Awesome / Heralds of Valdemar

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     The Arrows Trilogy 

Arrows of the Queen
  • Ylsa goes out like a badass, killing at least a few of her assailants and saving Valdemar from usurpers.
  • The finale, when multiple Heralds combine their Gifts to salvage proof of treason.
  • Sherrill and Keren diving into the river, during winter, to save Talia's life.

Arrow's Flight
  • Talia at the book's climax: after spending most of the book in a spiraling descent of self-doubt over the ethical uses of her gift of Empathy, she weaponizes it to give an incredibly, exquisitely, appropriate punishment to a man who abused, raped and killed his stepdaughter/s.
  • While she's stuck in the northern forest, Talia's Gift is about to break out of control, and the forest is about to strike. Rolan silently challenges the forest as if to say, "Don't you dare." At the same time, Talia regains control of her Gift, and whatever was about to attack vanishes in surprise. What was about to attack? The spirit of Yfandes, a legendary Companion bound to the forest along with her Herald.
Arrow's Fall
  • Talia, simply for surviving Ancar and Hulda's torture long enough to be sure that Rolan got to the Queen with the vital intelligence, then planning ahead for and retaining enough willpower to kill herself, to both spare herself more pain and as a final psychological 'fuck you' to Ancar and Hulda, to deny them them triumph of having killed her. To clarify: she willingly endures a full day of torture after being gang-raped and while suffering PTSD from not only watching one of her best friends die but Empathetically experiencing the slaughter of dozens. At the end of that day it's clear to Ancar and Hulda that now matter how she's suffered, she hasn't broken.
  • Dirk, Elspeth, their Companions and Rolan mind-melding their powers and strength to rescue Talia from her captivity.
  • Elspeth gets another during the confrontation with Lord Orthallen. When he goes berserk and attacks Talia - who is too injured to fight off anything larger than a bug - no one is close enough to reach him in time. Except Elspeth, who kills him with a throwing knife in about a breath, and retains the presence of mind to claim Royal Authority to cover her ass legally. Then holds back the post-kill-reaction sufficiently to ask to be taken to a basin instead of just throwing up in the corner.

    Brightly Burning 
  • Kalira jumping in front of Guardsmen's spears to protect her Chosen.
  • The ending, when Lavan almost literally goes nuclear, in his grief at Kalira's murder. He retains barely enough presence of mind to wait just long enough for his allies to run hellbent for leather, then obliterates an entire Army. He scorches White Foal Pass down to bedrock, and terrifies the Karsites (including a priesthood that routinely raises Demons) so thoroughly that they don't even sneeze at Valdemar for a couple of generations. It's a Crowning Moment of Awesome in the sense of 'inspiring awe', where 'awe' is the archaic term for 'dread, fear or reverence.'

    The Herald-Mage Trilogy 
  • Gala taking on the pack of wyrsa.
  • "No."
  • Tylendel apologizing through Stefen to Vanyel and admitting his mistakes.
  • By Magic's Price, Savil is old and physically quite frail but still has enough cunning and energy to not make it easy for her killer, which does help Vanyel avenge her.
  • Though we know what happens to Vanyel by the end of the trilogy, true to form, he makes his end an epic one. Turns out that the Final Strike made by one of history's most powerful mages supported by a Companion can take out an entire army and reduce the surrounding area to a crater.

     The Exile Duology 
  • Alberich going from the bastard of a tavern girl to a ranking officer in the Karsite military to Valdemaran Herald, Weaponsmaster, spymaster, royal adviser, bodyguard, and mentor, while remaining a faithful follower of Vkandis and son of Karse, (as recognized by his own god.).
  • Myste, who is visually impaired, clumsy, useless in a fight, and knows it, is quite sensibly terrified of being on the battlefield. She nevertheless serves as Selenay's banner-carrier, and when Selenay attempts to follow King Sendar's suicidal charge at the front lines, she tackles Selenay off of her Companion and literally sits on her for the duration of the battle. This despite breaking her ankle in the process.


Finding the Way
  • Samira facing her swindler in court.
    "I am willing to testify under Truth Spell. Is he?"

  • In "Demonbane", Vanyel protects a band of Karsite refugees from Lord Nedran, refusing his threats and bribery and utterly destroying the forty soldiers that serve him.
    The wizard shouts in triumph- too soon he vents his mirth-
    For Vanyel calls the lightning down, and smites him to the earth!