Customer Reviews for

Foundation (Collegium Chronicles Series #1)

Average Rating 4.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

This is a great Valdemar tale

The Pieter family takes into their home infant orphan Mags, but not out of the kindness of their hearts they see the lad as labor toiling long hours in their dangerous gemstone mine seeking sparklies. They abuse the child as they do other strays that have no champion ...
The Pieter family takes into their home infant orphan Mags, but not out of the kindness of their hearts they see the lad as labor toiling long hours in their dangerous gemstone mine seeking sparklies. They abuse the child as they do other strays that have no champion to protect ragtag nothings from horrific conditions. However, Mags is even lower than these pathetic strays as he is the Bad Blood offspring of dead outlaws according to the family since he was found in a cradle in a camp.---------- Everything abruptly changes for Mags when men on white horses ride into the Pieter compound they take the lad with them so he can train to become a Herald Trainee. However, the adjustment proves nearly impossible as Mags is unable to deal with, comfort or attend classes at the Herald's Collegium as his world was bread, water and the mine. However his companion Dallen helps him somewhat adapt, but this may prove too late as Mags is pulled into dangerous political intrigues by the Heralds divided in many ways but especially between tradition of one on one training vs. a classroom however the former mine worker finds the schism beyond his understanding except he is an expert on survival.------------- This is a great Valdemar tale due to Mags who may not comprehend the ways of the Heralds or their dispute, but knows how to live through anything. The story line is especially fascinating during Mags┬┐ time with the Pieters as ignorance is bliss since he does not know of anything but mine living. When the Heralds take him away as a student, he is shocked to have a consistently filled stomach and a new reason to survive. Although the story line is a bit thin in comparison with all the action of previous saga entries, fans will relish Mercedes Lackey deep fantasy character study with its analogy to winning in Middle East starts with first feeding people, then teaching them to fish in order to win their stomach, mind and heart in that order.---------------- Harriet Klausner

posted by Anonymous on August 28, 2008

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Most Helpful Critical Review

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

A Good Book In A Wonderful Universe

This book came out a while ago and I always meant to pick it up every time I went to the bookstore. Mercedes Lackey is one of my favorite authors and her Valdemar books are amongst my favorite books of all time. So when this book came out I was so excited that I started...
This book came out a while ago and I always meant to pick it up every time I went to the bookstore. Mercedes Lackey is one of my favorite authors and her Valdemar books are amongst my favorite books of all time. So when this book came out I was so excited that I started bouncing in my chair as I was reading about it. Then life set in and I didn't pick up until recently.


This is the first book of a series that takes place between the Last Herald Mage trilogy (my favorite) and the stand alone book, Burning Brightly. Now for those of you who aren't familiar with the Valdemar books that probably won't make much sense to you. Just know that it takes place before most of her other Valdemar books.


The book takes place while the new Heralds Collegium is being built along with a new Bardic and Healer Collegiums. The main protagonist is a typical example of what can be found throughout the Valdemar books. Mags is a young man who has been living, working as a virtual slave in gem mines. The description of his daily life is monstrous and this causes you to take an instant liking to him. Well that and the fact that he is generous and kind without thinking about it. That he in very small ways tries to look out for the younger children and thinks about others more than most kids in his situation would.


The rest of the story is typical (by which I mean wonderful) of these books. Young man is Chosen by one of the wondrous Companions to become a Herald in the service of Valdemar (the kingdom they live in). The young Herald Trainee goes to Haven (capital city) to start training and is caught up in a situation that tests their skill and courage. I say typical because this is the way a lot of the books start. There is a reason for it though, it works for the type of characters that Heralds are. Heralds have to be tough, resilient, and kind. Now not all the Heralds come from a miserable background but would that make a good story?


I'm looking forward to the next book in the series as I always love to read the history of a Kingdom I want to live in, about the Heralds I want to be like, and about right trumping wrong.

posted by Ryan_G on October 29, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 28, 2008

    This is a great Valdemar tale

    The Pieter family takes into their home infant orphan Mags, but not out of the kindness of their hearts they see the lad as labor toiling long hours in their dangerous gemstone mine seeking sparklies. They abuse the child as they do other strays that have no champion to protect ragtag nothings from horrific conditions. However, Mags is even lower than these pathetic strays as he is the Bad Blood offspring of dead outlaws according to the family since he was found in a cradle in a camp.---------- Everything abruptly changes for Mags when men on white horses ride into the Pieter compound they take the lad with them so he can train to become a Herald Trainee. However, the adjustment proves nearly impossible as Mags is unable to deal with, comfort or attend classes at the Herald's Collegium as his world was bread, water and the mine. However his companion Dallen helps him somewhat adapt, but this may prove too late as Mags is pulled into dangerous political intrigues by the Heralds divided in many ways but especially between tradition of one on one training vs. a classroom however the former mine worker finds the schism beyond his understanding except he is an expert on survival.------------- This is a great Valdemar tale due to Mags who may not comprehend the ways of the Heralds or their dispute, but knows how to live through anything. The story line is especially fascinating during Mags¿ time with the Pieters as ignorance is bliss since he does not know of anything but mine living. When the Heralds take him away as a student, he is shocked to have a consistently filled stomach and a new reason to survive. Although the story line is a bit thin in comparison with all the action of previous saga entries, fans will relish Mercedes Lackey deep fantasy character study with its analogy to winning in Middle East starts with first feeding people, then teaching them to fish in order to win their stomach, mind and heart in that order.---------------- Harriet Klausner

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 18, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Loved it!

    This is a great book! The first in a new series about Valdemar, Companions, and Heralds. The main character (Mags) is very likable and easy to identify with. The other characters in the book are great too, espescially Dallen, his Companion! As you read, you feel as if you are also a part of the action.

    I definately would recommend this book to anyone who loves fantasy/adventure or to anyone who is a fan of Mercedes Lackey's Valdemar series

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  • Posted May 5, 2010

    Can't wait for the sequel

    I can't wait for the next book to come out to see what happens next. I love this series of books. They are fun adventure with out lots of blood and sex I can pass them to my grandkids with out worrying about content. Full of adventure and good characters.

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  • Posted April 24, 2010

    mixed feelings but great reading anyway

    My opinion is somehow biased, having read all of the "Valdemar" novels, so I was a little starving for any new stories set in this universe.

    As someone else already noted, the plot follows the usual cliche: someone gets rescued from a miserable setting by a Companion and is brought to the Collegium to be trained into being a Herald. It is a good introduction to this universe as any other novel starting its own story arc.

    It may be worth noting that in the novel there are the seeds for a mistery to be uncovered in the following books, as well as the story on how and why the Collegium was built and many references to the other novels, giving the regular readers a sense of consistency with the whole of the Valdemar milieu.

    Look forward reading the next books in the series.

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  • Posted April 17, 2010

    A wonderful new series

    Foundation is another wonderful addition to Mercedes Lackey's Valdemar books. It is set at the time of the founding of the Collegiums, when the Heralds, Bards, and Healers are just beginning to learn to work together to train the next generation of students. Though some of Lackey's recent books have been a little lacking, this book has the feel of her older works with vibrant characters, interesting plots, and intrigue. It gives the country of Valdemar a fresh feeling, as if we're discovering it for the first time. This book is a new favorite of mine, and I'm eagerly awaiting the sequel.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2010

    Wonderful easy read!

    absolutely loved can not waite for the next one.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 19, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Filling in the blanks in a hitorical fantasy series

    One always wonders how things got from here to there. Reading about the mythical kingdom of Valdemar evokes questions. As new books come forth, the author seems to create senarios which answer those questions. Here, Foundation delves into the past to fill in blanks.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 5, 2009

    Excellent

    This book is wonderful. It is an excellent read.

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  • Posted November 8, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    An Excellent Read

    Mercedes Lackey is one of the best. This book is a wonderful beginning to an earlier time in Valdemar. I eagerly look forward to many more like this one. Finding a good way to open earlier times could be hard for some writers. She does it with style!

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  • Posted April 14, 2009

    Loved It!

    I've been addicted to Mercedes Lackey since I was 10. I really enjoyed this book, I've missed the Valdemar universe and this was a welcome addition to my collection.

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  • Posted January 4, 2009

    FINALLY- MORE VALDEMAR!!!

    Great return to the valdemar universe. I can't wait for more books in this storyline(I am hoping trilogy as usual)

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  • Posted January 1, 2009

    Loved it!!

    I have been a long-time fan of Ms. Lackey and am thrilled to see her add to the Valdemar series with new characters and plots!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2008

    Can't wait for more

    Outstanding as usual. I'm looking forward to more of the same.

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  • Posted November 5, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Foundation by Mercedes Lackey

    I'm a Mercedes Lackey fan from way back. I devoured her 'Magic' trilogy and haven't looked back since. This is one fantasy author I continue to buy as soon as her books hit the shelf because I know the story will pull me in and have me cheering for the hero or heroine. Her newest "Foundation" is no exception and as a bonus, it's set in Valdemar!<BR/><BR/>Mags is an orphan who ended up in the hands of a greedy cruel mine owner as a baby. His work in those mines began as soon as he was old enough to stand and hasn't stopped since. The conditions are harsh and survival is the only thing Mags has ever known. Until the day a beautiful white horse arrives and 'claims' him.<BR/><BR/>Now, Mags is learning that the world is actually much bigger and much different than he could ever have dreamed. But his fears and lack of knowledge cause him to become a quiet observer of his new life. With the help of his Companion and a few new friends, Mags will needs all his old skills and the new ones he's learning to help foil a plot against Valdemar.<BR/><BR/>If you love animals, magic, and fantasy, you really owe it to yourself to read some Lackey's work. Her realm of Valdemar stories pull on all your emotions, and although the good guys win, it's not always without loss...just like real life. And some of her stories do include some topics that I wouldn't recommend for young children (in her first series, the hero is gay which is part and parcel of the plot), but older teens could certainly deal with her books. Wile her stories are fantasy, they also deal with many of the same things we all face in life (hopefully on a much smaller scale). Things like: fear, triumph, love, loss, death, war, peace, being different, cruelty, sacrifice, bravery, and courage in the face of impossible odds. I enjoyed her stories in my 20s, my 30s, and still now in my 40s. They are timeless and whichever world she uses, they still speak to living today.

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