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

4.25 of 5 stars 4.25  ·  rating details  ·  14,903 ratings  ·  197 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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Kathleen
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
Contrarius
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
...more
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
...more
Kathryn
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
...more
Aphie
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... butbutbut...gay protagonist! Romantic storylines and heroism and GAY(yay)!"
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
...more
Riva
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
...more
Katie
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
Sophie
Vaaanyeeeeeel.

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
...more
Kris Irvin
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
...more
Jimmy
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
...more
D
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
...more
Jason
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
Emily
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ashley
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Anila
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Christina
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
...more
Adrienne
So, I thought these books were kind of over the top and terrible, but I also kind of loved how over the top and terrible they were. Sometimes it's fun to read overly dramatic eye rolling stories! Vanyel was much less whiny but more broody in the second and third books, which was an improvement. On the other hand, there was a quite brutal scene near the end which didn't really fit in and frankly, did not deal with the aftermath and effects in a realistic way. Everything happened too quickly.

I als
...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.
Nicole
The final book in the Last-Herald Mage trilogy tells the life of Vanyel, the most powerful Herald-Mage in history, and how he meets his inescapable fate.

[Possible spoilers. Read at your own risk.]

A little over ten years has passed since the second novel, Vanyel is a mix of young and old (relatively young in age but old in appearance) due to his striking hair and unusual silver eyes. King Randale is as ill as ever and on the inevitable brink of death. Then introduce twenty-year-old Stefen the Ba
...more
Synesthesia (SPIDERS!)
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.
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
Susan
what a bummer of an ending omg. Vanyel lived one hell of a short and miserable existence.

idek what I think of this trilogy? it was fun and easy to read but there were really weird elements to it lol. The last two books were better than the first in that it wasnt sO ANGSTY AMD DRAMATIC but they didnt feel particularly cohesive. this book like, changed plot halfway through, from focusing on the growing relationship between Vanyel's new boytoy and Randale's declining health to the Greatest Threat t
...more
Azariel
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
...more
Storm
o/` All those who would be Magic's Pride must then pay Magic's Price o/`

Although time-jumps and skips were a bit of a problem all throughout the series, this was still a very powerful ending to a very amazing story. All the Feels... just... all the Feels...

Vanyel's going up against the biggest, baddest enemy he's ever faced, he'll be hurt deeper then ever, and have to fight harder then any other time to complete his tasks. I wish there were more books from Vanyel's point of view, some of the ski
...more
Kat  Hooper
2.5 Originally posted at Fantasy Literature. http://www.fantasyliterature.com/revi...

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 Yfa
...more
Riayl
2.5

Generally a character becomes more likable as a series goes on. But Vanyel actually seems to get worse or at least he doesn't much change as he gets older. It is one thing to see those things in a neglected, abused boy, but they become very unattractive in an adult man. I think part of the problem is that there are times here when he does or says something that just seems to come completely out of the blue. Instances I generally blame on author convenience. (view spoiler)
...more
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Apr 22, 2010 Lisa (Harmonybites) rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fantasy Lovers
This is the third and concluding book in the Herald Mage series that begins with Magic's Pawn. I love the Heralds of Valdemar series this novel is a part of. The Herald Mage trilogy was published after the first set of books that begins with Arrows of the Queen, but is set hundreds of years before, so this wouldn't act as a spoiler (and indeed in a way Arrows acts as a spoiler for this set, since by then Vanyel is a figure of legend.)

Because of Arrows of the Queen, I knew Vanyel's fate and more
...more
LKM
Mar 09, 2010 LKM rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of angsty yaoi, who don't mind the actual story
Recommended to LKM by: Jaina
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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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: The Last Herald-Mage (3 books)
  • Magic's Pawn (Valdemar: Last Herald-Mage #1)
  • Magic's Promise (Valdemar: Last Herald-Mage #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) Arrow's Fall (Heralds of Valdemar, #3) Magic's Promise (Valdemar: Last Herald-Mage #2)

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