Mercedes Lackey

From Academic Kids

Mercedes Lackey (born June 24, 1950) (also known as Misty Lackey) is a prolific American author of fantasy novels. Many of her novels and trilogies are interlinked and set in the world of Velgarth, mostly in and around the country of Valdemar. Her Valdemar novels form a complex tapestry of interaction between human and non-human protagonists with many different cultures and social mores. There is a prominent theme of tolerance throughout, notably in the relative prominence of homosexual characters and the ethos of Valdemar: "There is no one, true way".

The other main world in which she writes is one much like our own, but also populated by elves, mages, vampires, and other mythical beings. Some of the interlocking series in this world are the Diana Tregarde thrillers, the "SERRAted Edge" books about racecar-driving elves, and the "Bedlam's Bard" books, characterizing a young man with the power to work incredible magics through music. While the SERRAted Edge and Bedlam's Bard series are still in progress, she has declined to write further Diana Tregarde stories because of low sales. Lackey received harassment from a small but determined number of fans over the decision. She claims that the trouble escalated to the point where she and her husband received death threats and were temporarily forced to suspend their fandom activities. She resumed attending conventions by 2004.

There is a Mercedes Lackey fan group on Usenet. She keeps a tight hold on her copyrights, and no published fanfiction is allowed outside of her authorized fanclub. The fanclub, the Queen's Own, is named after Herald Talia's position in her books.

Her earlier novels are all solo projects, but later volumes in the Valdemar saga are illustrated by her husband Larry Dixon, and in many of her latest works he is also credited as co-author.

She and her husband Larry Dixon also work in wildlife rehabilitation, especially with birds of prey, and practice falconry. She often refers to her various parrots as her "feathered children". The afterwords to some of her books refer to rehabilitation and falconry, and it is clear that this interest has influenced and informed her writing.

Lackey has been active in the filking community.

Contents

Related writers

Mercedes Lackey is a protegee of Marion Zimmer Bradley, and got her start writing short stories in Bradley's story collections.

In her use of female and homosexual protagonists, she is like Tanya Huff, although she lacks Huff's rather light tone.

Opposition

Some disparage her books as being about 'talking horses', though her works depict a wide range of cultures and environments.

Because of the prominence of female and homosexual characters in her high fantasy works, she has been criticized for writing "fluffy" fantasy novels which bear little or no resemblance to real or pseudo-real history. Given that fantasy is an escape from reality, the relevance of this criticism is somewhat questionable.

Published Works

Velgarth

Some of the trilogies follow on chronologically from each other. Others are set a considerable number of years apart from the others. Overall the books span some 3000 years of history. There is a significant gap in the middle which might some day be filled.

However Lackey has recently (October 2003) announced that she is taking a break from writing Velgarth books.

Heralds of Valdemar

This set consists of the original trilogy, the very first Valdemar books published, and a prequel trilogy, the most recent.

  • Prequels

These centre on the characters Skif (the first book) and the Weaponsmaster Alberich (second & third books), telling the stories of their not-entirely-voluntary enrolments as Heralds.

  1. Take a Thief
  2. Exile's Honor
  3. Exile's Valor
  • The original trilogy

These centre on the character Talia, from her first encounter with the Heralds to becoming the Queen's Own Herald.

  1. Arrows of the Queen
  2. Arrow's Flight
  3. Arrow's Fall

The Mage Winds

These follow on from the original Heralds of Valdemar trilogy, centering on Princess Elspeth completing her transformation from "the Brat" to a fully-fledged Herald. Secondary protaganists include Skif and a new character Darkwind.

  1. Winds of Fate
  2. Winds of Change
  3. Winds of Fury

The Mage Storms

These follow on again, centering on the characters Karal and An'desha.

  1. Storm Warning
  2. Storm Rising
  3. Storm Breaking

The Owl Mage

These take place some time later, centering on the character Darian.

  1. Owlflight
  2. Owlsight
  3. Owlknight

The Last Herald Mage

These occur some centuries before the Heralds of Valdemar books, telling the life story of Vanyel Ashkevron; by the time of the "later" books he has become legend, thus explaining some of the small inconsistencies.

  1. Magic's Pawn
  2. Magic's Promise
  3. Magic's Price

Vows & Honor

These also precede the Heralds of Valdemar books, centering on the characters Tarma and Kethry; they were originally introduced in a short story in Marion Zimmer Bradley's Sword and Sorceress series, which is included in the first book.

  1. The Oathbound
  2. Oathbreakers
  3. Oathblood

Kerowyn's Tale

This is a stand-alone novel which connects the Vows & Honor series to the Heralds and other trilogies; it introduces the character Kerowyn who features therein.

The Mage Wars

These are set in pre-history, some 2000-3000 years earlier. They describe the events which set off The Mage Storms.

  1. The Black Gryphon
  2. The White Gryphon
  3. The Silver Gryphon

Miscellaneous

This is a stand-alone novel, set somewhere between The Last Herald Mage and the Heralds books; it describes another legendary character referred to in the latter, Lavan Firestorm.

  • Brightly Burning

Short Story Collections

  • Sword of Ice
  • Sun in Glory and other tales of Valdemar

Reference

  • Valdemar Companion

Elves on the Road universe

Bedlam Bard

Diana Tregarde

  • Burning Water (1989)
  • Children of the Night (1990)
  • Jinx High (1991)

The Serrated Edge

The Halfblood Chronicles

with Andre Norton

  1. The Elvenbane (1991)
  2. Elvenblood (1995)
  3. Elvenborn (2002)
  4. Elvenbred (?)

The Elemental Masters

  1. The Fire Rose (1995)
  2. The Serpent's Shadow (2001)
  3. Gates of Sleep (2002)
  4. Phoenyx And Ashes (October 2004)
  5. The Wizard of London (October 2005)

The Dragon Jousters

  1. Joust (2003)
  2. Alta (2004)
  3. Sanctuary (May 2005)

External links

pl:Mercedes Lackey

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