Brightly Burning by Mercedes Lackey | Paperback | Barnes & Noble
Brightly Burning

Brightly Burning

4.5 92
by Mercedes Lackey

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His name is Lavan Firestorm, a young man blessed—and cursed—with a special talent for firestarting. His legend has haunted the darkest corners of Valdemar, yet the truth has never been told. Here, at last, is his story.


His name is Lavan Firestorm, a young man blessed—and cursed—with a special talent for firestarting. His legend has haunted the darkest corners of Valdemar, yet the truth has never been told. Here, at last, is his story.

Editorial Reviews

Affecting and compulsive reading.
Romantic Times
Lackey's Valdemar series is already a fantasy classic.
Rave Reviews
Spellbinding...she spins intricate webs of magicaladventure.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In the latest addition to the Valdemar fantasy series (Arrow's Fall; Winds of Fate), Lackey returns to the capitol city of Haven, where young Lavan Chitward has just arrived with his family. Although the move signals a higher Guild standing for his ambitious parents, Lan is very unhappy to leave his home. His misery increases when he is sent to merchants' school, where the oldest students use their job of keeping order as an excuse to bully and steal from the younger children. As Lan's fear and frustration grow, he begins suffering terrible headaches--and around him, things mysteriously start to catch fire. When at last the older boys push him too far, a huge conflagration erupts, killing four of the bullies. Lan is terrified by his newly discovered power, until he is chosen by the Companion Kalira, one of the magical horselike creatures who work with the Heralds of Valdemar. Kalira can control Lan's dangerous power, and this is vital, as Lan's power will be needed, for another war is brewing with the nearby Karsites. Lan must learn to channel his power and anger against the coming enemy without destroying his friends--or himself. This tale of adolescent anger and revenge is not only deeply disturbing but flawed by Lackey's unclear message about the destructive nature of rage and her careless attempt to work out what it means for Lan's closest friend to be of a different age, gender and species than Lan. (May) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
Lackey returns to Valdemar to spin the tale of a legendary Herald, Lavan Firestorm. Sixteen-year-old Lavan has moved very reluctantly into the city with his family, and he is desperately unhappy there. His parents enroll him at a Merchants' School. There he encounters torment and torture by the Sixth Formers, at whom the masters turn a blind eye so that they can control the other students. At last, his anger at the tormentors literally flares into a Gift—Lavan is a Firestarter. As he tries to deal with his Gift, he is chosen by Kalira, his Companion for life, and the two of them are quickly pushed toward training for the war that is brewing between the citizens of Valdemar and their archenemy, the Karsites. Lackey's kingdom of Valdemar is intriguing, and Lavan is a sympathetic character. Undersized, unhappy, and at odds with his parents, Lavan is a protagonist with whom young readers will quickly identify. Lavan's bond with the beautiful and wondrous Companion Kalira, his friendship with another trainee, Tuck, and his link to his Herald mentor, Pol, are all very satisfying relationships that allow Lavan to develop himself and his Gift, which he views more as a curse. This coming-of-age story is enthralling and satisfying. Fans of fantasy who are waiting impatiently for Philip Pullman's final installment of the His Dark Materials trilogy should select this title while they wait. Like Pullman's daemons, Companions are alluring creatures that seem ideal, and there are more than a dozen other Valdemar books from which to choose, such as Owlflight (DAW, 1997/VOYA December 1997) and Oathblood (1998/VOYA December 1998). VOYA CODES: 4Q 4P J S A/YA (Better than most, marred only byoccasional lapses; Broad general YA appeal; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12; Adult and Young Adult). 2000, DAW, 406p, $24.95. Ages 14 to Adult. Reviewer: Mary Ann Darby

SOURCE: VOYA, October 2000 (Vol. 23, No. 4)

Fans of the Heralds of Valdemar series will already be acquainted with the legendary Herald Lavan Firestorm, but will be anxious to learn the entire story. Lavan Chitward, a cloth maker's son, feels out of place in his family and has no desire to join the family trade. Unappreciated at home and beset by bullies at school, his misery and anger manifests itself, suddenly and violently, in a powerful and dangerous mental Gift: the almost uncontrollable ability to set fires with his mind. This Gift even frightens the Heralds, but everything happens for a reason: a war is about to start and Lavan's Gift will be desperately needed. But will he learn to control his power before it begins to control him? This is a great addition to the series, a page-turner for fans and newcomers alike. The b/w drawings at the beginning of each chapter are a nice enhancement, though they aren't as clear in the paperback as in the hardback. A must for all collections with the Valdemar series, and a good choice for all fantasy collections. (Heralds of Valdemar series) KLIATT Codes: JSA—Recommended for junior and senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 2000, DAW, 445p., $6.99. Ages 13 to adult. Reviewer: Deirdre B. Root; Ref. Libn., Middletown P.L., Middletown, OH , September 2001 (Vol. 35 No. 5)
Library Journal
Forced by his family to attend a private school for the children of Haven's guild families, Lavan Chitward hides his growing anger at the brutal discipline imposed by the older students until his fury erupts in a tragic display of psychic energy. The manifestation of his rare Gift--and the unexpected appearance of one of Valdemar's horselike Companions--marks him as a Herald and launches him on a one-way path to his destiny. In the latest in her popular Valdemar series, Lackey combines the intensity of a young man's agonized coming of age with a tale of love, honor, and sacrifice. Essential for series fans, this title belongs in most fantasy collections. Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.\
Kirkus Reviews
Another of Lackey's fantasy yarns set in Valdemar (Storm Warning, 1994, etc.), a magical kingdom where magic-powered Heralds bond for life with horselike Companions, now facing war with neighboring Karse. This time, Lackey tells the story of Lavan Chitward, whose middle-class, social-climbing parents enroll him in a ghastly private school, oblivious of his talent for magically setting fire to things. The boy will grow up to be the notorious Herald, Lavan Firestorm. Only Valdemar experts will be able to place this installment chronologically—or want to.

Product Details

Publication date:
Valdemar Series
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
4.19(w) x 6.75(h) x 1.25(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Mercedes Lackey is a full-time writer and has published numerous novels and works of short fiction, including the best-selling Heralds Of Valdemar series. She is also a professional lyricist and a licensed wild bird rehabilitator. She lives in Oklahoma with her husband, artist Larry Dixon, and their flock of parrots. She can be found at

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