This book is the first in the Vanyel Ashkevron series that was written by Mercedes Lackey. She is a prolific writer of some of the best fantasy I have ever read.
Not only is she great at writing characters but she doesn’t stick to the standard showing a side to fantasy that I had never seen before her. She writes gay and lesbian characters which are still not a norm in fantasy fiction.
Vanyel is not who his father wants him to be so he ships his son off to Haven the city where the Monarch rules from as well as were the Heralds themselves work.
In fact Savil, the aunt of Vanyel still lives there as one of the strongest Herald Mages in the Kingdom of Valdemar. She has three proteges that are trained by her Tylendel and a life bonded paid Mardic and Donni.
This book progresses where you finally see that Vanyel is warped and has no notion of love and life at all. He and Tylendel fall in love and eventually life bond.
This is a true love story but it is tragedy as well in some ways even more than Romeo and Juliet.
What happens is that there is a huge issue and Vanyel is left without his love and is chosen by one of the majestic and powerful companions.
This book while is the first in the trilogy it is not the best to be honest. I always found the second book more dynamic.
Vanyel to me was a whiny brat who didn’t understand anything of what life was really like. As you grow into the book you see that is his coping mechanism and a way to protect himself. You see a lot of growth as well as you see him by the end of the first book becoming one of the legendary Heralds and one who would ultimately save Valdemar his kingdom and his people.
A very well written novel and I reread this at least every couple of years and each time I pick up something else about the psychology of this book.
Next in the series Magic’s Promise