"Wonderful moving story!"

All Mags—short for Magpie—has known his short life is Cole Pieters and his mine. See, Mags' parents were hung for their crimes when Mags was just a babe. Since he was "bad blood", no one wanted the orphan and eventually, Mags ended up with Cole Pieters. When he first got there, Mags was too young to work in the mine, so he trudged in the kitchen. Once he grew older, Mags was put to work in the mines. Not by any stretch of the imagination is this a good life. The children are worked almost to the point of death. Cole Pieters is not a genial man and will get all the work out of the orphans he can. Eventually, something happens which changes Mags' life.

One day, a Herald comes to the Pieters' mine and he's got two beautiful white horses with blue eyes. Turns out the Herald has come for Mags. Herald Jakyr takes Mags and puts him on one of the horses. Now, Mags is in for the shock of his life. Not only has he never ridden a horse before, but the horse—not really a horse, but a Companion named Dallen— has Chosen Mags. Mags is to be a Herald! Not that he has any idea what that means. Luckily for him, Dallen is able to share his memories with Mags and "teaches" him a lot, not only about being a Herald, but about a lot of things. They end up at a Guard post and after a thorough scrubbing, a Healer sees Mags. For the most part, Mags is left to his own devices and decides he likes being clean and wearing clean clothes. Not to mention having a full belly. Not surprisingly, this is not their final destination. They remain in the outpost until Mags is pronounced healthy enough to travel by the Healer. Of course, Dallen has been teaching Mags how to ride while there.

Once Mags is pronounced healthy enough, Herald Jakyr takes him to Haven, where the new Collegium is located. Turns out the Collegium has not been finished yet. This Collegium is not only for Heralds, but also Healers and Bards. So all the students are all crammed together until the buildings can be completed. The head of the Heralds Collegium puts Mags in a room in the stables—not that it bothers Mags at all. After all, this is the first time he has a room all to himself, and one he can lock if he wants. And best of all, he's close to Dallen. Of course, not all Heralds are happy with the idea of Collegium. They want to train Heralds the old way—mentoring.

Will Mags be able to fit in at the Collegium? Will there be problems with the Heralds because of the Collegium? What are Mags' gifts and will he be able to put them to use? Will he find any friends?

FOUNDATION: THE COLLEGIUM CHRONICLES is a wonderful Valdemar tale. Mercedes Lackey once again brings the world of Valdemar and Heralds to life in this enchanting story. As an adult, the first fantasy story I read was by Mercedes Lackey and it was the first Valdemar story. I instantly fell in love with Mercedes Lackey's writing, Valdemar and the whole fantasy genre. And Mercedes Lackey has been a favorite of mine ever since. This is a very moving, touching tale of a young boy being taken from wretched conditions and given a chance at a wonderful new life, one where he finds love and the best friend he could possibly have in Dallen, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. That said, I have to admit this read more like a YA book than her other stories, not that it detracted from my enjoyment of it. All in all, a very good read for all ages and one I highly recommend to all fans of Valdemar.

Reviewed by Chere Gruver
Posted September 11, 2009


A Valdemar Novel

In this chronicle of the early history of Valdemar, a thirteen-year­old orphan named Magpie escapes a life of slavery in the gem mines when he is chosen by one of the magical companion horses of Valdemar to be trained as a herald. Thrust into the center of a legend in the making, Magpie discovers talents he never knew he had-and witnesses the founding of the great Heralds' Collegium.

Genre: Fantasy


(Collegium Chronicle: Book 1)
by Mercedes Lackey

Daw Books
October 1, 2009
Available: October 6, 2009
ISBN #0756405769
EAN #9780756405762
432 pages
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Other Books by
Mercedes Lackey

Beauty and the Werewolf
Harvest Moon
Winter Moon
Charmed Destinies
The Snow Queen
Fortune's Fool
The Phoenix Unchained
By Slanderous Tongues
Ill Met by Moonlight
One Good Knight
Winter Moon
The Wizard of London
This Scepter'd Isle
The Fairy Godmother
To Light a Candle
The Fairy Godmother
Phoenix and Ashes
Sun in Glory and Other Tales of Valdemar
Exile's Valor
Charmed Destinies
The Outstretched Shadow
Mad Maudlin
Exile's Honor
The Gates Of Sleep
Spirits White As Lightning
Take A Thief
Children of the Night

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