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Foundation (Valdemar: Collegium Chronicles, #1)
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Foundation (Valdemar: Collegium Chronicles #1)

3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  6,597 ratings  ·  350 reviews
Mags had been working at the Pieters’s mine, slaving in the dark, cold seams, looking for sparklies, for as long as he could remember. The children who worked the mine were orphans, kids who had been abandoned, who had lost their parents, or were generally unwanted. But Mags was different.

Mags was “Bad Blood,” because his parents were bandits who had been killed in a raid...more
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Published October 7th 2008 by Brilliance Audio
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Dec 07, 2008 Judith rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Valdemar fans
I liked this book - although I read several bad reviews for it on Amazon. I want to know what happens next to Mags - and I don't care if they have fondue in Valdemar 500 years before Selenay or play "I Spy" at parties and even - GASP - call it "I Spy".

I guess I'm just a Mercedes Lackey junkie. I didn't see the same flaws that had the other reviewers calling it lazy writing - what they pointed out as goof ups or flaws were things that I just accepted as part of the story. I guess that makes me u...more
Let me start this review with saying I just finished reading this book for the third time, so needless to say I truly love this series. I have been reading Mercedes Lackey for years, I love her earlier work but her stuff in the past ten years or so have just been meh for me. This series makes me believe Lackey found what she was missing, the heart of her stories that Arrows, Winds, Magic, Oath, and By the Sword has. I don’t know if she just couldn’t give up her characters from Winds and just dra...more
Well, it's no Magic's Pawn, but none of them ever will be again (let us not dwell on the probability that this is because I will never be twelve again) and in fact it's not a book I'm particularly ashamed of being given in hardcover. It sounds like a new series is being launched with some promising setup -- tension between the Heralds, Bards, and Healers! Herald turning on Herald! Ominous strangers from outside the borders! A certain lack of the preaching to the choir which has been driving me m...more
Julie (jjmachshev)
Nov 05, 2008 Julie (jjmachshev) rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fantasy fans
Shelves: 2008-reads
I'm a Mercedes Lackey fan from way back. I devoured her 'Magic' trilogy and haven't looked back since. This is one fantasy author I continue to buy as soon as her books hit the shelf because I know the story will pull me in and have me cheering for the hero or heroine. Her newest "Foundation" is no exception and as a bonus, it's set in Valdemar!

Mags is an orphan who ended up in the hands of a greedy cruel mine owner as a baby. His work in those mines began as soon as he was old enough to stand a...more
How to write a Mercedes Lackey Valdemar book in Three Easy Steps:

Step One: Create a main character who is abused, socially stunted, living in abject poverty, living with religious zealots, or gay.

Step Two: Have a Companion choose them.

Step Three: Upon arrival in Haven, have them be awkward but keenly observant, picking up on a dastardly plot no one else has noticed, thereby saving the kingdom, while making friends, becoming more secure in their Gifts, and learning a few valuable life lessons al...more
Most of Lackey's novels follow an easily seen formula-the character has an unhappy to horrible life until they are Chosen, then everything becomes sparkles and kittens while they solve problems that only their special talents can fix. 'Foundation' is, sadly, not different.
Despite this commonality, the plots are usually interesting and well thought out. This book, however, was very disappointing in that area. While character development is desirable, it was too great of a focus, and left little...more
If you're looking for moral complexity or beautiful prose, you should direct your gaze elsewhere. Mercedes Lackey writes uncomplicated characters, in simple sentences, moving through a world that is entirely black and white. If the protagonist thinks poorly of a character on page seven, by page 307 that character has been revealed as a proud, shallow, child-murdering, power-hungry weasel. Good guys are easily identified when they share their last piece of bread with a starving orphan or put them...more
Nov 17, 2008 Annette rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fantasy Lovers
Shelves: fantasy
I picked this book up at my favorite bookstore - which foolishly provides nice comfy chairs right next to their shelves - and read it in about three sittings. (Yeah, right there in the store. Tsk, tsk!) I'd never read anything by Lackey before, although certainly her name must be familiar to anyone who frequents the sci-fi / fantasy section. I admit what drew me to the book in the first place was the audacity of namimg it "Foundation" (a word never used in the story, as far as I can remember), w...more
A good start, but something that Lackey has been falling prey to lately is a lot of build-up and not paying it off in a satisfying way. I saw this in her latest Elemental book, and also The Phoenix Unchained.

An example from within the book is when Mags goes to a party, and Lackey spends almost two whole pages describing the food. Not necessary. She makes up for this (as always) with her characterization and conflict, but it is mostly unrealized. I assume she intends to finish it up trilogy-style...more
Jess Miller
The Valdemar books are very much comfort reading-it was the first fantasy I every read and liked, back in high school, and I've always had a soft spot for them. The good guys are Very Very Good, the bad guys are Very Very Bad, and there are increasingly more details about life in a medieval(ish) society. overall, fun stuff, but definitely wait for the mass market.
Either Lackey has lost her magic, or she's just lost her magic for me. This book has a lot in common with "Arrow's of the Queen" in that it's about an abused, disadvantaged youth who is Chosen by one of the mystical Companions of Valdemar and is transported into a new, very different life in the city of Haven. Mags, the protagonist, is certainly not the same person that Talia (protagonist of "Arrows of the Queen") and the tale of Mags finding a new life and a place for himself is all fine and we...more
I recently read Mercedes Lackey's five-volume series The Collegium Chronicles . The books, in order, are:


Here, why don't I jot down a few words about the entire series, and not just the first book (no plot spoilers).

Lackey is perhaps best known for her long-running series about the fantasy kingdom Valdemar, and this set of five books are her most recent addition to the saga. The Valdemar books overall don't have to be read in any particular order; th...more
Oct 12, 2008 Jeffrey rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: lackey fans
Shelves: fantasy, read-in-2008
Another Valdemar novel set in the time period prior to the Seleny novels but after the Mage Pawn and Griffin series. AS in the early volumes of each trilogy, this is more abbout introducing the characters, and leaves us kind of right in the middle of the story at the end. Its engaging and Mags, the main character seems to have several mysteries that will probably be fleshed out in the later books.

Nothing amazing, but another nice little story in the Lackey universe.
Like much of Lackey's recent work. I read 90% of the book learning the detail of the world and the intricacies of the main character (loving both by the way), but only after that 90% did any sort of plot emerge and that was superficial and unfinished. If you're a Lackey fan, give it a try. If you've never read Lackey, this is definitely not the place to start.
green tea girl
Argh, I *liked* this book, but in the end I could only give it three stars, maybe three and a half. Why so?

I think the characters made this book for me, and I think they were the only reason I finished it.

Other than that, the prose was so simplistic that by the end I was convinced I'd accidentally picked up a young adult book. I see now why other reviewers have called it "comfort reading" and literary junk food.

There's too much unnecessary description of food and Valdemarian holidays and so on t...more
I first encountered Mercedes Lackey's books at 13, with her "Arrows" trilogy, and she has always had a place on my bookshelves ever since. As I have grown older, I know I can always return to her books for a comfort read, and "Foundation" is no exception. Whilst the writing is quite simplistic (making it feel like a young adult read) it still contains Lackey's beautiful writing skills, enabling the reader to immerse themselves in the story. My major gripes, however, are that most stories rely on...more
C-Cose Daley
Yet another success from Mercedes Lackey!!!

I've seen many arguments about successful authors becoming somewhat formulaic the more they write in a particular genre. While I can understand that viewpoint, I have yet to understand why that is wrong. One uses a "formula"--any formula--because it works.

The difference in Lackey's case, and a few other authors in various genres, is that she manages to take this formula and make each telling completely authentic to the tale that she is telling. Her char...more
Mags was an orphan, enslaved in a mine. He believes that his parents were bandits who where killed while raiding, so Mags sees his fate as earned. He is bad blood, and not worth much. His world changes when he is rescued by the Royal Guard from his indentured servitude and chosen to be a Herald of Valdemar. Once at the newly established Collegium, Mags is immersed in the intrigues of court and deep, dark plots.

This is typical Mercedes Lackey territory. Young outcast who doesn't believe that they...more
Amy VanGundy
Okay, the rural accent was starting to drive me crazy by the end of this. I loved Mercedes Lackey when I was younger and still have a fondness for all things Valdemar, so I eventually got around to reading this. As other reviews have commented, this whole book is just a stepping stone to a series of book around Mags, so this book alone isn't very fulfilling. The ending had me scratching my head trying to understand what had happened and--more importantly--why. I'm wondering what the purpose of t...more
Not one of my favorite from this universe, but not one of my least favorite, either.

The timeframe is a rather compelling one in terms of Valdemar history--just after The Last Herald Mage, but before most of the "main" story. It was interesting to see Vanyel just barely out of reach, and to see the process of forgetting the knowledge that is gone by the time the Arrows of the Queen series starts.

Mags' accent grated after about the halfway point, though I found him at least interesting. The plot...more
I was happy to get another Valdemar book and to have it be a book about the founding of the Herald's Collegium made it that much sweeter. The main character, Magpie, while reserved, is a good person to float through a world in the thoughts of. He made some of the simple things in life, such as a well stocked larder, that much more vivid and cherished when he discovers them for the first time. A good curl up on the couch with a blanket and cup of tea kind of book.
3.5 stars

Rereading ready for Closer to Home Valdemar The Herald Spy 1 (and to be honest I couldn't remember what happened in Bastion or Redoubt which didn't bode well so I thought, "What the heck, full reread, mo-fo!!")

I'm a Mercedes Lackey fan - have been for over twenty years now, I was 11 when I first read one. So momentum, nostalgia, everything is on the side of Ms Lackey. I'll admit, recent books have got a bit samey, but I'm a creature of habit - this doesn't bother me, and if it ain't bro...more
Lisa Williamson
With a main character who starts out as a slave and then is going through the Collegium, this is definitely aimed at the younger readers BUT unlike a lot of Ms Lackey's long term readers I enjoyed this story. Too many out there seem to expect too much out of a book. It was a fun read, especially for someone home in bed sick. No it wasn't the greatest book of all time but I don't expect the total dry and tastelessness of a so called "greatest work of fiction" from her. I expect a good read that f...more
I'm not going to go into too much detail here, as I feel that three stars doesn't warrant it right now. As a book that I listened to while at work, this book was great. It was easy and somewhat interesting. The excessive amount of lists and descriptions of how things worked in the world might have otherwise been boring, had I not been focusing on more than one thing. I do enjoy good world building and knowing how things differ from my own... but so often the world did not differ from my own, and...more
Diane Daniels
Mercedes Lackey is an amazing writer whose detailed description make everything magical. This isn't even a book I would have chosen without my daughter-in-law's recommendation, but I really liked it. If you're a horse lover this book is for you. I loved the intelligence and mind speech that she endowed the "companions" with. Her books are always fascinating.
Read my first Valdemar book in the late 80s and have loved most of these books. I really liked going back to the founding of the Heralds' Collegium and beginning a new story in somewhat familiar surroundings. Another good book with interesting characters, intrigue, magic, and suspense . . . and, of course, Companions.
Elizabeth S
My favorite Valdemar book! What a great new set of characters, set in an interesting time in Valdemar's history. I like the plot so far. And I like that enough is wrapped up at the end of the book to feel finished, but there are a number of threads left open for the next books in this series. Thoroughly enjoyable.
Oct 20, 2008 Jo rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: kids into fantasy
Shelves: fantasy
Basically a traditional abused orphan makes good fantasy book aimed probably for the 10-14 year old crowed or so as long as kids on younger end understand life isn't all that pleasant for everyone. That being said, it was a fun and relaxing evening read for me but then again, I sometimes like picture books.
Enjoyable read. Ill-treated orphan gets chosen and his life gets turned around and he saves the world is a bit overdone, but the characters are great so its forgivable. Been ages since I read any Mercedes Lackey and quite liked this. May have to look out some of her other work I have missed...
I love how easy it is to slip in and out of the Valdamar series. This is the first of another series, around about the time of the founding of the Heralds Collegium. Typically good, and fast read. Now I get to impatiently wait for the next book to come out.
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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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