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(Valdemar: Collegium Chronicles #3)

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  7,440 ratings  ·  371 reviews
Enter the thrilling third volume in the epic Collegium Chronicles. In Mercedes Lackey's classic coming-of-age story, the orphan Magpie pursues his quest for his parent's identity with burning urgency-while also discovering another hidden talent and being trained by the King's Own Herald as an undercover agent for Valdemar. Shy Bardic Trainee Lena has to face her famous but ...more
Hardcover, 326 pages
Published October 4th 2011 by Daw Books (first published October 1st 2011)
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Average rating 3.98  · 
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 ·  7,440 ratings  ·  371 reviews

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Lisa (Harmonybites)
Oct 05, 2011 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Hardcore Valdemar Addicts Only
I wondered at times reading this if Mercedes Lackey has gotten so much worse, or it's just my tastes have changed this much since she thrilled me in my early twenties with her tales of Valdemar, with its sentient "companions"--horse-shaped magical beings who partner "heralds" who help police, defend and act as judges for the kingdom. But no, it wasn't that long ago I did a reread of Valdemar, and the earlier ones, especially the books with Vanyel and Talia, were still great comfort reads for me ...more
V. Briceland
Oct 20, 2011 rated it it was ok
I find insulting the suggestion that Lackey's latest Valdemar entry is more suitable for young adults. Insulting to the YA audience, that is. They're better than the weaksauce plotting here, and the book's bland characters. Nor would they tolerate the protagonist's spoken dialect—an apostrophe-laden mess that makes Mark Twain's use of dialect in Huckleberry Finn look positively light-handed, and which had me praying for chapters at a time that the protagonist would be gagged, rendered mute, or w ...more
Apr 14, 2012 rated it did not like it
I have been a Mercedes Lackey fan for years. I own almost everything she has published and absolutely everything from her Valdemar series, many of which I've reread numerous times. Unfortunately, I have noticed a downward slide in her writing and the latest installment of The Collegium Chronicles, Changes (which everyone assumed to be the third in her typical trilogy) was more of the same.

While there is some character development and anticipated romances blossom, the characterization was uninsp
May 21, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fantasy
I’m just going to cut to the chase here and confess my extreme disappointment in this book, and indeed, in the progression of this “trilogy.” If my review of Intrigues, I said:

"The story was slow, tedious, and it involved long descriptions of a made-up sporting event that reminded me of Quiddich (at least in terms of how little I wanted to read long passages about it)."

I’m afraid this sums up my impression of Changes as well, especially because the “trilogy” is not yet over. That’s right — there
Harry Kloss
Oct 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
This a well crafted tale, nice plot turns and a great addition to Lackey's "Collegium Chronicles". My only complaint is that Daw Books has apparently let all their proofreaders go. I understand a typo or two but this edition, especially the second half is rife with inconsistent tenses, misspellings and missing words. I'm not complaining about Lackey's creative spelling to indicate Mags' accent, they left in a semi-colon in place of the letter 'l' in one word. Sloppy. ...more
Nov 15, 2011 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: lackey fan's who have read other books in this series
Shelves: fantasy, read-in-2011
A continuation of Lackey's Valdemer series. This latest book is the third book in her series about three trainees in the Collegium, Mags, who is clearly being trained to become a spy or the King's Own, Bear, a gifted non magical healer, who has to fight bigotry on the part of his family -- who think healing is for only the magically gifted, and Lena, a shy bardic trainee, who has to suffer at the hands of her obnoxious bullying self indulgent father.

Really however, it feels to me that the Bear s
Jen A.
Oct 10, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2011
Changes, another Collegium novel featuring the orphan Mags, was about as pleasurable to read as the previous two (Foundation and Intrigues).

I LOVED the many trilogies that Mercedes Lackey has written, all taking place in Valdemar. But this particular series seems like it was intended for a young adult audience. Much is spelled out by way of Mags thinking to himself, or talking to his friends or Dallen (his Companion). [Don't get me wrong; I love books where the characters have to actually THINK
Oct 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
3.75 stars

Reread extravaganza continues! Previous parts were reviewed here

So I'm continuing rereading the series in readiness for Closer to Home Valdemar The Herald Spy 1 and things are getting a bit more interesting here in book 3. Mags is helping Nikolas in the city, there are fresh baddies (or should I say of the same origins but better versions? Bad guys mk2?) and everyone is growing up and facing up to things - hence the title I expect. We still get
Mar 10, 2013 rated it it was ok
I'm of two minds about this book. On the one hand, I'm into the plot enough that I'd like to see how it all turns out. On the other, this volume felt really slapped together. Writers should at least know how to write and editors ought to be able to spot typos. Neither happened all that well in this book. I separate quality of writing into three categories while I read. There's the Patrick Rothfuss type "Wow" where I go back and glory over a particularly delicious turn of phrase. There's the "get ...more
Sep 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
Book 3 of the Collegium Chronicles was just like the others. Well written, fast paced; I liked it very much. However, it seems that I am forever to wonder about my previous concerns; mostly not knowing Dallen. The world is expanding a bit, but still not enough for me. The stakes are getting higher and Mags is maturing. But I still know little about his ancestry, which I was hoping to be reveiled now. Alas, the author is instead making sure that I read the next one to find out. But you know what ...more
Nov 19, 2011 rated it it was ok
First of all, there were a lot of typos, which detracted from my reading enjoyment, but I never really got into these characters. I read the whole series because its Valdemar, and I usually enjoy Lackey's Valdemar books, but I was bored through a lot of it. The suspense was missing. Yes, the kingdom is in danger and the new Herald Trainee Mags is the only one who can save it. . . I've heard it before and, frankly, it was done better the first time.

I was also confused about the time of the setti
Jun 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Awesome way to distract the mind when it is threatening to set off an anxiety attack.
Indigo Crow
The book is good, but it's not. Hopefully by the time I'm done with this review, I'll have clarified why I think that.

I admit it. It's been a long time since I read anything that was considered new by ML. Except for a collaboration book she did with another author in which the style and feel were so very NOT like ML's work that I wonder just how much involvement she really had with the project in the first place. Other than that, the newest ML book I'd have read came from the 90's.

Is this just h
Branwen Sedai *of the Brown Ajah*
Oct 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
*sighs blissfully* Ah, Valdemar...that wonderous and fantastic land that has brought me so much happiness over the years. As soon as I bought this book and ran my hands over the cover I felt tears welling up because there are just so mnay beautiful memories associated with Valdemar and Heralds, and Companians. This is the third book in Lackey's Collegium series, and it is much like the last two. There is a lot of Kirball, lots of actions scenes, lots of mystery and political intrigue, budding ro ...more
Jayme(the ghost reader)
This is the third book in the Collegium Chronicles. Our main character Mags is still looking for foreign agents that want to bring Valdemar down. His mentor, Nickolas is training him to be a spy for the king. All of Haven seems to be at each other's throats. Is it because of the heat or is it something more magical and sinister going on? Is the enemy the same people or is it a new group? The enemy seems to be after Mags and will stop at nothing including kidnapping his girlfriend to get at him. ...more
Sep 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: romance, fantasy
Another fabulous installment in the Valdemar series. I am very much enjoying the Collegium Chronicles.
Courtney Lillard
Nov 03, 2019 rated it liked it
Where to begin with Changes...Well, if you can make it through the first 60 pages, the plot picks up rather quickly and sets a nice pace until the last 50 pages. As we follow Mags, we still have to deal with a lot of the same issues as the previous book, making the reader less motivated to continue. The main characters are all dealing with their same issues and don’t really get anywhere with them. Of course, none of them can have serious, character-building dialogues because they aren’t deep at ...more
May 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Though Mags background of unimaginable poverty and abuse set him apart from most other trainees, nonetheless he had found his own special group of friends: Bear, Lena, and Amily (daughter of the King's Own Herald)--all students whose situations in life set them apart from more usual trainees.
Because of Mags' friendship with Amily, he met Nikolas who recognized the same traits in Mags that his Companion, Rolan, had recognized in him. Nikolas begins training Mags to be a spy.
Mags and Nikolas learn
May 18, 2017 added it
The story begins with happy times. Mags is safe and the crazy killed is dead. But this changes when Nickolas asks Mags to come and help him find some supcisious people down in the city of Haven. While acting the part of a deaf boy, Mags manages to find what seems to be kin to the crazy foreign killers. But this time, they are professionals who are protected from Mindspeech by shields that no Herald can penetrate. Even though these new killers are protected, Mags still finds a way to see what the ...more
Cari ☾
Sep 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Mags and Dallen need to find the people that are still in Valdemar trying to hurt the kingdom. Between his work in Kurball ( quiditch on horses ), his work with Nicholas (the King's master spy) and his learning to use his talent, this year is quite challenging for Mags. There are spies in the collegium and the palace. 3 of them to be precise, but the collegium is based on trust.

This was well written and the children that are in the collegium schools are true to their ages and this is especially
Jan 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Stayed up until 2 A.M because I had to know what happened.
Man did those Kirball scenes get repetitive by the end! But overall a fun book with that comfort read feel that I always experience with the Valdemar books.
Kathy Davie
Oct 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Third in the Valdemar: Collegium Chronicles which provides us with background on how the current three colleges—Bardic, Herald, and Healer—came to exist using the mystery that surrounds Bardic Trainee Mags.

The Story
Having uncovered the group of assassins seeking to destablize Valdemar, Nikolas, the King's Own Herald, is still suspicious. He believes that the original group never left Haven and he is determined to find and eliminate them using an undercover role he created years ago. In this, he
Oct 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
So, my basic summation of this is pretty simple: Reading about Valdemar is FUN.

Because there tends to be a big time gap (in the real world between publications AND in the world of Valdemar, in the sense that new series in the mega series can be anywhere on a rather long timeline) I always forget quite a lot- who is active in the world at this time, who are Valemar's enemies, what do and don't they know about their kingdom- in the span of hundreds and hundreds of years, a lot of amazing things a
Apr 15, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy, valdemar
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 24, 2011 rated it liked it
Mercedes Lackey is one of my all-time favorite authors. But while I normally love Valdemar stories and would beg her not to write stories in any other universe, the Collegium Chronicles are truly teaching me to be careful what I wish for. Others complain about Mags' dialect, but I didn't mind that at all. Trust me-- there are so many better reasons to be disappointed in this series than Mags' dialect. Primarily, the fact the storyline is weak, formulaic, and lacking not only in action but in a v ...more
Oct 31, 2011 rated it really liked it
This is the most recent Valdemar novel, following along as the third in the series telling about the founding of the Herald's Collegium and its early years. I love the world of Valdemar and will always enjoy stories set there, as they are consistently entertaining and wholesome while managing not to be treacly or too predictable. This novel did not disappoint, and there were some great parts that referenced other parts of the Valdemar history (especially the orb) along with continued development ...more
Dec 03, 2011 rated it it was ok
I intended to buy this, but when I discovered that the library had it, I decided to borrow it instead. I am glad I did. This book… it wasn’t good, but it wasn’t bad either. One reason could be that I thought it was the final book in the triology, which meant that I expected more action. Judging from the loose plot threads at the end, I suspect that there is at least one more book in the series. A lot of things happens, both to Mags, Amity, Lena and Bear. It was interesting to follow Mags gradual ...more
Jun 27, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
3.5 stars

While this is the third book in a reported trilogy, it ends with a lead in to at least one other book. That the overall story is still unresolved was disappointing. But Mags, Lena and Bear do have at one or two more years of schooling to go, so I expect at least one if not two more installments to the series.

I liked all the characters and the story line was interesting. With a world so well established it is hard to keep it fresh. I think Ms. Lackey has done that with these characters.
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Lack of "Changes" In Valdemar Through the Millennia 1 1 Jan 21, 2020 09:04PM  
Madison Mega-Mara...: Changes - 4th May Book 1 3 May 10, 2013 06:18AM  

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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 & M ...more

Other books in the series

Valdemar: Collegium Chronicles (5 books)
  • Foundation (Valdemar: Collegium Chronicles, #1)
  • Intrigues (Valdemar: Collegium Chronicles, #2)
  • Redoubt (Valdemar: Collegium Chronicles, #4)
  • Bastion (Valdemar: Collegium Chronicles, #5)

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