Burning Brightly – Mercedes Lackey

Lavan Firestorm is a Herald mentioned in passing in the main Valdemar books, having been the last person before the present day of that world to have the Firestarting gift.    This book is the story of how he discovered his gift, and became a Herald.    It’s not a pleasant story, because Lavan was severely bullied, and that brought out his gift in a way that would scar him forever.

I did read this book a while ago, when I was new to the Valdermar stories, so it was technically a reread, but it took me a while to recognize that I had read the story before.     I think this is because this is a very typical tale of the bullied child that lashes out at his bullies, for good or ill.    This time around, I was struck by how quickly this story goes.     Though there is some lovely detail about Lavan’s home life, and then his life at the Herald’s Collegium, there is a definite overarching tale here, and it’s paramount to Lavan’s story.    Lavan will earn the name Firestorm, and the story marches to that inevitable end.


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