“Valdemar: The Founding of Valdemar” by Mercedes Lackey: Wonderful Origin Story

The refugees from the Empire have established a thriving city called Haven with the help of the Tayledras and their allies. But the Tayledras have begun a slow withdrawal to the dangerous lands known as the Pelagirs, leaving the humans of Haven to find their own way.

But even with Haven settled, the lands around Haven are not without danger. Most of the danger comes in the form of magicians: magicians taking advantage of the abundant magical energy in the lands the Tayledras have cleansed; magicians who have no compunction about allying themselves with dark powers and enslaving magical beasts and the Elementals themselves.

Kordas, his family, and his people will need all the help they can get. But when a prayer to every god he has ever heard of brings Kordas a very specific and unexpected form of help, the new kingdom of Valdemar is set on a path like nothing else the world has ever seen.

In book 3 of The Founding of Valdemar, Valdemar, Mercedes Lackey has created a wonderful origin story. Whether you are new to the series or have followed along since the beginning, you will find book three of the founding of Valdemar engaging. 

The story itself is solidly written with enough details and elements from the other novels to keep readers intrigued as we not only get the origins of Valdemar but also Bardic tales from other novels that offer explanations of Windrider, Shadowdancer and Sunsinger. I also really like how the novel gives us Kordas’ point of view but also the next generation in Restil, his son. We finally also get the origins of the Companions which is just as mystical and magical as I’d hoped. 

As a long time reader of the stories, I did find some of the origins a bit more prosaic than expected but real life quite frequently is and I like the realism that Mercedes Lackey infuses into the novel. She continually stresses that real people create the works of magic and heroism in her books much like firefighters and emergency rescue workers in our modern world. I love the conclusion of the novel and actually hope we might get more about the founding of Valdemar. 

If you love Mercedes Lackey and the world of Valdemar, you will want to read this novel. The characters are engaging and she has created a truly wonderful origin story that is both magical and realistic at the same time. I loved it so much I had to read some of my other Valdemar books and truly hope for more about this time period. 

4.5 Companions out of 5. 

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