In Magic’s Price we have concluded The Last Herald-Mage Trilogy by Mercedes Lackey. …If you can call it that. In my previous reviews of the last two books (Magic’s Pawn and Magic’s Promise), I have said that there is a certain lack of plot. This last book was no exception.
True, the main conflict involved an imminent threat of some dark force beyond the borders of Vanyel’s homeland, but it was not built up very well in the series, though Lackey certainly tried. Honestly, I can’t even tell you much more than that since doing so would actually spoil events in the first book (if you don’t care about that, then go ahead and watch my YouTube videos). …Don’t have a lot to review here.
All I can say for sure is that I adored Lackey’s characters and I was so engaged with their relationships that I devoured the final installment in about one day. But that’s really all the series has going for it. Vanyel is a wonderful character, a selfless hero who suffers anything to protect the country he serves, and that’s all the trilogy is about.
I hesitate to even call this a series. Yes, it follows one character, but the books are really episodic; they really don’t connect to one overarching plot. Lackey drops hints of it here and there, yet I felt like the “plot” was more of an afterthought than anything else. It was a good book; it had a rather sappy ending and I was annoyed with Lackey skipping the good stuff more than once, but still a good book.
Will I read Mercedes Lackey again? Probably not. Don’t get me wrong, she is a fabulous author. Again, her style’s a little old-fashioned (though I think it became more modern with each book), however, it is no less engaging. The main reason I don’t think I’ll read her work again is because she seems to have a major focus on character relationships more so than on story – nothing wrong with that, just something I would prefer as a subplot not a main plot in a fantasy novel. It was a decent trilogy and definitely worth reading even if the only reason is that the main character isn’t hetero.
For more commentary on this last installment, check out my YouTube video here. Warning: video contains spoilers.