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Exile's Honor

(Alberich's Tale #1)

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  11,577 ratings  ·  199 reviews
Alberich had spent most of his youth in the Karsite military schools training to be an officer. As the son of an impoverished mother, he had no other career choice open to him. And Alberich had risen in the ranks with almost unnatural speed. He developed expertise with many weapons and excelled in academic subjects with an ease that was the envy of his classmates. But in f ...more
Paperback, 431 pages
Published October 7th 2003 by Daw Books (first published 2002)
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Cory It's entirely possible. It's also not ideal. The focus of all of Lackey's 'Herald' books is centered on the relationship between the protectors of Val…moreIt's entirely possible. It's also not ideal. The focus of all of Lackey's 'Herald' books is centered on the relationship between the protectors of Valdemar - the Heralds - and their something-more-than-horses, the Companions. The 'first' book (not chronologically) - and by far the best introduction to Valdemar, Arrows of the Queen does an excellent job of introducing this relationship, and subsequent books add more detail. Exile's Honor doesn't - its focus is elsewhere, namely fleshing out the backstory of characters/events central to Arrows and its sequels.

OTOH, it is a chronological prequel, so it's not necessarily going to spoil any plots - Lackey's books are more of a collection of the tales and legendary figures of Valdemar, organized in shorter arcs, rather than a progression of sequels (for example, I had no idea this was officially "#6"); take a look at the chronology on the Valdemar wiki for a better idea of how this works. (less)

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Jeremy Preacher
Nov 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
This is up there with my very favorite Valdemar books. I started reading Valdemar stuff when I was nineteen or twenty so I very much appreciated the perspective of an adult approaching the Land of Magical Horses and Sunshine with rather more skepticism than most of the series' protagonists.

There's the usual epic battle, personal tragedy, and Herald-school hijinks, but the meat of the book is the series of ethical issues Alberich is faced with, and they're approached in a thoughtful way. It's eas
Mar 01, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I'm behind on my blogging, so this will be fast.

I have to say that, of all the Valdemar books, I think the 'Rein of Selenay' timeline is, by far, the best.

And the "Exile's" series are the best of the best.

These follow the fortunes, and lack thereof, of Alberich, a Karsite refugee and former captain in their army, as he makes a place for himself in Valdemar. Alberich has been a soldier since he was a child, and has taken to heart the ideas of honor, service, and his religion. And yet the priests
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kathryn Ford
Jan 28, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
This was classical Mercedes Lackey. I loved Alberich as a character to follow. There was also a lot about the companions in this book which I loved. You definitely need to have some tissues ready when reading this book, Lackey really knows how to pluck at the heart strings.
MrsJoseph *grouchy*
I love this series and really enjoy this book. I love the Alberich back story and I enjoyed the...religious aspects, strangely. Vkandis Sunlord's worship felt like a commentary on Christianity. The "old school" that follows the Word vs the "new school" that follows interpretation. The way that free will can lead to extreme power abuses... it's all very interesting to me. ...more
Re-read 2019

I felt like re-reading Herald Alberich's duology since it has been awhile. He is one of my favorite characters in Lackey's Valdemar series.

Re-read 2017

This book is the first in the duology about Herald Alberich the weapons master during the Arrows of the Queen trilogy. He's originally from Karse the "archenemies" of Valdemar and this book tells the story of how he came to be a herald and a part of the collegium. I loved the book, I was always fascinated by this gruff, slightly stand
May 05, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: babble-added
The problem with books that are chronologically set before the time of the latest books is that the author has to choose how much backstory to reveal and how obvious to make this case a little too obvious. She really pounds the point home that he has to tougher than anything his students will face outside in order to help them survive - tougher! survive! aarrrrgggghhhhh!! Nice fleshing out of part of the world she created, maybe not requiring sooo much paper to tell it though.
Olga Godim
Aug 16, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy-scifi
Like many Lackey's books, this one is stuffed with inner monologues, contemplations, and explanations. Too many of them slow the action and slide the quality of the prose down to barely acceptable.
On the other hand, the plot is interesting, and the protagonist a truly fascinating man. Alberich is a Karsite, a former officer of a Karsite army, chosen by a Companion to become a Herald of Valdemar. As Karse and Valdemar have been enemies for decades, Alberich's position in Valdemar is precarious a
Debbie Gascoyne
Dec 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comfort, re-reading, 2020
I had read this before, and had obviously liked it, as I'd shelved it with the original Arrows trilogy and the Vows and Honor duology, which I still think are her best work (other series and stand-alones of Lackey's I have relegated to my shelves in the basement). It's only the second time I've read it and I'd forgotten it, so it was almost like reading it for the first time.

Sometimes I think Lackey employs a not-very-proficient ghost writer; her work is so uneven. Some, though never by any stre
Judy Hall
Alberich is a Karsite Captain who has hidden his talent for getting glimpses of the future. In Karse, that can send you to the fires. Then one day he can't keep it hidden any more. As he is about to be burned, his new, white horse rescues him. And speaks to him? Badly injured, he carried away and stays conscious just long enough to realize he his in Valemar and this is a demon horse he is riding.

Kantor, his new Companion stays on the edges of his mind as he is healed and then introduces himself
Sep 15, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Heralds of Valdemar Prequels: 1
Author is trying to cram historical background for her (then) main series with bare regard for characterization, much less plot, which is criminal, because the setup for the main character has so much potential. The beginning is interesting, but Alberich settles in to his new country with only token protest. Then there's timeskips to cover all the span the author intends. Lazy storytelling with lots of deus ex to move things along. The first skip is four years and
Mar 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Thanks, I loved it!
Mercedes Lackey’s Valdemar series provides one of the cornerstones of my reading history. After discovering her when quite young, I still follow new additions to the series - nearly twenty years later! I read and re-read these books over and over again throughout my youth, but I haven't re-read this series in its entirety in a long time - and never as an adult. There are some new books added to the series since the last time I read them, so this re-reading project is pretty exciting for me since ...more
***Dave Hill
Sep 03, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: text
This 2002 novel was the first of a modern trio of books revisiting the Collegium in the period leading up to the original Valdemar books (the Arrows of the Queen trilogy). This volume recounts how Alberich became a Herald, leaving Valdemar's enemy Karse for exile in Haven as Weaponmaster Second. In the process, he finds a way to fit in, to build his reputation, and to become part of the history of that era.

The book is enjoyable, and a nice insight into one of the more myserious / forboding chara
Sep 14, 2009 rated it really liked it
This is the first book by Mercedes Lackey that I recall reading, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that it is solid fantasy - not extraordinary, but just good and satisfying, like chocolate cake - and excellent escapist reading.

This was my first introduction to the world of Valdemar, and I'm impressed that I never felt that there was something I should have known but didn't. I'm also impressed that, with the exception of names and a few random words (like "chava"), the author doesn't use a
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Sep 29, 2010 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Hardcore Valdemar Fans
Shelves: novels, fiction, fantasy
I'm a fan of Lackey's Valdemar books, and was excited to see a new one when I first saw this in stores, yet the first time I tried it, I couldn't even finish it. There are books in the series I'd recommend that could make you a fan of them: such as the books about Vanyel (The Last Herald Mage trilogy starting with Magic's Pawn) or about Talia (Heralds of Valdemar trilogy starting with Arrows of the Queen). Then there are the books that if you do find you love this world, I could recommend buying ...more
Jun 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Alberich is a great character and I thoroughly enjoyed the religious philosophy in this book as well as Alberich's soul-searching concerning his honor. I worry sometimes that honor is a concept that is fast getting lost in today's world, so it was wonderful to see a whole book set around this theme. I know it made me think a bit harder about faith, power, corruption, tolerance, and greed, just to name a few concepts that are highlighted by the book. Of course, all the philosophy made the action ...more
Jun 28, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Now, this is what well-drawn characters look like! For the most part, I'm generally inclined to steer clear of prequels that follow the background of characters that aren't central to a later sequence of books. (See: many of Anne McCaffrey's "later" novels.) However, I was out of reading material so I gave it a shot. And it was well worth it. This follows Weaponsmaster Alberich's story before and as he became a Herald from Karse. The characters are well-developed and unique. The story was wonder ...more
Dawn Phelan
Aug 17, 2010 rated it really liked it
Having previously read a number of the Valdemar books in the order they were published, rather than in the order of the history, it's interesting to go back and now re-read the series in the order the adventures take place. I can see now the little hints that are dropped that will later lead into something more and concepts that are expanded on later in the series' timeline.

There are some good lessons in this book...tolerance, acceptance, understanding, and, most importantly I think, a governme
Dec 03, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Outstanding writing; this fantasy book is easy to follow and makes you want to keep reading. It's about a soldier in the Karsite army who has the gift of Foreseeing, which is a magical ability forbidden by his culture. In intro, he is found out and put to the stake to be burned. Luckily, his companion (sentient horses who speak via telepathy, although he doesn't know it at that point) rescues him and takes him to Valdemer, where he starts a new life. Good book about honor, morals, showing the ki ...more
David H.
Mar 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
After writing Take a Thief, Lackey jumped backwards in time again to write Alberich's origin story as a Herald, and it was surprisingly great. I loved Alberich's uncertainty and doubts especially as war with Karse heats up. He's such a good character that even the author writing herself into the book can't ruin it.

The last quarter was really hard to read this time because my own dad died this year, and the subplot with the children also really hit hard.

I do feel like the story could have been st
I had determined long ago that I would not spend time on this author - I felt her books far too emotionally manipulative, as I remember it, and yes, you're cheering along with the heroes, but the way they're written, there's really not much choice. I had read the Arrows of the Queen trilogy and then I think I tried one other book, the title of which I can't remember at the moment, and that sealed it.

I'll admit, though, that I had a weak moment or 2 as stress built with the approach of a new ter
Dawn Livingston
Read it before I think, but many years ago. Thought it was slow, nothing happens until more than halfway through. Liked the character of Alberich, he's certainly not like any other character in the Valdemar world and this book gives insight into him in other Valdemar books.

There's a second book but I'm not sure I'll read it. This one was okay but not great. Still worth reading if you're into the series and would like insight into Alberich.
Well, it's so OK it's average... Mostly it's about Alberich, and other than when he gets Chosen in the first few pages, there's really not a lot of action until the last 30 or 40 pages, as per each ML book. Anyone who's read the Arrows trilogy knows who dies already and who loses which limb.

Apparently Alberich is also attracted to... drumroll please... Myste, a play on Misty... Mercedes Lackey's nickname, and Myste is described JUST like Ms Lackey. Huh, fancy that.
Jan 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
Alberich (with Skif) has always been my fav Valdemar character from the other books i read, so i was excited to read how he was Chosen. Good story and he's awesome as usual. I prefer this one to the second part, Exile's valor which while he's still grumpy and amazing with a weapon as usual, Selenay gets on my nerves with her whole falling in love with the prince bit. ...more
The story of Alberich's first years in Valdemar, up to the Tedrel Wars and Sendar's death. Good story, good characters, a little slow in some places. The beginning of this book was originally published as a short story, "Stolen Silver", in the 1991 anthology *Horse Fantastic*. ...more
Ria Bridges
Apr 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
Lackey continues her foray into character studies with one of the most interesting characters she ever wrote (at least in my opinion): Alberich. He’s seen in bits and pieces through other novels along the Valdemar timeline, the Collegium’s Weaponsmaster and resident talks-like-Yoda guy, but before this exploration, little was known about him beyond the fact that he’s a hard taskmaster and that he was originally from Karse, Valdemar’s ancient enemy.

The story starts with Alberich still in Karse,
Mar 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: bookcrossing
These seemed like the best book on Mt. TBR when I had an opportunity to try to whittle it down some. Many of the other books are parts of series that I don't have complete sets for yet, and other stand-alones just did not strike me.

It has been at least 7 years since I've read Mercedes Lackey. I loved her Valdemar series. I read all of them up until around the publication of her "Owl" books. Oh, except for the gryphon books, which I found really dull when I tried to read them.

My favorite book by
Mar 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this while stuck in bed with the flu. The familiar world of Valdemar was what I needed. I have recently decided to rate all books five stars, to be kind to authors, but I think this is a true five star for me.
I have often thought I would like to find other readers who find the same flaws in the Valdemar books that I do (repetitive writing, such as someone's long inner monologue followed by the person wondering if someone else thought the same thing and then the two characters having a con
Melanie Page
Sep 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Thanks to MindSpeech, Kantor helps Alberich learn Valdemaran, which alleviates some of the struggles with reading. Yet Alberich wonders, “how something that looked like a horse could come to know how to read — or have any reason to — was beyond him.”

And that was the first line in Exile’s Honor that struck me as rather funny, because it’s so out of line with DIVINE horses and TWINKLY love between Chosen and Companion — and I wondered what Mercedes Lackey has been holding back. In Exile’s Honor, s
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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

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Alberich's Tale (2 books)
  • Exile's Valor (Alberich's Tale, #2)

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