Book Review: Mercedes Lackey’s Foundation

Posted August 10, 2011 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews, Young Adult

This book came from the library, and I will never give you less than an honest review, no matter its source. I do provide informational and purchase links to make it more convenient for you to access the book. I also receive a percentage of the sale if you use one of my links to buy it. And that's not enough money to be less than truthful *grin*.

Book Review: Mercedes Lackey’s Foundation


by Mercedes Lackey


Series: Valdemar: Collegium Chronicles #1Valdemar: Collegium Chronicles #1

Other books by this author that I've reviewed include Unnatural Issue, "The River's Gift", Finding the Way and Other Tales of Valdemar, Intrigues, Gwenhwyfar: The White Spirit, Owlknight, Charmed Destinies, Changes, Beauty and the Werewolf, Invasion, Home From the Sea, Dead Reckoning, Conspiracies, Bedlam's Edge, Crown of Vengeance, Redoubt, Harvest Moon, World Divided, Elemental Magic: All New Tales of the Elemental Masters, Sacrifices, Steadfast, Bastion, Victories, Blood Red, The House of the Four Winds, Games Creatures Play, Closer to Home, Born to Run, Wheels of Fire, When the Bough Breaks, Chrome Circle, Changing the World: All-New Tales of Valdemar, Under the Vale and Other Tales of Valdemar, Arcanum 101, A Tangled Web, Winter Moon, Moving Targets and Other Tales of Valdemar, Elementary: All-New Tales of the Elemental Masters, No True Way: All-New Tales of Valdemar, From a High Tower, Hunter, Closer to the Heart, Silence, A Study in Sable, Elite, Closer to the Chest, Tempest: All-New Tales of Valdemar.

Genres: Fantasy

This Hardcover has 340 pages and was published by DAW Books on October 7, 2008. Discover more about it at Goodreads. You can also buy it at Amazon

First in the Collegium Chronicles subseries within the main Valdemar series. If you’re interested, there is a chronological listing of the Valdemar books on my website.

My Take

It’s Valdemar. It can’t help but be fascinating. That we learn more about how the Herald training program evolved is simply more fascinating, and in Foundation, we learn the background on the change in how Heralds are trained. Previously, each Herald took on a trainee or three and mentored them individually. This worked well until there were so many Chosen being brought to Haven that each Herald was attempting to mentor six or more trainees.

The King has now declared that a separate building will be erected specifically to house all the trainees for all three specialties in Haven where they will attend classes together until they have graduated to their whites, reds, and greens. At this point, the trainee will be assigned to a Herald, Bard, or Healer for mentoring.

Mags learns the value of helping those who need it while discovering that good deeds, in turn, return ten-fold on the giver. Mags also acquires confidence with the trust and praise imparted by his instructors, friends, and mentors.

The values that Lackey imparts are so valuable that the whole series should be required reading for kids…and adults!

Foundation’s ending has me hoping we will learn more about Mags’ origins and the reasoning behind the assassin’s exclamation.

The Story

Working as a child slave for a gemstone mine owner, Mags is Chosen by Dallen. We follow Mags and Dallen as Mags learns to relax, trust, and make friends as he attends classes at the Collegium.

Naturally, Mags has his adventures: dealing with the bodyguards brought by the “merchant princes”; his interaction with Master Soren in the marketplace and the warmth that follows; the blizzard that highlights the value of Mags’ Gift; rescuing his friend, Bear; and the undercover activities requested of him by the King’s Own Herald.

Mags is very definitely a busy boy!

The Cover and Title

The cover’s background is an abstract of a blizzard in blues and a gray so pale it appears silver behind a gilt-framed square with Dallen and Mags in profile. The title, Foundation, is certainly appropriate as the story covers the founding of more formal instruction for the Herald, Bardic, and Healer trainees.

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