it it was ok
Another interesting character and a chance to establish some nuance and depth in her Valdemar series and...

Already, it seems as if she's fallen into her formula. With the utterance of how Alberich had not done this or that-- and was possibly one of the few good men in one of the few good regiments on the Karse side, the ugly binary morality began to peek upwards. At least, as he's an established character, he's treated better than Tremaine from the Storm Warning trilogy.

I was disappointed as the
Apr 14, 2007 Debbie rated it liked it
Shelves: 2004, fantasy, dead-tree
I was vastly disappointed with this book. I found myself skimming parts and wishing that the book would go a lot faster than it was. Alberich's habit of talking like Yoda took getting used to and there were moments when I just wanted to set the book down and walk away. It picked up during the last part, though, which was a relief. I can see why it was so slow-moving as it was necessary to establish Alberich as a character but it was very annoying for someone already familiar with him. I guess th ...more
Debra Meyer
Feb 23, 2016 Debra Meyer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The narrator was really good except for when she was doing the dialogue of the main character which was a bit difficult but the book was so good that I willingly put up with it. There was many things in this book that was trigging me left right and center but I still enjoyed the book immensely even though some of it was a bit boring with the extreme overkill on details
Herald Alberich was taken by his Companion from his position in the military of Karse--Valdemar's theocratic enemy of constant border skirmishes. This is something that is mentioned almost as often as he is in the series. Finally, we are given that story. It is every bit as interesting as you might expect watching a man who has always believed deeply that Valdemar is full of devils that his god demands the death of integrate into the culture. While he can mindspeak to his magic talking best frie ...more
Apr 12, 2010 Denise rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
" way for the bastard son of a tavern whore to advance in the country of Karse except in the army. Knowing this, he had left his loving but impoverished mother, never to see her again....he had an uncanny way of seeing the future...instinctively he hid this ability with the utmost care, for the Sunpriests arrested anyone exhibiting demon powers and cleansed them in the fires of the Sunlord".

A lean, sullen, battle-scarred man who was saved from burning as a witch by the same enemies he had
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Max von Sydow 3 29 May 28, 2013 11:49AM  
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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: Exile (2 books)
  • Exile's Valor (Heralds of Valdemar, #7)

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“Some must be warriors, that others may live in peace. ” 84 likes
“Honor was never taking the easy way when it was also the wrong one. Never telling a falsehood unless the truth was painful and unnecessary, or a lie was necessary to save others. Never manipulating the truth to serve only yourself. Protecting the weak and helpless; standing fast even when fear made you weak. Keeping your word.” 84 likes
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