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Magic's Price (Valdemar: The Last Herald-Mage #3)

4.26  ·  Rating Details  ·  16,303 Ratings  ·  236 Reviews
The final chapter in Mercedes Lackey's spellbinding fantasy trilogy! The Herald-Mage, Vanyel, and his Companion, Yfandes, are alone responsible for saving the once-peaceful kingdom of Valdemar from the forces of a master who wields a dark, forbidding magic. And if either Vanyel or Yfandes falters, both Valdemar and its Herald-Mage must pay the ultimate price. Original.
Kindle Edition, 355 pages
Published (first published July 1990)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Mar 26, 2012 Contrarius rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Parts of these books I really like -- and then other parts make me want to either throw the book across the room, or smack Mercedes upside the head a few times.

Lackey is pretty darned good at manipulating emotions when she sets her mind to it. I'm just as susceptible to melodrama as the next person, and probably more susceptible than many -- and Lackey's books don't lack for that. On the other hand, Lackey often doesn't seem terribly concerned with logic. For instance, an especially egregious (a
Vanyel gets a new boyfriend. Sure, there's a lot of other stuff about ruling a kingdom steward-style for the ailing king and loads of heroic feats including surviving torture, defeating an entire army with several powerful mages, and dying a bloody death. But mostly, Vanyel gets an awesome new boyfriend. It turns out that this new fellow is the reincarnation of the old fellow, but I choose to not care about the implications of that. Because Stefen is not a Herald. He doesn't get a magic pony who ...more
Dec 26, 2015 Paul rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This initial fantasy trilogy is a really fun read.
Experiment BL626
The books are well written, I'm not debating that. What I am hating is the main character, Vanyel. I usually tolerate goody two-shoes to a great extend, but this character just want to make me barf. Pretty much he sacrifices everything in order to save his kingdom, a kingdom that doesn't even like him for who he is and only care for his supermagic.

Frankly the ending suck, so if anyone is expecting a HEA or HFN, this series is not for you—it's a tear-jerker. It's one thing to give up your life f
Mar 22, 2008 Kathryn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Last one! It's a toss up whether this one or the first is my favorite, it's so hard to pick. Anyway, here we go:

Price is set about eight years after the end of Promise. Vanyel is no longer on the front lines of the war; he's been put in a more or less administrative position in Haven. That doesn't necessarily mean he's not working as hard. The king, Randale, who has been suffering from a chronic illness for years, suddenly becomes fatally ill, and the Healers don't even know what is causing his
Dec 06, 2010 Aphie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: high-fantasy, fantasy
Cheesy, tawdry, melodramatic with a hero who supposedly resembles a cross between Fabio, an elf and Gaston from the Disney Beauty & The Beast. I LURVED these so hard when I was a teenager, you better believe it.

There's still a little voice inside, today, who says "But... protagonist! Romantic storylines and heroism and GAY(yay)!"
I had been warned. I sort of knew what was going to happen. I had no expectations, considering the trainwreck that was the first book. But when I read the ending, I was pretty much

I mean, after pretty much everything you've done for Valdemar, that's what you get in the end?

Forget about duty, responsibility, and doing what was right because you can't do otherwise. As Pat Jr from Silver Linings Playbook more or less said, there's enough shit we have to deal with in real life, why can't we have a
Catherine Thompson
The final book of The Last Herald-Mage trilogy finds Vanyel quite literally the last Herald-Mage. Most of the other Herald-Mages have been killed in battle, and no child has manifested the Mage Gift in years. As Van probes more deeply into the problem, he discovers that someone is targeting anyone with the Mage Gift--someone who is determined to bring Valdemar, already on the brink of losing its king, into utter chaos.

In this book, we come full circle, as Vanyel finds love again and learns to tr
Feb 26, 2015 Riva rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Audiobook Review
I am writing this review after listening to all three books in this series. I’m glad I waited to review because I have adjusted my ratings from 5 to 4 stars on the overall story. This series is about Vanyel, a Herald Mage. It starts in Book 1 when he is about 16 and ends in Book 3 in his late thirties. This series was written in the 1990s, so I tried to listen to it with that filter. Back then, gay themed YA books were rare and gay themed fantasy book even rarer. Overall I really
May 07, 2015 Katie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Skimming through some other reviews I passed one that called this book "Cheesy, tawdry, melodramatic". I completely agree, but I actually reveled in those facts while the other reviewer gave it two stars. :P It's definitely over the top and has some logic defying moments, but I find myself quite invested in Valdemar. I *was* a little torn on my rating and I think 4 stars is rounding up for me because there was a resurgence of the plot point that bothered me in the Vows & Honor books I've rea ...more
Jeffe Kennedy
Feb 18, 2016 Jeffe Kennedy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another addition to my #readinghistory! Continuing the Mercedes Lackey lurv fest with the Last Herald Mage trilogy. OMG, so much goodness in Vanyel's history. Beautiful Vanyel. *sigh* He wasn't the first gay hero I read, I'm pretty sure, because I wasn't surprised at all by his sexuality. But I'd also had friends who'd come out as gay by then, so Vanyel's journey from not fitting in to finding his first lover felt familiar to me. I loved this story so much, even for its tragedy. Vanyel's arc fro ...more
Oct 09, 2014 Sophie rated it really liked it

This last book in Vanyel's trilogy finally brings us his lifemate, Bard Stefen, who is wonderful. He's supposedly the reincarnation of Tylendel, but who cares, he's awesome all on his own.

And the story comes full circle, as Vanyel goes through something very like the situation that was Tylendel's undoing in the first book. It's painful to read, especially since you know what's coming, but Vanyel manages to avoid going down the same revenge-driven path as Tylendel—interestingly enou
Kris Irvin
Dec 18, 2013 Kris Irvin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
This is my favorite book in the Last Herald Mage trilogy. That said, I kind of hate this trilogy, so it's not saying much.

Vanyel finally quit whining in this book. One thing I will say is that Lackey does a great job at showing Van's growth and maturation over the course of the story. I didn't think Van would ever suck it up, buttercup, and quit whining all the time.

This book reads like an after school special in so many places. Van and Withen's reconciliation, for example, was so cheesy I had
The Last Herald-Mage trilogy concludes in this exciting and romantic novel, which had me both happy and sad at the same time. Some will argue that this is the best novel in the trilogy. For me, it was the first novel, Magic’s Pawn. Throughout the book Mercedes Lackey addresses all kinds love and all kinds of situations/issues lovers deal with because of this powerful love. And through all these, the message remains the same, and it is a message of tolerance.
Karse’s self-proclaimed Prophet-King h
Aug 22, 2012 Jason rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I was debating giving this book a three, because I did enjoy parts, but in the end I decided it just wasn't good enough. You can read other reviews to see what's wrong with it, but, in a nutshell: most of the issues in the story aren't well-resolved, such as the king's illness and the idea of Stefen as a reincarnation of Tylendel, and most importantly, who the hell Leareth is; there is a severe inconsistency in the difference between the deaths of the two herald-mages and Savil's death which is ...more
Mar 21, 2014 Emily rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult, fantasy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 09, 2008 Ashley rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mel (booksandsundry)
It's not bad, but it's not really that good either.
Jan 22, 2016 Lady rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of my favourite fantasy novels. I re-read it every couple of years or so. I've read it now three times. I am reviewing it after all this time because I haven't done a review of it yet, and because it made a list of recommended, award-winning LGBTQ Speculative Fiction which I am working through as part of a reading challenge:

Mercedes Lackey (known fondly by her fans as "Misty") wrote this series with the conscious intent of featuring a gay her
I used to like this one least because of the inevitable ending. But I remember softening towards it as I got older, and upon re-reading it holds up just as well as the other ones.
Spoiler alert for the middle of the book: the love scene where Vanyel and Stef finally get together came as something of a revelation for Teener Christiner. It was actually the first time I'd encountered a book that managed to successfully imply that love and sex were linked. Now I think about it, the other books I'd b
May 17, 2016 Amber rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
And so the tale of Herald-Mage Vanyel comes to an end. Although our hero died, he is not gone. I cried bitter tears at the end of this book. Vanyel went through so many hardships and yet he still fought for the good of Valdemar, he continued on when many others would have given up. This story is so inspiring! It definitely made my list of re-reads. I have to hand it to Miss Lackey, never before have I read a book with a homosexual main character. I got a taste of it in Tamora Pierce's Circle of ...more
Sian Jones
Re-reading this (after having originally read it 20+ years ago), I was struck by how the best world-building doesn't let things last; the best world-building takes the world you've just spent previous novels reading about and then cracks it open, shows you its weaknesses and failure, and draws you into understanding what is gained by the loss even as you mourn it. I know that's a fancy way of describing it, but danged if it doesn't show mature judgment on the author's part.
Spider the Doof Warrior
This is my favourite book in the series, but there's one small problem.

What does Mercedes Lackey have against Vanyel? He's such a nice guy, but he's got so many problems, it's not even funny. He gets a love in the first book, and all of those who read it know what happened and how much he had to suffer as a result. Then, fast forward to this book.
But, at least there's a bit of happiness to look forward to for Vanyel.

But it doesn't last.
Jan 23, 2016 Sara rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked all of the book except the end, so I'm trying to give a fair rating but I want to explain.
I am still rather upset, but I'm positive I loved the new characters and story, about the same or even more than the first book of the trilogy.
At first, I thought I was upset due to the traumatizing events towards the end of the book, which take place one after the other leaving no time to assimilate what's happening.
But I think now that it actually felt kind of rushed, and that's probably th
Jo Oehrlein
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Fantasy Literature
In Magic’s Price, the third book in Mercedes Lackey’s THE LAST HERALD MAGE trilogy, we discover how this trilogy got its name. It’s been nine years since the previous story ended and the Herald-Mages are being knocked off one by one. Valdemar is in great danger. Vanyel is “the last Herald-Mage” and there’s a target on his back. If he dies, how will Valdemar survive a magical attack by enemies? Can Vanyel and Yfandes, his Companion horse, find and stop Master Dark, the evil magician, before Valde ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rachel Barnes
Wow. Sometimes that is all you can say. Wow. Books this powerful – ones that stay with you long after you have read the final page and ones that make you feel like you have lost a friend when you close that cover – are the reasons why I read with the voracity that I do.

Books like Mercedes Lackey’s The Last Herald Mage trilogy are ones I wish I read every time I open a cover.

Another 10 years has gone by since Herald Mage Vanyel defeated the dark magic rising from the neighboring kingdom of Lineas
Jan 15, 2014 Azariel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Que dire de ce livre ? Et plus globalement que dire de cette trilogie si ce n'est que je suis fan, complètement fan, totalement fan.
Il est très rare que je prenne plaisir à lire et relire un livre et celui ci fait parti des élus.

L'histoire est tragique, belle, prenante, haletante, triste ... mais il ne pouvait absolument pas en être autrement pour Vanyel.
Dès le premier tome, on sait qu'il connaitra une fin tragique. Cependant on vibre avec lui, on a peur pour lui, on pleure pour lui, on espère
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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 &am ...more
More about Mercedes Lackey...

Other Books in the Series

Valdemar: The Last Herald-Mage (3 books)
  • Magic's Pawn (Valdemar: Last Herald-Mage #1)
  • Magic's Promise (Valdemar: Last Herald-Mage #2)

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“A quaint conceit, don't you think?” 12 likes
“Don’t you see, Stef? It’s not that I’m serving Valdemar, it’s that I’m helping to preserve the kind of people who leave the world better than they found it, and trying to stop the ones who take instead of giving.” 1 likes
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