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Magic's Price (The Last Herald-Mage #3)
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Magic's Price

(Valdemar: The Last Herald-Mage #3)

4.27  ·  Rating details ·  20,159 ratings  ·  375 reviews
The final chapter in Mercedes Lackey's spellbinding fantasy trilogy! The Herald-Mage, Vanyel, and his Companion, Yfandes, are alone responsible for saving the once-peaceful kingdom of Valdemar from the forces of a master who wields a dark, forbidding magic. And if either Vanyel or Yfandes falters, both Valdemar and its Herald-Mage must pay the ultimate price. ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 351 pages
Published July 3rd 1990 by DAW Books
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Average rating 4.27  · 
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I had been warned. I sort of knew what was going to happen. I had no expectations, considering the trainwreck that was the first book. But when I read the ending, I was pretty much

I mean, after pretty much everything you've done for Valdemar, that's what you get in the end?

Forget about duty, responsibility, and doing what was right because you can't do otherwise. As Pat Jr from Silver Linings Playbook more or less said, there's enough shit we have to deal with in real life, why can't we have a
Linda ~ they got the mustard out! ~
I'm not sure how I feel about this book, so I'm going to ramble (hopefully constructively) and maybe by the end I'll figure out a rating.

This series has been a rough ride for me so far. It started out with promising world-building but mostly mediocre execution. It hit some lows (my only one-star rating for this year thus far and a DNF) and it even managed to hit a high with the previous book in this trilogy, Magic's Promise. Everything that's bugged me about this series so far were absent from t
Sep 29, 2010 rated it liked it
Review may contain spoilers for those who have not read the first two books in the Last Herald-Mage series.

Vanyel gets a new boyfriend. Sure, there's a lot of other stuff about ruling a kingdom steward-style for the ailing king and loads of heroic feats including surviving torture, defeating an entire army with several powerful mages, and dying a bloody death. But mostly, Vanyel gets an awesome new boyfriend. (view spoiler)
Mar 26, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Parts of these books I really like -- and then other parts make me want to either throw the book across the room, or smack Mercedes upside the head a few times.

Lackey is pretty darned good at manipulating emotions when she sets her mind to it. I'm just as susceptible to melodrama as the next person, and probably more susceptible than many -- and Lackey's books don't lack for that. On the other hand, Lackey often doesn't seem terribly concerned with logic. For instance, an especially egregious (a
If I had been paying attention to the series title (and the title of this volume), I would have had a better idea of where this book was headed! I suppose you could interpret the ending as a sad one—in my opinion, the results were unavoidable and unsurprising.

I was fond of Vanyel as a character. Lackey has written more books sent in Valdemar, but I’m not sure that I’ll continue on without him. I was glad to see him get a new love interest in Stefan and squeeze in a bit of happiness around his du
Mar 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Last one! It's a toss up whether this one or the first is my favorite, it's so hard to pick. Anyway, here we go:

Price is set about eight years after the end of Promise. Vanyel is no longer on the front lines of the war; he's been put in a more or less administrative position in Haven. That doesn't necessarily mean he's not working as hard. The king, Randale, who has been suffering from a chronic illness for years, suddenly becomes fatally ill, and the Healers don't even know what is causing his
Experiment BL626
The books are well written, I'm not debating that. What I am hating is the main character, Vanyel. I usually tolerate goody two-shoes to a great extend, but this character just want to make me barf. Pretty much he sacrifices everything in order to save his kingdom, a kingdom that doesn't even like him for who he is and only care for his supermagic.

Frankly the ending suck, so if anyone is expecting a HEA or HFN, this series is not for you—it's a tear-jerker. It's one thing to give up your life f
Dec 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: review
This initial fantasy trilogy is a really fun read.
Final Rating: 4.25/5

“I only know that without you, no rank or fame would be worth having.”
“As long as I can be with you”

Well, this one outright slaughtered me (and healed me again).

But in the end, I will talk about mostly about good and the bad, as it is the end of a series.

Let's start with good things:

► This is a character driven story. There is a lot of focus on characters and their surrounding families, royalty, other heralds and companions. A lot of in fact. Which is very mu
Aug 02, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
I was debating giving this book a three, because I did enjoy parts, but in the end I decided it just wasn't good enough. You can read other reviews to see what's wrong with it, but, in a nutshell: most of the issues in the story aren't well-resolved, such as the king's illness and the idea of Stefen as a reincarnation of Tylendel, and most importantly, who the hell Leareth is; there is a severe inconsistency in the difference between the deaths of the two herald-mages and Savil's death which is ...more
D Dyer
Jun 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is the ending of this trilogy and though there is some real joy in this book there are also some incredibly sad moments. Vanyel has spent the last few years pulling away from those closest to him in an attempt to prevent them from becoming targets. And at the same time his responsibilities as the most powerful of the Herald mages have continued to increase, requiring him not only to protect the realm but also to take on diplomatic duties with the increasing illness of his king. But Steph, a ...more
Mar 06, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2020
Things turn much darker in the conclusion (including sexual violence that really didn't contribute much of anything to the story). It's really weirdly paced - a combination of fan service, angst and a final confrontation that happens off page. In fact, a lot of this book could be used to illustrate a lesson on how not to write one's fantasy epic. And yet - there is some charm to this book and to this series, regardless of harmful tropes (less obvious at the time of writing than now), regardless ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Catherine Thompson
Mar 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
The final book of The Last Herald-Mage trilogy finds Vanyel quite literally the last Herald-Mage. Most of the other Herald-Mages have been killed in battle, and no child has manifested the Mage Gift in years. As Van probes more deeply into the problem, he discovers that someone is targeting anyone with the Mage Gift--someone who is determined to bring Valdemar, already on the brink of losing its king, into utter chaos.

In this book, we come full circle, as Vanyel finds love again and learns to tr
May 07, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Skimming through some other reviews I passed one that called this book "Cheesy, tawdry, melodramatic". I completely agree, but I actually reveled in those facts while the other reviewer gave it two stars. :P It's definitely over the top and has some logic defying moments, but I find myself quite invested in Valdemar. I *was* a little torn on my rating and I think 4 stars is rounding up for me because there was a resurgence of the plot point that bothered me in the Vows & Honor books I've read so ...more
Oct 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy-series
A fitting end to the trilogy - there have been enough hints through the previous two books that you know where it's going (hell, the clues in the name of the trilogy!).

As usual, there is a lot of build up and all the action is crammed into the last couple of chapters, but as I knew to expect that it didn't worry me this time round. I was kind of getting a little bit bored with Van's constant angst anyway ... you'd have thought he'd got over a lot of his worries and insecurities by the time this
Jeffe Kennedy
Feb 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Another addition to my #readinghistory! Continuing the Mercedes Lackey lurv fest with the Last Herald Mage trilogy. OMG, so much goodness in Vanyel's history. Beautiful Vanyel. *sigh* He wasn't the first gay hero I read, I'm pretty sure, because I wasn't surprised at all by his sexuality. But I'd also had friends who'd come out as gay by then, so Vanyel's journey from not fitting in to finding his first lover felt familiar to me. I loved this story so much, even for its tragedy. Vanyel's arc fro ...more
Dec 04, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: high-fantasy, fantasy
Cheesy, tawdry, melodramatic with a hero who supposedly resembles a cross between Fabio, an elf and Gaston from the Disney Beauty & The Beast. I LURVED these so hard when I was a teenager, you better believe it.

There's still a little voice inside, today, who says "But... protagonist! Romantic storylines and heroism and GAY(yay)!"
Mar 16, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy

Generally a character becomes more likable as a series goes on. But Vanyel actually seems to get worse or at least he doesn't much change as he gets older. It is one thing to see those things in a neglected, abused boy, but they become very unattractive in an adult man. I think part of the problem is that there are times here when he does or says something that just seems to come completely out of the blue. Instances I generally blame on author convenience. (view spoiler)
Dec 20, 2011 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: fans of Valdemar
Ugh. So many things wrong with this book, where to begin…

Magic’s Price, the third and final novel in Lackey’s Last Herald-uMage series, takes place nine years after the events of the series’ second novel, Magic’s Promise – which, when added to the 11-year gap between the events of books 1 and 2, puts us at a convenient 20 years after the events of Magic’s Pawn. “Price” centers on the political and personal upheavals threatening or taking place in (respectively) Valdemar: religious war may break
Jul 12, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The last of the Valdemar-Vanyel-magic in this series, and it's taken me a couple of days to digest it. While reading it, I enjoyed it immensely, but it left a lot of questions hanging in thin air.

I liked it well enough, it was a good story, but the last half of the book felt hurried, hastily and shoddily put together, and this had me falling out of the narrative more than once. I feel it was not up to Ms Lackey's usual standards. I have only a couple of excerpts from the whole book, which—for m
Federico Frontini
Oct 24, 2019 rated it liked it
No, that certainly wasn't the ending I was hoping for, but never mind. What really baffles me is the way Mercedes Lackey delivered Vanyel's last stand. Damn, we all knew from the very beginning Vanyel had to face Laereth and was unlikely to make it. Hell, the series is called "The Last Herald Mage of Valdemar" so nothing that happens in the book should come as a huge surprise to the reader. BUT OH MY GOD, did we really need those last 100 pages? And the pacing, don't even get me started. When th ...more
David H.
Mar 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
We get another time jump from the ending of the last book, this time about ten years. Aside from the Mage Wars trilogy written with Dixon, this is probably one of the few Valdemar trilogies with significant time jumps between books. But that makes sense in that Lackey is telling a story to cover the life of a legend whose fate we already know from the beginning of Arrows of the Queen. I thought the author did a great job of setting up the temporal differences between Vanyel's and Talia's times i ...more
Aug 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Avery by: Sabrina
Shelves: my-favs
I love it. It is really sad, but really good at the same time. Vanyel reminds me of Tylendel in his last moments. The way his obsesion with revenge has taken over. However, unlike Tylendel he has 'Fandes to set him right. Also he listens to Stefen more than 'Lendel listened to him. (view spoiler) ...more
Igpy Kin
Dec 21, 2019 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Full review here:

While it reads like a series of vignettes, it's still a solid end to Vanyel's tale.
Sep 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mercedes-lackey
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The Last Herald Mage Trilogy was fantastic.
Arshad Ahsanuddin
Sigh. As the final Act of an epic storyline, this novel was, in a word, disappointing.

Plot-wise, it was anticlimactic, and utilized a literary device I particularly dislike: (view spoiler)
Character-wise, I enjoyed the character of Stef, but felt he lacked depth. The interactions between him and Vaneyl were well written, and believable, up until the
Dec 01, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: lgbtq
3.5* from me. one of the big things i was missing in all three books in this series was some kind of central plot line that the books were following. when i'm reading a fantasy series i kinda want some deep plot in the background that the books follow slowly but surely. in this last book some portions felt really rushed and some things happened that just seemed useless and not important for the story. not entirely happy with how this ended and just in general how it all played out. still enjoyed ...more
Sep 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Vanyel just cannot catch a break and the ending make me gross sob, but it's still so good. ...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: The Last Herald-Mage (3 books)
  • Magic's Pawn (The Last Herald-Mage #1)
  • Magic's Promise (The Last Herald-Mage #2)

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If you've got an overflowing Want to Read shelf of books that you keep meaning to get to (one day!), you're in good company. Our company, that...
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“A quaint conceit, don't you think?” 12 likes
“Don’t you see, Stef? It’s not that I’m serving Valdemar, it’s that I’m helping to preserve the kind of people who leave the world better than they found it, and trying to stop the ones who take instead of giving.” 2 likes
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