Magic's Pawn

(Valdemar: The Last Herald-Mage #1)

Paperback, 352 pages

English language

Published June 5, 1989 by DAW.


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4 stars (2 reviews)

Magic's Pawn is a wondrous sci-fi fantasy adventure that centers around Vanyel Ashkevron, young, inexperienced in life, and very sheltered from the world at large. Clashes with his father send him away from home to discover just who and what he truly is--the last Herald Mage of Valdemar for centuries to come.

6 editions

reviewed Magic's Pawn by Mercedes Lackey

A coming-of-age novel in a fantasy setting

4 stars

This was one of the first mainstream fantasy novels with a gay protagonist. Written and published in 1989, when this was a risky proposition for a mainstream novel.

The book follows the adventures of 15-year old Vanyel Ashkevron, the eldest son of a noble. As such, he will one day succeed his father as head of the family, but father and son don't get along well. After a particularly bad episode, Vanyel's father sends him away to study in the capital, under the guardianship of his aunt Savil. Although Vanyel has no desire to live with his aunt, this exile turns out to be a blessing in disguise. When Vanyel discovers that there are boys who fall in love with boys rather than girls, he realizes that he is one such boy himself; and with it, he understands his feelings for Savil's protégé Tylendel. The two boys enter a relationship, …

avatar for sir_diesalot

rated it

3 stars


  • Fantasy
  • Fiction - Fantasy
  • Fiction
  • Fantasy - General
  • Fantastic fiction
  • Fiction / Fantasy / General
  • General