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Arrow's Fall

(Valdemar: Heralds of Valdemar #3)

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  21,132 ratings  ·  402 reviews
With Elspeth, the heir to the throne of Valdemar, come of marriageable age, Talia, the Queen's Own Herald returns to court to find Queen and heir beset by diplomatic intrigue as various forces vie for control of Elspeth's future.

But just as Talia is about to uncover the traitor behind all these intrigues, she is sent off on a mission to the neighboring kingdom, chosen by t

Mass Market Paperback, 319 pages
Published January 5th 1988 by DAW Books (first published 1988)
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Jean Absolutely! I had them all in paper and am replacing them as ebooks (my new living space has limited room for "stuff.") I am re-reading them now and f…moreAbsolutely! I had them all in paper and am replacing them as ebooks (my new living space has limited room for "stuff.") I am re-reading them now and finding they have aged gracefully.(less)

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Average rating 4.19  · 
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 ·  21,132 ratings  ·  402 reviews

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Oct 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Talia is back from her one and a half years of internship. She now can start on her duty as the Queen's adviser (actually, her title in the book is different, but the job description is exactly the same). It turns out the court's intrigues are way more deadly than the patrolling of borderlands. Her love live is also kind of bad, and there is also a matter of extremely grim prophesy about her future.

For better or worse, this trilogy in general and this book in particular are built around the cha
Apr 16, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: ya-fantasy
Setting/World Building: 4/5.
Main Character: 4/5
Other Characters: 3/5. Kind of disappointed by the lack of depth to the villains.
Plot: 2/5
Writing: 2/5
Triggering/Issues: 2/5. Character death, but even worse, rape followed by torture (of the sexual sadist variety). Also triggering is the way the aftermath is handled (or rather, the way it isn't really handled at all).

AVERAGED TOTAL: 3.1 out of 5, rounded to 3. 2.8 out of 5, rounded down to 2, after a few days had passed and I was still mad.

Linda ~ they got the mustard out! ~
3.5 stars

I keep finding myself wondering what I would've thought of these books when they were first published in the late 80s/early 90s. Those would've been my Babysitters' Club days and I no doubt would've loved these books too. Talking (sort of) magical horses? Adventures and intrigue? Yep, I would've eaten these up. Now though? I am liking them, sometimes even enjoying them, but the flaws are evident and keep me from really loving them, at least so far.

They are a product of their time, for
Jan 14, 2015 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 24, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, valdemar
And so the disappointing Arrows of the Queen trilogy ends. This book is actually the best of the three as far as being an actual fantasy novel - we have a real mage-war, lifebonding, near-death experiences, use of Gifts, and some political intrigue. Unfortunately, all this excitement literally happens in the final third of the book. The latter two-thirds are AGAIN plagued with the what-if-she-thinks, what-if-he-thinks of the second book. People, you are GROWN ADULTS, some of you with TELEPATHIC ...more
Later update:

I read this book several years ago and it ruined the series for me. I would not recommend this book to anyone. There is very heavy content (which IMO is unnecessary and used as a plot device) that is very poorly handled.

Many of my friends have rated it highly, but I can't get over these points, and I'm not willing to read the book again to see if I'd change my mind. (probably no)

(TW) (view spoiler)
Aug 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Rereading this book is just so painful. The whole time you can't help but tell Talia to just no, stop, don't go, DON'T DO IT. sob.

These books are flawed, but gosh they're so very heartbreaking and comforting in the same breath.
Brecht Denijs
All right, I need to get this review over with. I've been going over this in my head, wondering if I should change the star rating. I'd say this is a solid 3.5 and in my own personal files which uses a different scale I did give this one a lesser rating than the first, but a better one than the second.

Ok, so third book in the series, I can skip over all the good stuff that has remained solid: great world building, great characters (though perhaps too much focus on the main and not enough develo
Nov 04, 2012 rated it it was ok
***some spoilers ahead!***

I never thought this series took off. It all felt like a big build up to nothing. The entire series, even this finale, felt like the main character encountered a problem then solved it, then encounters a new one, and solves it. There's no cohesion, no building up. In this book, the main bad guy is defeated rather handily, without much fan fair, actually. The secondary bad guy who might have held some depth besides just being evil, turns out to just be evil after all, an
Jeremy Preacher
Dec 26, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
This is the strongest book in the trilogy, I think - the stakes are raised significantly, and there is some resolution to the major plot threads. The writing is again better than before. It's still flawed, though. The not-talking-to-each-other problem takes up the first third of the book, and is tedious in the extreme. The rape and torture in the middle third feels a bit... not gratuitous, exactly, but cheap, like Lackey couldn't think of a non-obvious way to heighten the tension. And the pacing ...more
Oct 05, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Sophie by: Kathleen
Being home sick gives you lots of time to read books about magical horses. This one isn't as strong as the previous, but in my stuffed-up state it was entertaining enough.

(view spoiler)
Jan 11, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: own
You know nostalgia be damned I think I have to knock this one down. I should spoiler but I’d want to know before reading: some very brutal rape, which is not at all dealt with, and then made equivalent with someone essentially being verbally cruel. All abuse is not rape, wow.

In addition kind of boring and unresolved. This trilogy is important to me but I when I do rereads in the future I’ll likely skip this one.
Apr 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A seriously beautiful conclusion to Talias journey. I will be reading more of Mercedes Lackeys stories because the worldbuilding and relationships are beautiful. I loved the conclusion to Talias story. About how everything went with her, Elspeth, Kris, Dirk and more. One I have missed these past two books are Janus. While only natural, he was one that I enjoyed but the glimses we get of him is really worth it.
I would say this book is all in all, about finding yourself and finding your true voice
Dave Packard
Apr 23, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle, sword
Teen angst and non-communication. This one made me think of Ron and Hermione through their early non-relationship period. Ugh. Enough happens other than the romance side to at least get it to three stars, but no recommendation here.
Amanda Vu
Nov 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
The ending scene for this trilogy is perfection. I am so happy 💘💘
Sep 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, young-adult
I loved this last installment to the Heralds of Valdemar series. That’s pretty much all I have to say – it’s a tie for my favorite book out of all three (the tie being with the first).

I think Mercedes Lackey read my previous reviews, because the pacing went up by a considerable amount. There were only a few places in the text where the plot lagged, and even when it did, I could see why it was written that way. Elspeth grew a lot this novel, I think, despite the meager amount that was written abo
May 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Shera (Book Whispers)
This is the book that truly changed everything for me in the world of Valdemar. The other two books clearly show how hard and trying the life a Herald is. They emphasize how every Herald from 11-90 is ready to die for their country. Lackey isn't afraid to kill off characters through the course of Arrows of the Queen and Arrow's Flight, but this one drives the knife home.

Talia is just coming back from her circuit run and will be joining the court as the official Queen's Own with her own vote and
Deborah Ideiosepius
This is the concluding novel in Talia's story, the trilogy than encompasses the 'Arrows' stories. I would absolutely suggest that it would be wisest to read it after the other two.

Talia has returned to court from her internship and dived (or been thrown) straight into the intrigue and the ferment that is the court and circle of Valdemar under Queen Seleny. She is trying to deal with the demands of this life while also trying to come to terms with being life-bonded to Herald Dirk, who has managed
David H.
Mar 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
This takes place almost immediately after Arrow's Flight as Talia returns from her internship and is thrust into the full role required of her as the Queen's Own Herald. We get a good feel for how the the Queen and Council rule the rest of Valdemar, and we even get to visit outside of Valdemar finally! There was some melodrama in this one (centered around (view spoiler)) which aggravated me a bit, but the Heralds of Valdemar trilogy has never been my favorit ...more
Growing up my mom was always reading several books at once, usually biographies / autobiographies or other things that I deemed "serious" reading along with those cheap grocery-store checkout-aisle romance novels with the red covers. She called those her "candy novels"- little substance, quick and enjoyable reads, but they don't quite fill you up intellectually.
No offense intended, but Mercedes Lackey provides my "candy novels". The writing, plot line, character development and other literary el
Nov 01, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
The last part of Talia’s story. She finally gets back to Haven to serve as Queen’s Own Herald, and try to work her love life out. She’s lifebonded to the homeliest of the Heralds, but he resists because he can’t believe she loves him, especially since she just spent a year with the handsomest Herald. There’s trouble over the border with Hardorn—the prince has sent a marriage proposal for Elspeth, heir to the throne—but the queen is wary because of her own history. She married a younger son of an ...more
The final book in the first trilogy of Valdemar books. As I was expecting, this book was quite a bit better than the middle book. Having said that, it wasn't exceptionally good.

Overall I found the whole plot a little bit to simplistic and obvious from the start. There were a couple of minor twists but most of it played out as I expected. The identity of the bad guy had been hinted at since book 1, and there was really only one possible suspect. Another thing that bothered me was that these book
Nov 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
** 8th re-read in Jan 2017

This series is mature young adult. Love it!
Long series done in trilogies. Each trilogy follows the same protagonist for the tree books. The next three will follow someone new but familiar. There's a huge amount of peripheral characters and a couple one-off books to give you backstory on specific individuals.
This first trilogy (Arrows) follows Talia, a young and shy girl from a rough area that isn't known for treating women well. Italia gets "chosen" by one of the magic
Jun 01, 2011 rated it it was ok
this whole trilogy underwhelmed me. the writing wasn't fantastic, it was a little simplistic both in plot and in character development. there was a lot of telling, not a lot of showing; there was barely a time when i felt any emotional connection to any of the characters. that said, the plot wasn't awful, the world creation was decent, and i think if the different plot threads had all been woven together instead of brought up and dealt with episodically the entire trilogy would have been much mo ...more
Dec 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, kindle, 2015
A nice conclusion to the Arrows series. Like Arrow's Flight, it might be more of a 3.5 star book, but I rounded up. I really liked the entire series, even if it was YA and clearly a "first" series. This is the kind of book that brought me into the genre to begin with. I wish I had read it when I was younger, especially for how it handles "adult" topics of death, homosexuality, etc. If this ever came out in audio, I'd read it in a heartbeat. ...more
Sep 20, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
This series ended up being something of a haphazard affair, with it ending on a weak note that one should have seen coming after the second book spent an extended period whereby two people ostensibly absolutely not in love kept acting like they were in love and calling one another pet-names to an infuriating extent. I think what’s frustrating about Lackey is how she masquerades, here, as a liberal forward-thinking writer with new and fresh ideological directions (for the 80s) but throws it all a ...more
Dec 01, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A flawed, problematic finale to a great trilogy. Obviously, don't start here as you'll miss plot spoilers and the far superior books 1 and 2.

The plot opens with Talia and Kris returning to the Capital and taking up their old duties - and the first mess in the book opens up. Kris doesn't believe that Talia is right when she suspects his uncle of being a villain, which drives an angry wedge between them. Dirk thinks Talia and Kris are in a relationship, so he desperately tries not to interfere whi
Sotiris Karaiskos
In the third and last part of this series, things get serious and become very dangerous. Internal intrigues and external threats are exposed and the danger to the kingdom is very great. Our heroine leaves behind her personal problems to be led to the heart of the events but the more she sinks into them the more she understands the trap but in the end, she has no choice but to put herself in danger for the good of all, whatever the price. When the storm breaks out she needs all the help of her fr ...more
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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)
  • Arrows of the Queen (Heralds of Valdemar, #1)
  • Arrow's Flight (Heralds of Valdemar, #2)

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  Kerine Wint is a software engineering graduate with more love for books than for computers. As an avid reader, writer, and fan of all things...
13 likes · 6 comments
“I'm consumed with curiosity because if I know Dirk, he probably sent his family a two-tine note—"I'm getting married. I'll be there in a week,"—and no further explanation whatsoever."
Skif laughed, and admitted that that was just about what Dirk had written, word for word.”
“Little Robin had been brought by Lord Orthallen—although he had the feeling that his lord did not realize it. The boy was a part of his household, though Orthallen seemed to have long since forgotten the fact; and when the order came to pack up the household and move to the Border, Robin found himself in the tail of the baggage train, with no small bewilderment. He'd been at a loss in the encampment, wandering about until someone had seen him and realized that a small child had no place in a camp preparing for warfare. So he was sent packing; first off with Elspeth, then pressed into service by the Healers. They'd set him to fetching and carrying for Dirk, thinking that the child was far too young to be able to pick anything up from the casual talk around him, and that Dirk wouldn't think to interrogate a child as young as he.
They were wrong on both counts.
Robin was very much aware of what was going on—not surprising, since it concerned his adored Talia. He was worried sick, and longing for an adult to talk to. And Dirk was kind and gentle with him—and had he but known it, desperate enough for news to have questioned the rats in the walls if he thought it would get him anywhere.

Dirk knew all about Robin and his adoration of Talia. If anyone knew where she was being kept and what her condition was, that boy would.
Dirk bided his time. Eventually the Healers stopped overseeing his every waking moment. Finally there came a point when they began leaving him alone for hours at a time. He waited then, until Robin was sent in alone with his lunch—alone, unsupervised, and more than willing to talk—and put the question to him.
Dirk had no intention of frightening the boy, and his tone was gentle, "I need your help. The Healers won't answer my questions, and I need to know about Talia."
Robin had turned back with his hand still on the doorknob; at the mention of Talia's name, his expression was one of distress.
"I'll tell you what I know, sir," he replied, his voice quavering a little. "But she's hurt real bad and they won't let anybody but Healers see her."
"Where is she? Do you have any idea who's taking care of her?"
The boy not only knew where she was, but the names and seniority of every Healer caring for her—and the list nearly froze Dirk's heart. They'd even pulled old Farnherdt out of retirement—and he'd sworn that no case would ever be desperate enough for them to call on him.”
More quotes…