author: Mercedes Lackey
series: Collegium Chronicles #1
published: 7 October 2008
genre(s): fantasy, romance
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Mags had been working at the Pieters’s 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 were generally unwanted. But Mags was different.
Mags was “Bad Blood,” because his parents were bandits who had been killed in a raid by the Royal Guard. “Bad Blood” because he’d been found in a cradle in the bandits’s camp. Blood so bad that no one had wanted to take him in except Cole Pieters. When he was big enough to see over the sides of the sluices he had gone to work at the mine. Mags knew nothing of the world beyond the mine, and was unaware of how unusual his paltry existence was. Then some strangers on huge white horses forced their way past the Pieters family and carried him away to Haven to become a Herald Trainee.
Suddenly the whole world opened up for him. He was warm and well fed for the first time in his life, and he had Dallen, his Companion, who seemed more miraculous than an angel. But the world of the Collegium was not all heavenly. There was political upheaval in Valdemar’s capital, for the court had been infiltrated by foreign “diplomats,” who seemed to be more interested in seeding discontent than in actual diplomacy…and Mags seemed to be the only one who’d noticed.…
One of my favorite parts of the Valdemar epic saga are the Collegium so I love that there is now an entire series based on them! Foundation is the first in a (so far) five book series set in the Collegium. While Mags is the center of the series from the Herald Collegium, the Bardic and Healer Collegiums are also at play through Mags’ two best friends.
Mags has spent his childhood as little more than a slave, a paid worker in name only. He has been neglected and abused his entire life and seen those around him treated the same way. In fact, if it wasn’t for the fact that he had a natural knack for finding the “sparklies,” life would have been even worse for him. But no matter how bad it has been for him, he has still remained kind and loyal, often sacrificing what little he has for others. And then one day, his entire life changes when a white clad Herald and a seemingly crazed horse come charging into the mine to claim him. At first, he is terrified, completely uinaware of what is happening to him. He doesn’t realize that this will prove to be the best thing to ever happen to him.
I love Mags,one of my all-time favorite characters in the Valdemar series. He is uneducated, but far from unintelligent. When he is finally exposed to knowledge, he soaks it up like a sponge, ever aware of how little he knows about the world around him. He has lived a life of mere survival, never experiencing anything other than mistreatment at the hands of the mine’s owner.
This is one of my favorites, full of mystery and intrigue and emotional characters!
NOTE: The books in this saga were not published in chronlogical order, but it is on her website here, about 3/4 of the way down the page.
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