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Fantasy by Mercedes Lackey

"I tend to think of Valdemar/Velgarth as an actual world somewhere, a world that I'm only writing the history of."

— Mercedes Lackey

Mercedes Lackey is one of the most prolific fantasy authors alive, if not the most prolific. Every year she publishes at least one novel, either solo or in collaboration with another author. Some years she does more. In all, there are at least 50 fantasy novels with her name on them. About half of those are set in or near the Kingdom of Valdemar. The rest are set in an assortment of other fantasy universes.

The world of Valdemar

Lackey's first success, and still her most popular works, are the series of novels and shorter stories set in the world of Valdemar. There are currently some 32 Valdemar novels, forming an enormous story arc that stretches over some two thousand years from the "Gryphon" trilogy to the "Owl" trilogy.

  • BLACK GRYPHON, THE
    Author: Mercedes Lackey & Larry Dixon
    Copyright:1994
    Publisher: DAW Books
    ISBN: 0-88677-643-0

  • WHITE GRYPHON, THE
    Author: Mercedes Lackey & Larry Dixon
    Copyright:1995
    Publisher: DAW1995
    ISBN: 0-88677-682-1

  • SILVER GRYPHON, THE
    Author: Mercedes Lackey & Larry Dixon
    Copyright:1996
    Publisher: DAW
    ISBN: 0-88677-685-6

  • MAGIC'S PAWN
    Author: Lackey, Mercedes
    Copyright:1991
    Publisher: DAW Books
    ISBN: 0-88677-352-0

  • MAGIC'S PROMISE
    Author: Lackey, Mercedes
    Copyright:1990
    Publisher: DAW
    ISBN: 0-88677-401-2

  • MAGIC'S PRICE
    Author: Lackey, Mercedes
    Copyright:1990
    Publisher: DAW
    ISBN: 0-88677-426-8

  • BRIGHTLY BURNING
    Author: Lackey, Mercedes
    Copyright:2000
    Publisher: DAW
    ISBN: 0-88677-989-8

  • OATHBLOOD
    Author: Lackey, Mercedes
    Copyright:1998
    Publisher: DAW Books
    ISBN: 0-88677-773-9

  • OATHBOUND
    Author: Lackey, Mercedes
    Copyright:1988
    Publisher: DAW Books
    ISBN: 0-88677-414-4

  • OATHBREAKERS
    Author: Lackey, Mercedes
    Copyright:1989
    Publisher: DAW Books
    ISBN: 0-88677-454-3

  • TAKE A THIEF
    Author: Lackey, Mercedes
    Copyright:2001
    Publisher: DAW Books
    ISBN: 0-7564-0058-9

  • ARROWS OF THE QUEEN
    Author: Lackey, Mercedes
    Copyright:1987
    Publisher: DAW
    ISBN: 0-88677-378-4

  • ARROW'S FLIGHT
    Author: Lackey, Mercedes
    Copyright:1987
    Publisher: DAW
    ISBN: 0-88677-377-6

  • ARROW'S FALL
    Author: Lackey, Mercedes
    Copyright:1988
    Publisher: DAW
    ISBN: 0-88677-400-4

  • BY THE SWORD
    Author: Lackey, Mercedes
    Copyright:1991
    Publisher: DAW
    ISBN: 0-88677-463-2

  • WINDS OF FATE
    Author: Lackey, Mercedes
    Copyright:1991
    Publisher: DAW
    ISBN: 0-88677-516-7

  • WINDS OF CHANGE
    Author: Lackey, Mercedes
    Copyright:1993
    Publisher: DAW
    ISBN: 0-88677-563-9

  • WINDS OF FURY
    Author: Lackey, Mercedes
    Copyright:1993
    Publisher: DAW
    ISBN: 0-88677-612-0

  • STORM WARNING
    Author: Lackey, Mercedes
    Copyright:1994
    Publisher: DAW
    ISBN: 0-88677-661-9

  • STORM RISING
    Author: Lackey, Mercedes
    Copyright:1996
    Publisher: DAW Books
    ISBN: 0-88677-712-7

  • STORM BREAKING
    Author: Lackey, Mercedes
    Copyright:1996
    Publisher: DAW Books
    ISBN: 0-88677-755-0

  • OWLFLIGHT
    Author: Mercedes Lackey & Larry Dixon
    Copyright:1997
    Publisher: DAW
    ISBN: 0-88677-804-2

  • OWLSIGHT
    Author: Mercedes Lackey & Larry Dixon
    Copyright:1998
    Publisher: DAW
    ISBN: 0-88677-803-4

  • OWLKNIGHT
    Author: Mercedes Lackey & Larry Dixon
    Copyright:1999
    Publisher: DAW
    ISBN: 0-88677-916-2

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The Dragon Jousters

Take pre-dynastic Egypt, mix in some magic of different types, add dragons and dragon-riding warriors, and what do you get? Lackey got the "Dragon Jousters" series: four books set in a fictional land that draws heavily from Egypt circa 3000 B.C., when it was still two kingdoms. The lands of Tia and Alta have been at war for decades. Both sides have armies, and magicians. Both sides also have dragons and dragon-riding warriors. The dragons on both sides are controlled by their masters using a powerful herbal drug called tala. All except one...

These books are a pretty pleasant, light read, not very deep or nasty -- almost bordering on young adult in the simplicity of the plots and the age of the POV character.

  • JOUST
    Author: Lackey, Mercedes
    Copyright:2003
    Publisher: DAW
    ISBN: 0-7564-0153-4
    'Vetch' is a serf - lower than a slave - in a long-ago realm named Tia that bears a lot of resemblance to ancient Egypt. One day a Dragon Jouster named Ari summarily takes Vetch from the farm where he lives and works, to become a dragonboy in the army of the Great King. Even in the courts of the Jousters, Vetch is still a serf ... but to Ari and his dragon Kashet, Vetch is a friend. He has a place; he has status; he has a bit of happiness. He also has a chance -- to escape and take a secret with him, a secret that might just help Vetch's homeland Alta in the unending war between Alta and Tia.
  • ALTA
    Author: Lackey, Mercedes
    Copyright:2004
    Publisher: DAW
    ISBN: 0-7564-0257-3
    An excellent second entry in the Jousters series - perhaps the best of all four books. The serf called Vetch has escaped from Tia with a great prize: a very special dragon, and the secret of training more like her. Now he's returned to his birth-name Kiron, and he is a free man - and a Jouster-in-training - for his homeland of Alta. Sadly, Kiron's escape has led him into an even more dangerous situation: Alta is threatened from without by the Tians, and from within by the evil magicians called the Magi. Kiron owes no allegiance to the Magi, which means that he and his unique dragon Avatre pose a threat to them, even if they don't know it yet. The Magi will go to any lengths to neutralize a threat.
  • SANCTUARY
    Author: Lackey, Mercedes
    Copyright:2005
    Publisher: DAW
    ISBN: 978-0-7564-0341
    This third entry in the Jousters series neatly wraps up the primary storyline. Kiron and his friends, and their dragons, escaped Alta and the Magi in the nick of time. Even better, they succeeded in eliminating all the Jousters from both side. Now they've escaped to the lost desert city of Sanctuary. While they work to build a new life for themselves, they also seek a way to destroy the Magi once and for all, and bring peace to the warring lands of Tia and Alta.
  • AERIE
    Author: Lackey, Mercedes
    Copyright:2006
    Publisher: DAW
    ISBN: 978-0-7564-0426
    While this is the fourth Dragon Jousters book, it's more of an independent story in the Dragon Jousters world. It does link back to several outstanding plot points from the first three, but it doesn't really need those to work, and the main story of the first three books stands up perfectly well without this one. With the war over, the Jousters of Sanctuary need new work for themselves and their dragons. They find one: fighting bandits. Then they find another, when every living person in a remote outpost town simply vanishes. Where did they go? Why did they go? What does it mean for the future? Gods and magicians take a much more direct role in this story, because the enemy that is coming to attack both Alta and Tia has a dark god of its own, with dark magic of great power.

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Bardic Voices

The 'Bardic Voices' series consists of five novels set in a land dominated by humans but including other sapient species. Like many of Lackey's stories, the Bardic Voices novels contain magic, music, a powerful and corrupted Church (but one with many good men and women still within it), and birds. The five novels are connected yet independent, each featuring a different cast of characters that still fit into an ongoing story arc. I've read the first two; I haven't yet read the others.

  • BARDIC VOICES #1: THE LARK AND THE WREN
    Author: Lackey, Mercedes
    Copyright:1992
    Publisher: Baen Books
    ISBN: 0-671-72099-6
    When Rune went to fiddle for the Skull Hill Ghost, she expected to die. She didn't. Instead she got the money she needed to go a-traveling, and the courage she needed to leave her old home and village forever. In the big city she found a teacher, a new home, friends, and a world more complex than she dreamed existed. Then she entered the trials for joining the Bards' Guild -- and got a truly nasty surprise. As with most fiction, the basic story at the core of this one is easy to identify: it's a coming-of-age story for a minstrel girl named Rune. Also as with most fiction, what makes it good is how that story is told - the characters, the setting, the specific incidents that Rune experiences as she grows from fiddler girl to experienced bard.

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Miscellaneous novels

I have a couple of 'miscellaneous' Lackey novels -- one or two that stand alone, and one or two that fit into other ongoing series.

  • SACRED GROUND
    Author: Lackey, Mercedes
    Copyright:1994
    Publisher: Tor Books
    ISBN: 0-812-51965-5
    Unusually for Lackey, this is something of a crossover between detective fiction and occult fantasy. Jennifer Talldeer is a private detective who works alone and handles small, simple cases for her clients. She's also Amerind, of an old and powerful bloodline, and she is both warrior and medicine woman. Her latest case seems like a simple one: figure out if a construction supervisor is sabotaging his own project. Of course it's not that simple; it's never that simple. Before she's done, Jen will find herself tangling with local organized crime, a malignant wife-beating man, the malevolent trickster-spirits that her people call the mi-ah-luschka, and an evil from beyond time, an evil Amerind sorcerer centuries old, who exists only to destroy and has found a new host through which he can work that destruction.

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