Creator / Mercedes Lackey
is a prolific author of fantasy
and Urban Fantasy
literature, as well as a lyricist, songwriter, and filk singer
. She started out as a fanfic
She sometimes writes with other authors, including her husband, Larry Dixon, who also illustrates her work.
When not creating, Lackey works as a wild bird rehabilitator in Oklahoma, and owns several parrots. Falconry and other avian pursuits, as well as equestrianism, are therefore common themes in her work
She was also an avid player of City of Heroes
, devoting a lot of time and effort to saving the game from cancellation.
A very incomplete list of her works includes:
- Numerous books, organized into trilogies, sub-series, and stand-alone novels, in a fantasy world of her own devising named Velgarth; most of them focus on the kingdom of Valdemar and its allies. Called the Heralds of Valdemar series on this wiki, for lack of a better term. In roughly in-universe chronological order:
- The Mage Wars trilogy, which describes events in the prehistory of the setting.
- The Last Herald-Mage Trilogy
- The Collegium Chronicles and The Herald Spy, the most recently published series.
- Brightly Burning, a standalone novel detailing the story of Lavan Firestorm, a historical character mentioned in the Arrows trilogy.
- The Vows and Honor series, two novels and a collection of short stories featuring Tarma and Kethry, based on Lackey's earliest published works.
- Exile's Honor and Exile's Valor, two prequel novels about a defector who becomes Valdemar's Weaponsmaster.
- To Take a Thief, a prequel novel about a street thief-turned-Herald. Forms a rough trilogy with the Exile books.
- The Arrows trilogy, the first published novels set in Valdemar proper.
- By The Sword, a novel linking Vows and Honor with the main Valdemaran series.
- The Mage Winds trilogy
- The Mage Storms trilogy
- The Darian's Tale or Owl trilogy
- Several albums of music, mostly inspired by Valdemar:
- Heralds, Harpers and Havoc (1988): Songs inspired by the Arrows trilogy.
- Magic, Moondust, and Melancholy (1989): Includes two songs related to the Vows and Honor/By the Sword books.
- Oathbound (1990): Songs from the book of the same name.
- Oathbreakers (1991) likewise
- Shadow Stalker (1994): Songs from The Last Herald Mage.
- By the Sword (1994): Songs from the book of the same name.
- Lovers, Lore, and Loss (1995): More songs about the Arrows trilogy.
- Owlflight (2000): Based on the Owl trilogy.
- Sun and Shadow (2000): Songs about the legendary Sunsinger and Shadowdancer.
- Four Urban Fantasy series, all of which take place in the same universe:
- The Diana Tregarde series, three horror/urban fantasy novels featuring romance novelist/magical Guardian Diana Tregarde.
- The SERRAted Edge books, involving elves, car racing, and lots of child abuse.
- The Bedlam's Bard books, which follow the development of a very powerful Bard; he also associates with elves a lot.
- The Elizabethan series The Doubled Edge, which is the backstory of the elven politics in the Serrated Edge and Bedlam's Bard series, and is a retelling of the life of Queen Elizabeth from her birth to her crowning, and her association with the elves.
- The Elemental Masters series, about hidden mages in post-Victorian England (with one set in California). These are based somewhat loosely on fairy tales.
- The Fairy Tales series, which are retellings of not-in-the-common-lexicon mythological stories.
- The Dragon Jousters novels: A series involving a world based on Bronze Age Egypt, where persons who can tame and ride the wild dragons of the land are sort of the ultimate weapon. The main character is a dragon tamer named Kiron (AKA Vetch). Novels in this series:
- Joust (2003)
- Alta (2004)
- Sanctuary (2005)
- Aerie (2006)
- Bardic Voices, a fantasy series about a group called "The Free Bards," essentially the non-union alternative to their world's Bardic Guild; some of them also have Magic Music. This was based on her writing the novelization of the original Bard's Tale video game; she wanted to expand on the Magic Music idea.
- Sacred Ground, about a Cherokee and Osage private investigator Jennifer Talldeer, who as an apprentice shaman is known as Kestrel-Hunts-Alone.
- If I Pay Thee Not in Gold, co-written by Piers Anthony, about a world whose magic powers change hands and natures every few generations, just long enough for most people to forget that society was ever different. Those with the magic of course make the rules, and in the heroine's country it's in the hands of women, hence a matriarchal society where most men are slaves. There are other magical races as well, including a race of "demons" who change gender when they have sex, and die if their partner is unfaithful.
- The Obsidian Trilogy, a fantasy trilogy done in conjunction with James Mallory about a coming war with demons. Later they released The Enduring Flame Trilogy, set a thousand years later. Currently they are writing the Dragon Prophecy Trilogy, about Elven Queen Vielissiar Faricarnon, mentioned in the previous trilogies as the first to face demons in battle and bond with a dragon. The first book is the only one out so far.
- Tales of the Five Hundred Kingdoms, a romantic series set in a world governed by the Tradition, a magical force that causes certain people's lives to follow folkloric motifs (Cinderella, Snow White, etc.) Much of the humor and conflict arises from the fact that the protagonists are often aware of the Tradition, and the truly skilled can deliberately invoke whichever tale or aspect of a tale will help them out of a tight spot.
- Wing Commander: Freedom Flight (with Ellen Guon), the first novel based on the Wing Commander franchise. One of her few licensed novels, and the only one which stuck closely to the themes of the original game (the remainder, written primarily by a well-known military fiction author and conservative pundit, veer far more toward traditional Military Science-Fiction).
- The Halfblood Chronicles (with Andre Norton), a fantasy trilogy.
- The Heirs of Alexandria, a Historical Fantasy series with Eric Flint and Dave Freer.
- The Ship Who Searched (with Anne McCaffrey)
- Gwenhwyfar: The White Spirit: her take on Arthurian legend, told from the perspective of Arthur's queen.
- Shadow Grail series with Rosemary Edghill, about Spirit White, a teenager who has lost her family in an accident and is sent to Oakhurst Academy, where all the students have magical powers.
- Legends of Red Sonja: Contributor to a comic book anthology celebrating Red Sonja's 40th anniversary.
- The One Dozen Daughters: A fantasy series written with James Mallory about twelve princesses from a tiny kingdom that can't afford twelve royal dowries, so they must all leave the country to seek their own fortunes on their eighteenth birthday. The first book, about the oldest princess Clarice, is out so far.
- Secret World Chronicle: A series inspired by City of Heroes, about a world where superheroes are common seeking to stop an invasion of supervillains from another world.
- She has contributed short stories to the 1632 Shared Universe, including one that started fleshing out the character Tom Stone, who becomes much more prominent as the series continues.
- Hunter, her latest book in what promises to be a series, of a dystopian future Earth, where otherwordly creatures, most with some basis out of various myths and legends, appear and attack the world (most likely due to some Christians setting off a nuke in attempt to kickstart the Apocalypse). Hunters, or those born with some kind of magic, are recruited and trained by the capital, Apex City, to fight the monsters, known as Othersiders, with the aid of their Hounds, supernatural creatures that allied with the humans. The book focuses on a young Hunter named Joyeaux Charmand.