Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Second Chance / Arrows of the Queen

Arrows of the Queen ( The Heralds of Valdemar, Book 1)I was in my late teens when I first picked up Mercedes Lackey's Arrows of the Queen. I was very shy, lacked confidence, and was dealing with a difficult situation at home. It was the ideal time to run across the story of Talia, a reader (like me!) who dreamed of adventure and magic (like me!), and a way to escape her difficult situation at home (me! Me! Just like me!) It was tremendously exciting to find a book with a heroine I could so easily relate to.

I checked that book out from the library so many times I practically wore it out. I can't remember now just how many times I read it, but it was a lot - and every time the part I read and re-read was this:
Arrow's Fall (The Heralds of Valdemar, Book 3)She gave a strangled gasp and scrambled painfully to her feet. Regarding her with a gentle curiosity was a – well, a Herald's Companion was hardly what one would call a "horse." They transcended horses in the way that panthers transcend alleycats, or angels transcend men. Talia had read and heard plenty of descriptions of the Companions before, but she was still totally unprepared for the close-hand reality.

The riderless Companion was in full formal array, his trappings silver and sky-blue, his reins hung with silver bridle bells. No horse in Talia's experience had that slender, yet muscular grace or could match the way he seemed to fly without taking a single step. He was white – Companions were always white – but nothing on earth could possibly match that glowing, living, radiant white. And his eyes –

When Talia finally had the courage to look into those sapphire eyes, she lost track of the world –

She was lost in blue more vast than a sea and darker than sky and full of welcome so heart-filling it left no room for doubt.

Yes – at last – you. I Choose you. Out of all the world, out of all the seeking., I have found you, young sister of my heart! You are mine and I am yours – and never again will there be loneliness –

It was a feeling more than words; a shock and a delight. A breathless joy so deep it was almost pain; a joining. A losing and a finding; a loosing and a binding. Flight and freedom. And love and acceptance past all words to tell of the wonder of it – and she answered that love with all her soul.
Arrow's Flight (The Heralds of Valdemar, Book 2)Is it any wonder I longed for a Companion with all my shy, quiet, lonely heart?

Shinedown's Second Chance reminds me of that time in my life, too. Just like Talia, I had to leave home to fully realize what I had it in me to be. My parents weren't particularly happy; my father in particular didn't think I had it in me to handle life on my own and argued with every decision I made. In the end, the only way to get what I wanted was to be more stubborn than him.

(Amazingly enough, I turned out just fine. I think my father is still in shock over that.)

Between them, Shinedown and Mercedes Lackey have captured that time in my life very well. My fear, my determination, my longing for more - and the happy ending when I followed my heart.

Tell my mother,
Tell my father
I've done the best I can
To make them realize
This is my life
I hope they understand
I'm not angry, I'm just saying...
Sometimes goodbye
Is a second chance

Please don't cry
One tear for me
I'm not afraid of
What I have to say
This is my one and
Only voice
So listen close, it's
Only for today

Book: Arrows of the Queen, Mercedes Lackey
Music: Second Chance, Shinedown


Cari Hislop said...

Have you ever noticed how stories we need (stories in our preferred medium or genres) seem to appear right when we need them? Do we find the stories or do they find us? I wonder.

Jaleh D said...

For me, I didn't discover this book when I could have used it most. But I still recognized my younger self in Talia. My copy is well worn. I probably read it a few times a year, and then burn through all the others in the series for the upteenth time. Awesome stories.

The accompanying music CDs available at Firebird Arts are just as fabulous.

Jennifer said...

Now, see - that's the beauty of blogging. :) Thanks, Jaleh! I should have known about those CDs, but I didn't. I'll have to check them out!

Sally T Gurl said...

Absolutely lovely books! Mercedes is such a wonderful author, and these definitely deserve their place among the true classics of SF.

Sally @ LGBT Bookslut


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