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Herald Spy Books In Order

Publication Order of Herald Spy Books

Closer to Home (2014) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Closer to the Heart (2015) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Closer to the Chest (2016) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Herald Spy by Mercedes Lackey is a series of fantasy novels by one of the best writers in the genre. Lackey was born in Chicago in 1950 and went to Purdue University in 1972. During the 70s she went on to work as a model for an artist, before she got a job with American Airlines in Tulsa Oklahoma. In addition to writing fantasy, she has also dabbled in lyric writing and has more than fifty songs written for a small recording company known as Firebird Arts & Music. She is best known for the “Valdemar” series of novels which feature the interaction between non-human and human characters from different social mores and cultures. Her fictional worlds are full of vampires, mages, elves, and other mythical creatures. She has also reworked several well-known fairy tales to include magic that is hidden from the ordinary world. Most of her novels are an exploration of social class, gender roles, and ecology. She is one of the most prolific writers in fantasy and science fiction with more than 140 titles to her name.

Lackey was first introduced to science fiction when she was about 10 or 11 years old when she found a dog eared copy of “Agent Vega” by James H. Schmitz in her father’s drawer. She went on to read “Lord of Thunder” and “Beast Master” by Andre Norton, which made her interested in writing similar works of fiction. She started writing fantasy but without any real purpose or direction until she went to study English Literature at Purdue University. Her professor who turned out to be a lover of science fiction and fantasy helped her hone her analysis and writing skills that she would apply in her later writing career. But it was not until she encountered fan fiction and started publishing her work in such forums that she knew she could write. She currently writes full time from her home in Tulsa, Oklahoma where she lives with her husband Larry Dixon.

“The Herald Spy series are cozy mystery style novels that follow a pair of Heralds of Valdemar – Mags, and Amily. They are a husband and wife team but are also tasked with keeping the Valdemar kingdom safe. Mags used to be a child slave though he is trained in a range of occupations such as spycraft, war and fighting, and horse riding. He is also well trained in sharing and flirting, and courtly mannerisms though he sometimes defaults to the less desirable mannerisms of his childhood. Amily his wife is of a different sort since she was raised in court as the daughter of Kyril the King’s Herald. Her gift is Animal Mindspeech, which while quite small turns out to be really useful in a range of situations. While they are both broken people they manage to use their different skills and gifts to do their investigative jobs to the king’s satisfaction. They are typically on standby such that they are called in to investigate problems when they arise, find the enemy and eliminate or stop them.

“Closer to Home”, the first novel of The Herald Spy series is the novel that introduced Mags and Amily. Mags started out as an enslaved orphan who was living as a miner until he was discovered by the King’s Own Herald. He noticed that he had a talent for investigations and had him undergo training as a spy. He is now a highly qualified Herald and at the Collegium, he has his Companion Dallen and a ton of friends that he now considers family. With his career going so well, he has bought a house and trained and recruited street urchins that work for him among the high born. He uses them to scout for trouble and relay back messages when they find anything suspicious or important. Amily is the daughter of the King’s Own Herald Kyril, who had recruited Mags. She has not yet managed to join the Collegium and is a little disappointed though she has been honing her own gift that makes it possible for them to take over a beast’s mind and see through their eyes. This combined with Mags network becomes very important when two families that have a feud come into Haven for the Midwinter festivals. But suddenly her father escapes death by a whisker and she becomes the King’s Own herself after being Chosen by her father’s Chosen Rolan. It is not an easy job but with the support of Rolan and that of her father, she learns the ropes fast and becomes a highly effective investigator.

“Closer to the Chest” the third novel of The Herald Soy series is a novel featuring Herald Mags, who is working as an investigative spy alongside the King’s Own Herald and the love of his life Herald Amily. Mags network of clandestine spies is up and running and operating not only in the streets of the city but also in the living rooms and kitchens of the highborn and wealthy. With his many personas, he can spy the alleys and the court alike to keep the kingdom and the capital city Haven safe. Not to be outdone, his lover Amily has also set up her own network of observers stationed in different homes of the wealthy all across the kingdom. It is not long before their messengers report that there is a plot afoot that may take the kingdom into a very dangerous political situation. But Amily has other problems as she learns that many still consider her father and not her to be the real King’s Own and not her. But then she thinks she can use this to her advantage. Someone has gotten hold of the secrets of the Collegium and the women of the court and is using it to bully and terrorize them. Just who could it be? A member of the Collegium, a member of the Sethor Sect or a disgruntled servant. They need to take action to stop him before he executes his nefarious plot of terror and murder.

“Closer to the Heart” the second novel of the series starts with a high society royal wedding but soon things go haywire. A messenger arrives from the neighboring kingdom bearing bad news about an impending war. A rebel force is preparing to attack and somehow has been getting weapons from Valdemar. Neither the Council, the Treasury nor King Cyril knows anything about. Amily and Mags are used to investigating notable feuding families but this is not only different but something that could have significant repercussions. Mags goes undercover and travels to the mining region of Valdemar to find some answers about the source of the arms and who is providing the money to buy them. Meanwhile, Amily will be looking for information at court while also doing some diplomacy. They do not have much time and Mags needs to put all his training as a servant of the highborn into use while Amily will have to bring all her guile and wit to find any leads in the city. They find the leads which turn out to be useless, until the people they seek kidnap the duo, and they realize just how deep the conspiracy runs.

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