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(Valdemar: Collegium Chronicles #1)

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  10,957 ratings  ·  539 reviews
"Mags had been working at the Pieters' mine, slaving in the dark, cold seams, looking for sparklies, for as long as he could remember. The children who worked the mine were orphans, kids who had been abandoned, who had lost their parents, or where generally unwanted. Cole Pieters, who picked up these pitiful strays, preferred them around eleven, though he would take them a ...more
Paperback, 432 pages
Published October 1st 2012 by Titan Publishing Company (first published October 7th 2008)
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Annette Hi Slick, I don't think you really need to have read the other books in order to enjoy this set of stories, but the world of Valdamar is amazing and r…moreHi Slick, I don't think you really need to have read the other books in order to enjoy this set of stories, but the world of Valdamar is amazing and rich with wonderful characters and I definitely recommend all of it. I myself started off with "The last Herald Mage trilogy" and I have loved all the stories I've read. Hope you enjoy the books as much as I have. Take care.(less)
Ace Well as mags has mind speak he might make a wonderful waiter as he would be able to see what they want before they need it
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Average rating 4.02  · 
Rating details
 ·  10,957 ratings  ·  539 reviews

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Dec 07, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Valdemar fans
I liked this book - although I read several bad reviews for it on Amazon. I want to know what happens next to Mags - and I don't care if they have fondue in Valdemar 500 years before Selenay or play "I Spy" at parties and even - GASP - call it "I Spy".

I guess I'm just a Mercedes Lackey junkie. I didn't see the same flaws that had the other reviewers calling it lazy writing - what they pointed out as goof ups or flaws were things that I just accepted as part of the story. I guess that makes me u
Jun 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: twenty-forteen
Let me start this review with saying I just finished reading this book for the third time, so needless to say I truly love this series. I have been reading Mercedes Lackey for years, I love her earlier work but her stuff in the past ten years or so have just been meh for me. This series makes me believe Lackey found what she was missing, the heart of her stories that Arrows, Winds, Magic, Oath, and By the Sword has. I don’t know if she just couldn’t give up her characters from Winds and just dra ...more
Julie (jjmachshev)
Nov 05, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fantasy fans
Shelves: 2008-reads
I'm a Mercedes Lackey fan from way back. I devoured her 'Magic' trilogy and haven't looked back since. This is one fantasy author I continue to buy as soon as her books hit the shelf because I know the story will pull me in and have me cheering for the hero or heroine. Her newest "Foundation" is no exception and as a bonus, it's set in Valdemar!

Mags is an orphan who ended up in the hands of a greedy cruel mine owner as a baby. His work in those mines began as soon as he was old enough to stand a
May 11, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
How to write a Mercedes Lackey Valdemar book in Three Easy Steps:

Step One: Create a main character who is abused, socially stunted, living in abject poverty, living with religious zealots, or gay.

Step Two: Have a Companion choose them.

Step Three: Upon arrival in Haven, have them be awkward but keenly observant, picking up on a dastardly plot no one else has noticed, thereby saving the kingdom, while making friends, becoming more secure in their Gifts, and learning a few valuable life lessons al
Well, it's no Magic's Pawn, but none of them ever will be again (let us not dwell on the probability that this is because I will never be twelve again) and in fact it's not a book I'm particularly ashamed of being given in hardcover. It sounds like a new series is being launched with some promising setup -- tension between the Heralds, Bards, and Healers! Herald turning on Herald! Ominous strangers from outside the borders! A certain lack of the preaching to the choir which has been driving me m ...more
Nov 15, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Most of Lackey's novels follow an easily seen formula-the character has an unhappy to horrible life until they are Chosen, then everything becomes sparkles and kittens while they solve problems that only their special talents can fix. 'Foundation' is, sadly, not different.
Despite this commonality, the plots are usually interesting and well thought out. This book, however, was very disappointing in that area. While character development is desirable, it was too great of a focus, and left little
Pam Baddeley
I had planned not to read any more of this author's books, having found them rather uneven, but this one was a find on the library discard shelf for a nominal sum. Having realised it was book 1 in a series, I decided to try this sample.

The story conveys a slight deja vu feeling, as I had previously read her Arrows of the Queen. Mags is a young boy living a miserable existence who is chosen by a Companion, taken to Haven to start his education as a Herald, and is found to have a maturity beyond h
Jenn Morgans
Mar 28, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: american, fantasy, in-2017
I liked this a lot, but some clunky patches of writing and a little voice in my head relentlessly whispering "this is stupid" mean that I relegate it to 3 stars. ...more
May 10, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-me
If you're looking for moral complexity or beautiful prose, you should direct your gaze elsewhere. Mercedes Lackey writes uncomplicated characters, in simple sentences, moving through a world that is entirely black and white. If the protagonist thinks poorly of a character on page seven, by page 307 that character has been revealed as a proud, shallow, child-murdering, power-hungry weasel. Good guys are easily identified when they share their last piece of bread with a starving orphan or put them ...more
Nov 17, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fantasy Lovers
Shelves: fantasy
I picked this book up at my favorite bookstore - which foolishly provides nice comfy chairs right next to their shelves - and read it in about three sittings. (Yeah, right there in the store. Tsk, tsk!) I'd never read anything by Lackey before, although certainly her name must be familiar to anyone who frequents the sci-fi / fantasy section. I admit what drew me to the book in the first place was the audacity of namimg it "Foundation" (a word never used in the story, as far as I can remember), w ...more
A good start, but something that Lackey has been falling prey to lately is a lot of build-up and not paying it off in a satisfying way. I saw this in her latest Elemental book, and also The Phoenix Unchained.

An example from within the book is when Mags goes to a party, and Lackey spends almost two whole pages describing the food. Not necessary. She makes up for this (as always) with her characterization and conflict, but it is mostly unrealized. I assume she intends to finish it up trilogy-style
Re-read 2019

Re-reading now that I have all of the books currently published about Mags. I'm going on a bit of a binge.
Wanted a quick fun re-read for the first few weeks of class. Something that is very different from my books for college classes. Even though the book deals with some tough subjects, it is a good escapist read.

I have read this book multiple times. Herald Mags early life struck a chord with me and I loved how his life ended up. This focuses on the time of the building of the Hera
Jess Miller
The Valdemar books are very much comfort reading-it was the first fantasy I every read and liked, back in high school, and I've always had a soft spot for them. The good guys are Very Very Good, the bad guys are Very Very Bad, and there are increasingly more details about life in a medieval(ish) society. overall, fun stuff, but definitely wait for the mass market. ...more
Feb 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I... really liked it? I honestly enjoyed it more than I thought I would. Someone could say it reads like Harry Potter Valdemar!AU - and that would be true, there are many clear similarities. But I had zero problems with that, the story is nice and well-written. I liked it a lot, and will be re-reading it in the future (while waiting for the next parts of the series)
Jan 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, 2019
Now I remember why I really like Valdemar books. It's a comfortable place to go back to. The plots are mpt very imaginative, but they make you feel good and I like the writing style.
If you have already read some novels set in Valdemar, do go ahead and continue, if you're new to the series, this is not a good novel to start, though it has only a few references to previous books
Jul 14, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I recently read Mercedes Lackey's five-volume series The Collegium Chronicles .  The books, in order, are:


Here, why don't I jot down a few words about the entire series, and not just the first book (no plot spoilers).

Lackey is perhaps best known for her long-running series about the fantasy kingdom Valdemar, and this set of five books are her most recent addition to the saga.  The Valdemar books overall don't have to be read in any
Mar 31, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I first encountered Mercedes Lackey's books at 13, with her "Arrows" trilogy, and she has always had a place on my bookshelves ever since. As I have grown older, I know I can always return to her books for a comfort read, and "Foundation" is no exception. Whilst the writing is quite simplistic (making it feel like a young adult read) it still contains Lackey's beautiful writing skills, enabling the reader to immerse themselves in the story. My major gripes, however, are that most stories rely on ...more
Apr 09, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Either Lackey has lost her magic, or she's just lost her magic for me. This book has a lot in common with "Arrow's of the Queen" in that it's about an abused, disadvantaged youth who is Chosen by one of the mystical Companions of Valdemar and is transported into a new, very different life in the city of Haven. Mags, the protagonist, is certainly not the same person that Talia (protagonist of "Arrows of the Queen") and the tale of Mags finding a new life and a place for himself is all fine and we ...more
Sep 18, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
My first expression of this book was: 'I've read this.' It began the same way as the other books and had the same format. A poor child in a poor environment meets their horse and becomes chosen and have an adventure together. Unfortunately where others had been good and entertaining to read, this fell flat.

Mags didn't bring anything new to the table and I even felt bored to read the story. This book might be a good one to one who hasn't read all about Valdemar or has taken a first step to Merced
Oct 10, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: lackey fans
Shelves: fantasy, read-in-2008
Another Valdemar novel set in the time period prior to the Seleny novels but after the Mage Pawn and Griffin series. AS in the early volumes of each trilogy, this is more abbout introducing the characters, and leaves us kind of right in the middle of the story at the end. Its engaging and Mags, the main character seems to have several mysteries that will probably be fleshed out in the later books.

Nothing amazing, but another nice little story in the Lackey universe.
Dec 12, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Like much of Lackey's recent work. I read 90% of the book learning the detail of the world and the intricacies of the main character (loving both by the way), but only after that 90% did any sort of plot emerge and that was superficial and unfinished. If you're a Lackey fan, give it a try. If you've never read Lackey, this is definitely not the place to start. ...more
charlotte, (½ of readsrainbow)
i suspect i could have chosen a more exciting valdemar book as my first experience of mercedes lackey's writing but, although not very much happened until the last 50 pages or so, it was still interesting enough and i'll probably read the other books in the series, to see if it picks up. ...more
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Sep 20, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I've heard many people dislike Mag's story for a few reason, often his accent can be difficult to read. I didn't struggle too much with his way of speech too much while reading and I'd say that's probably due to Amy on the Kindle Fire reading it. It's a bit more natural when it's spoken, though the computer did get hung up sometimes.

I've read this before and I did remember some highlights. I didn't remember Dallen using Mag's hands and that was interesting. I even had to ask some other Valdemar
Apr 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This author was recommended to me and apparently she writes short series that all have the same setting like Tamora Pierce, so I went to the library and just got the only one that was the beginning of a series. There were a couple places where explanations seemed abrupt and I'm guessing there was more info in books I should have read before this, but I still understood what was going on just fine. Anyway, this book had the feeling of older (80s/90s) fantasy and I liked it a lot. ...more
This is a re-read and I really enjoyed reading the beginning of the story of Mags.
Yay for Mags! I love this series.
Great book, feel like I really know the characters, but the ending left me hanging.
Melissa Fordyce
Aug 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sick abed, nothing better than to stumble across a new series. Loved this book - and will be devouring the rest in the series as quickly as possible.
Work. That is all Mags has even known, work in cold and in hot with no end in sight and very little food. That is until a Herald shows up and takes him away on a white horse called a Companion. Now Mags is never hungry, cold, and is in a place where he belongs. There is one thing that he doesn't know, who his parents are. He has been told that he had bad blood, but the Heralds say that that doesn't matter. His Companion, Dallen, explains things to him through Mindspeech, his Gift. So Mags just l ...more
Feb 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So I really liked this book! One of my favorite novels of Valdemar is Brightly Burning, and this had many of the aspects of that novel that I liked, although you can tell this one is set up as a series as opposed to a stand alone. It had the lonely, abused boy getting Chosen and his world changing for the better. He struggled with learning the rules at the Collegium, but makes friends and uses his particular gift. At the same time there are events afoot that not even we as readers are privy too, ...more
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Goodreads Librari...: Mercedes Lackey: Three connected series 3 29 Nov 20, 2017 10:22AM  

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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)
  • Intrigues (Valdemar: Collegium Chronicles, #2)
  • Changes (Valdemar: Collegium Chronicles, #3)
  • Redoubt (Valdemar: Collegium Chronicles, #4)
  • Bastion (Valdemar: Collegium Chronicles, #5)

News & Interviews

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75 likes · 31 comments
“He is an excellent fellow, but he has one deep flaw. He cannot cook. In fact, he has been known to ruin boiling water.: Mags” 1 likes
“Life isn’t fair’ is nothing but an excuse people make to justify bad things they do. But why shouldn’t life be fair? What’s keeping it from being fair? Those same cruel, mean, and evil people. I think you understand that, Mags—maybe not in your head, but in your heart, which is more important. And the more people there are who try to make life fair, the more likely it is that it will become fair. Don’t you want that?:” 0 likes
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