author: Mercedes Lackey
series: Mage Winds #3
published: 1 August 1994
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Valdemar is once again in peril, threatened by Ancar of Hardorn, who has long sought to seize control of the kingdom by any means at his command.
Yet this time Ancar may well achieve his goal, for by harnessing the power of Mornelithe Falconsbane, the Dark Adept, he has set into motion a magical strike against Valdemar the like of which hasn’t been attempted in more than five hundred years—not since Vanyel, the last Herald-Mage, shielded the kingdom from attack by the deadliest of sorceries.
And with Valdemar’s ancient spell-generated protections finally breaking down, Queen Selenay, Herald-Princess Elspeth, and their people could soon be left defenseless against an enemy armed with spells no one in Valdemar has the knowledge to withstand.
But as the long dormant magic of Valdemar begins to awaken, Elspeth finds that she too has a mysterious ally—a powerful spirit from the long-forgotten past…
I loved the conclusion to the Falconsbane arc! The arc has been a big part of the Valdemar story, one of the most evil antagonists across the entire saga. Falconsbane has been reprehensible, the worst of the worst. So the end was very satisfying, and it set the foundation for the next and last trilogy in the saga.
The introduction of the character An’desha was fascinating. I hestitate to say too much about him for fear of ruining the story for readers, but I really enjoyed his role in the story. The trauma he experienced at the hands of Falconsbane was tragic, as is seeing him half broken after it’s over. He’s a character I really felt for, and I can’t wait to see what happens next with him.