I am currently reading my way through a long list of science fiction and fantasy titles. (http://www.npr.org/2011/08/07/138938145/science-fiction-and-fantasy-finalists if you are interested in the list).
The final chapter in Mercedes Lackey's spellbinding fantasy trilogy! The Herald-Mage, Vanyel, and his Companion, Yfandes, are alone responsible for saving the once-peaceful kingdom of Valdemar from the forces of a master who wields a dark, forbidding magic. And if either Vanyel or Yfandes falters, both Valdemar and its Herald-Mage must pay the ultimate price.
If I had been paying attention to the series title (and the title of this volume), I would have had a better idea of where this book was headed! I suppose you could interpret the ending as a sad one—in my opinion, the results were unavoidable and unsurprising.
I was fond of Vanyel as a character. Lackey has written more books sent in Valdemar, but I’m not sure that I’ll continue on without him. I was glad to see him get a new love interest in Stefan and squeeze in a bit of happiness around his duties. I found that his personal life difficulties were realistic. However, his being the be-all and end-all of all government duties in Valdemar seemed a little over the top. No one should be that indispensable in the day-to-day running of any endeavor!
This is Book No. 281 in my Science Fiction and Fantasy Reading Project. I also used it to fulfill the 2018 PopSugar challenge (the prompt for a book with a gay protagonist).