Series: Last Herald-Mage, book 2
Year of publication: 1990
Summary: After Magic’s Pawn, I was eager to read more about Vanyel; though with Tylendel gone, I wondered what sort of romantic action we’d see. The answer? None. Twelve years have passed since the end of the first book, and Vanyel is now 28, and the most powerful mage in known existence. He still hasn’t gotten over the loss of Tylendel, and it doesn’t seem like he will anytime soon.
In this book, Van mends his relationship with his family, as well as with his old armsmaster. It turns out the angry, prejudiced father and abusive teacher were nice guys all long underneath. Not impossible, but a complete reversal from the first book. Van spends most of the book exhausted and on the verge of collapse. It basically becomes a normal state for him, and eventually loses the power to elicit sympathy from the reader. Despite being seemingly at the very end of his strength, Van still manages to pull off whatever it is he’s trying to do, and the reader eventually stops worrying about him.
A few characters from the first book apparently died off-stage before the start of this one, which is too bad because more likeable, well-developed characters would have made the book stronger. Another minor character dies off-stage towards the end of the story as well, maybe to prove that it can happen.
I’m looking forward to book 3, because I read someone’s review that mentioned a new love-interest.