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Arrows of the Queen

(Valdemar: Heralds of Valdemar #1)

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  30,142 ratings  ·  928 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
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…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)

Community Reviews

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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 White 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
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
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
Jan 29, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, queer
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
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
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
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
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)
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
May 21, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: valdemar, fantasy
(Reread in 2015 just because.)

This book introduces the reader to what I consider a sort of proto-Valdemar. It's the author's first book of the series, her first novel entirely if I remember correctly, and after having read some of her later works, I can say that it shows. It's not quite as polished and refined as what she writes later on down the road, but the seeds of an expansive world are sown here and it's interesting to see.

It isn't very action-heavy, so those looking to this as a sword-and
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
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.
Feb 16, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Full video review:

Linda ~ chock full of hoot, just a little bit of nanny ~
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 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 course ...more
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
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.
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.
Mar 29, 2014 rated it it was ok
Ugh, what? Get outta here.
Drew The Reviewer
Feb 03, 2015 rated it did not like it
Oh my god. This book was so fucking stupid. I can't believe I finished it. I've been on a streak of bad books lately but this one takes the cake.

ARROWS OF THE QUEEN has absolutely no plot, no plot points, no character development, no climax, and overall nothing good about it. I am not even over exaggerating.

Here's what happens in the story. Talia gets welcomed into a royal castle and becomes a part of the Queen's army. She then goes to classes every day and talks to people inside the castle's g
Suzanne (Under the Covers Book blog)
4.5 Stars

Talia has never fitted into her home, she dream of adventures and not the bland drudgery and abuse that she lives with. When she realises the future planned for her by those in her household she blindly runs only to found by a Companion the fabled steeds of the Heralds who serve the Queen as messengers and warriors, not wanting to go back to her home Talia decides to take the Companion back to the Queen and see where fate may take her.

This is the first Mercedes Lackey book I have read
Mar 13, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantástico
Otro para la lista de libros entretenidos que me habrían gustado más con doce años, pero que a esa edad no habría empezado ni muerta. Me imagino la cara que hubiese puesto si me llegan a dar entonces un libro sobre una chica especial y su caballo mágico telépata y me entra la risa. En fin, está bien aunque no sea su público objetivo.
Alyssa Finnegan
Feb 27, 2017 rated it liked it
3 1/2 stars. Arrows of the Queen was a light little fantasy read that I truly wish I had picked up when I was younger; it was exactly the sort of story I used to day-dream about. This is no mind blowing piece of work, but it definitely had enough to keep me enchanted despite its many clichés. This was also very clearly a set-up book, and I have faith that the rest of the series and works of Lackey improve in writing and in plot.

Probably my least favorite part about this book were how many chara
Aug 26, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: epic-fantasy
Talia wants one thing in life and that's to become a herald and ride their magic horses like in the stories she reads, but she lives in a village where virtually everything is forbidden to women. When she is announced to be married at the young age of 13 she panics, flees and miraculously comes upon a magical white horse in the forest, who whisks her away to become the very thing she's dreamed of, although she doesn't realize it just yet. After arriving at the Collegium she trains for the next 3 ...more
Apr 19, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
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
Oct 26, 2011 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: Die-hard Mercedes Lackey fans only
Shelves: fantasy
I would give this a 1.5 if I could because I did enjoy the beginning of this book, if nothing else. I was sorely disappointed with this book, as I am a fan of Mercedes Lackey's other books. This novel seemed rushed, as if the only reason for it was to set the scene for the next novel in the series. The beginning seemed promising. I was truly interested in following this girl's journey. However, it quickly degenerated into something barely readable. Much of this girl's life was glossed over. When ...more
Today this book gets dumped into the YA category, which is probably wrong. YA is a relatively new definition and, at least to me, refers to a much older age category. This books target audience seems to be young teen or even pre teen. If I wwere a REAL young adult and somebody gave me this book and said 'this book's for you', I would feel pretty insulted.

That aside, it's not a bad book. It's all very sparkly, goody, goody fun but reading it as an adult I kept feeling that there was going to be a
Dec 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
Quite obviously a first book, it reminded me a bit of Pern. I really enjoyed it, though I recognize its faults and that it was kind of "simple." It reminded me of why I love fantasy and what got me into the genre to begin with. I only wish I found it earlier. I'm going to read the next two books in the trilogy. Maybe I'll write something more in-depth later, but this is mostly it while I'm on the iPad. One thing I found interesting was that this book didn't have the traditional story arc that I' ...more
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  • Fifth Quarter (Quarters, #2)
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  • The Ruins of Ambrai (Exiles, #1)
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  • Sword-Dancer (Tiger and Del, #1)
  • Song in the Silence (The Tale of Lanen Kaelar, #1)
  • If I Pay Thee Not in Gold
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  • In Celebration of Lammas Night
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

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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