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Arrows of the Queen

(Valdemar: Heralds of Valdemar #1)

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  38,985 ratings  ·  1,114 reviews
Follows the adventures of Talia as she trains to become a Herald of Valdemar in the first book in the classic epic fantasy Arrows trilogy

Chosen by the Companion Rolan, a mystical horse-like being with powers beyond imagining, Talia, once a runaway, has now become a trainee Herald, destined to become one of the Queen's own elite guard. For Talia has certain awakening talent
Mass Market Paperback, 320 pages
Published March 3rd 1987 by DAW Books (first published 1987)
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Kate This is the first one in her Heralds of Valdamar series. All of her other books in this universe spin off this book. There are a few (exiles honor/val…moreThis is the first one in her Heralds of Valdamar series. All of her other books in this universe spin off this book. There are a few (exiles honor/valor and such) that are prequels but these were the first written. My suggestion would be read these first by the sword, mage winds, mage storms, exile books, then the rest can be read pretty much in any order. (You don't have to read the owl books series with the res of them and this is the best series out of them all in my opinion) Happy reading!(less)
Bethan Absolutely not a strange criteria, ignore that other answer. May I recommend instead THE PRIORY OF THE ORANGE TREE by Samantha Shannon (out in 2 weeks…moreAbsolutely not a strange criteria, ignore that other answer. May I recommend instead THE PRIORY OF THE ORANGE TREE by Samantha Shannon (out in 2 weeks). The most epic of epic fantasy with a central f/f relationship that is actually to die for (and also m/m rep).(less)

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J.G. Keely
May 13, 2007 rated it liked it
I've read a lot of fantasy, and I've spent a lot of time looking for fantasy that won't disappoint. When fantasy disappoints me, it usually does so predictably: either the world is poorly-built, the entire story is derivative, it is filled with creepy repressed sexuality, or the Hat Trick.

An equestrian friend of mine suggested this series: it was one of her favorites. However, her suggestion was somewhat tentative. She had previously passed Eragon and Eye of the World along to me, which are so d
Jan 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Evgeny by: Branwen Sedai *of the Brown Ajah*
Shelves: fantasy
A young boy girl named Harry Potter Talia had a very bad childhood until Hagrid Rolan came and took him her to the wizard school Collegium where he she studies, makes some friends and some enemies. By the way, I am sorry for comparing a half-giant (Hagrid) to a highly intelligent magical horse (Rolan).

Despite all of the similarities to Harry Potter - and there are more than those I mentioned already, this book is not one of the countless Harry Potter clones. For once it was written exactly ten y
Abigail Parks
Jan 29, 2014 rated it did not like it
A friend gave me this book for my birthday and am I ever glad I didn't pay money for it. I rather wish he'd just given me a Barnes & Noble gift card instead.

From a purely technical perspective, this is possibly the worst published book I've ever read. From an emotional standpoint, this comes in a close third after some horrible book whose title I cannot recall, and Frankenstein.

But back to Arrows of the Queen. Good grief.

The highlights:

1. I am forced to put the plot as the first casualty, as the
Mar 19, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This book took me by surprise. I picked it up because I wanted to discover more classic fantasy novels written by women. I didn’t really know anything about it other than that it was a coming-of-age tale… and it is, of course, but it’s much more than that. It’s a book about friendship, and found families; it’s about people helping each other out when times get tough, and accepting one another despite differences in age, gender, or sexual orientation.

It’s also what I might call a “small-scale ep
Allison Hurd
May 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Utterly delightful. One of those "to be loved by all ages" books. I'd read Magic's Pawn and was expecting some rough and perhaps more "period" views on things, but all told I thought this was stronger and much less traumatic than that book.

CONTENT WARNING: (no actual spoilers, just a list of topics) (view spoiler)

Things to love:

-Talia. Poor little girl! We watch her go from downtrodden
Aug 22, 2009 rated it really liked it
When I was a kid and my father was out of town for work, my mom and I got to have sleepovers in the big bed. We would curl up with our pillows stacked behind our backs and read books and eat ice cream and fall asleep whenever we wanted to. I loved it. And, unsurprisingly, the tradition continued on until I left home. One particular time I remember it was a Friday night and I was fourteen and my mom and I went to the base library to see what we could find. I wandered down the aisles and stopped w ...more
Jan 29, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: queer, fantasy
I’ve always vaguely known about Mercedes Lackey’s work, but rarely read any, so this was my first experience with Valdemar. I’m aware that there are tons of problematic things about Mercedes Lackey’s body of work, though I haven’t looked at details. Still, Arrows of the Queen is a book I wish I’d had when I was younger. It has a couple of queer characters, who are treated pretty much like the other characters — okay, things aren’t all rosy for them, but not for other characters, either. And the ...more
Nov 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
Executive Summary: This book is super trope-heavy and not always the best written, but I found it a light, fun, quick read that seemed to suit my current mood. 3.5 stars.

Full Review
I’ve heard of Mercedes Lackey, but none of her books had made it onto my to ever growing to read pile. If not for Sword & Laser I probably never would have read this.

This is one of those books that read at a different point, I might have been bored by. I’ve been a bit burnt out on reading lately and this seemed to
Arrows of the Queen tells the story of Talia, a young girl from a repressive society who suddenly ends up being bonded with a magical horse called a Companion*. Rolan, the Companion, takes her to the capital city of Valdemar where she learns about her role as the Queen's Own Herald and gathers a group of friends around her.

*as in many fantasy novels of the time, Important Concepts are Capitalized.

I first read this book not long after it first came out, and was so drawn in I read all the way thro
Jan 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is a re-read, but it's been so long since I read it the first time, I only really remembered a few major events. I think this is still a great coming of age story, and I remember it was one of the first magical school type of books that I read. So my rating may be a little bit nostalgia, but it was just really fun to read this again as an adult.

One thing I hadn't realized was that there's not a whole lot of plot in this one. We do get the story of the main character developing over time, wi
Sara (sarawithoutanH)
May 09, 2021 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2021
Didn't love this. I read it for a reading vlog where I read my mom's favorite books:

Booktube | Instagram | Twitter
May 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: high-fantasy, romance
I absolutely ADORED this book. I wanted to give it five stars...

But how can I when I'm so effing mad that (view spoiler)
Kat  Hooper
Feb 11, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
ORIGINALLY POSTED AT Fantasy Literature.

Talia is not like normal 13-year-old girls. She likes to read adventure stories and she fantasizes about being a Herald for the queen of Valdemar. She does not want to get married to one of the dreary men in her village. So, when a Companion — one of the blue-eyed white horses who belongs to a Herald — shows up without a rider, Talia is happy to help him find his way home and stunned to learn that she’s been chosen to be trained as a Herald.

Published in 19
Jun 17, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
This was the first Valdemar book that I read, which was sort of fortuitous since it was the first book about the world that Mercedes Lackey wrote. It isn't my favorite (Kero's tale has that honor), but it comes very very close.

I re-read this book (and the rest of the trilogy) probably about once a year, and I never get tired of them.

Don't be fooled by the childish looking covers, this trilogy deals with some VERY adult themes.. child abuse, death, torture, sex, war, rape, murder... but it does i
Re-read 2019
I'm on a bit of a re-reading spree. Revisiting some of my favorite series.

Re-read 2018
I'm picking up some of my favorite books as a re-read to take a break from all the reading for a paper I'm writing. I love the books revolving around Talia and how she became Queens Own of Valdemar.

Re-read 2017

Poor Talia, she's a holderkin girl who wants to be something other than a wife or mother. When she escapes into books she dreams of being a Herald of Valdemar and doing great things like Lav
Rachel (Kalanadi)
Jul 09, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Solid feel-good fantasy about a young woman coming of age. Strongly reminiscent of Alanna: The First Adventure and Dragonsinger for me.
My partner has been working on a fantasy world for a while now, and one of these days he might actually put all of his scraps of paper together into a cohesive story. I love this, and I keep urging him to keep at it; one of the ways I encourage him is to ask him about his world which then sets him off on an hour-long discussion about some very important yet seemingly-small details about something that happened in this world a thousand years ago.

We got to talking about his main character, a femal
Apr 19, 2009 rated it really liked it
When I was younger, I would say in my early teens, my friends read all of the Mercedes Lackey books they could get their eyes on. Because I didn't listen
to audio books at the time— I only read Braille when I could be bothered to read, that is, I didn't get to read these books. and what a series I missed,
but I'm catching up now and am delighted to do so. the NLS annotation is below.
Talia lives on the borders of the kingdom in an isolated, grim hold. She knows little about the outside world except
Octavia Cade
May 14, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, young-adult
An entertaining, easy-read coming of age story in which Talia escapes her difficult family to train as a Herald, complete with magical powers and an even more magical horse. The main strength here is the protagonist - Talia is sympathetic and I enjoyed reading about her, but I did feel that the more talents got heaped on her in the second half of the book the less interesting she was, and the more she started to feel like a fantasy heroine rather than an actual person. Another positive is the ge ...more
Feb 16, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Full video review:

Laura (Kyahgirl)
Jul 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
3.5/5; 4 stars; B+

I have had a pile of Mercedes Lackey books sitting on a shelf in the basement ever since I inherited them from my sister years ago. I finally started working on them. I remember Joan telling me to start with these then follow with the Magic's Pawn subset.

This book had several strong female characters, including the main character. It reminds me very much of the Tamora Pierce series I read lately starting with Terrier.

This was good clean fantasy. I don't feel compelled to rush o
The Captain
Apr 01, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy, horses
Ahoy there me mateys! While drawin’ up me lists of 2016 for me log, I realized a curious thing – out of 134 books read, not a single one was a re-read. In me enthusiasm of discovery and taking suggestions from me crew, I did not revisit a single old port for plunder! And part of what I love about readin’ is re-visitin’ old friends. So I decided to remedy that and thus created me new category where I take a second look at a previously enjoyed novel and give me crew me second reflections, as it we ...more
Linda ~ they got the mustard out! ~
This is the first book in the Valdemar series and it has a lot going for it, but it falls short of what I expect out of a story. The good news is it's not another Tolkien ripoff trying to pass itself off as something original. The bad news is it's the first in a series, and I think even the first book Lackey wrote, and it shows. The other good news is that for a first book, this shows a lot of promise, and I'm willing to go along for the ride and see how Lackey improves as a writer over the cour ...more
Jun 28, 2007 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Talia is a peasant girl who yearns to be more than a brood-mare. She wants books and adventure! Alas, all she has to look forward to is years of more abuse and hard labor. But then! A sparkly magical white horse comes by! The Companion (the shiny psychic horse) takes her to Valdemar, an idyllic kingdom where a wise, hard-working, common-sensical queen rules. Training montage! Everyone thinks Talia is the bestest evar!

Talia is a bit like Alanna, except infuriatingly humble.
Mar 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What fun it is, to revisit an old-time favorite and enjoy it just as much as ever.
Brecht Denijs
Jan 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Everyone that doesn't dislike Noblebright stories.
Ugh, I adored this book and I so want to give it five stars but, sigh, it's got some issues. This is the sucky part about being an adult, seasoned reader. You pick up a thing or two about writing books and suddenly you can't help but notice things and be critical. I'm sure I would have loved the shit out of this as a kid and readily given it five stars, I can't in good conscious do that now though.

Arrow of the Queen is a classic style Noblebright, coming of age fantasy story. It was basically Ha
Mar 29, 2014 rated it it was ok
Ugh, what? Get outta here.
Aug 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The early Valdemar books will always be the coziest of comfort reads for me. They're flawed in some ways and dated in others, but fundamentally they're stories about family, friendship, and support. I'll always love them. ...more
Jackie B. - Death by Tsundoku
I will admit, from page one I knew what was going to happen. We all did. A wide-eyed youngster who comes from a repressive upbringing is suddenly freed and enrolled in a special school where she grows into herself. Talia makes friends, she makes enemies. And, she discovered that she has magical powers and important destiny. Arrows of the Queen is a collection of predictable tropes latched together to create characters and plot. But that didn't change how engaged I was on every page.

Talia is the
Mike (the Paladin)
Dec 13, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Actually this book is better than a 3...but it's not really a 4. It's a well written book about a, are you ready? Young hero who's miserable, abused and unappreciated at home, until duh, duh, duh, duh, duh, duh, duh, DAAAAA, one of the chosen. Yes gasp she's to be a Herald!!!!!!

So you get the picture. The young protagonist who's had a hard to miserable childhood/youth and then gets called away to be a hero/heroine. Still (my sense of humor aside) it's a well written book and the young protagonis
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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: Heralds of Valdemar (3 books)
  • Arrow's Flight (Heralds of Valdemar, #2)
  • Arrow's Fall (Heralds of Valdemar, #3)

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