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YMMV: Heralds of Valdemar
  • Complete Monster: See the Heralds of Valdemar page.
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: The series' habit of giving its protagonists Dark and Troubled Pasts can get quite wearying at times.
  • Foe Yay: Occurs between Vanyel and his enemies on several occasions, usually as part of a temptation to evil.
  • Fridge Brilliance: Why does Firesong become obsessed with a lifebond when the Mage Storms and their effect on the land are driving him insane? One of the other books reveal that lifebonds usually/often form when someone extremely powerful is in danger of going insane: the lifebond anchors them. As a Healing-Adept, it's probable that he subconsciously knew what was happening to him and what he needed - it's not made clear whether lifebonds are divine intervention, something the more powerful person does subconsciously, or both.
  • Ho Yay: Both in-universe and among fans, naturally. In universe, certain areas are quite prejudiced against homosexuality and the suggestion of it must be avoided by those wishing to remain un-lynched.
  • Mary Sue: Firesong really pushes Willing Suspension of Disbelief sometimes, being entirely too beautiful, the most powerful mage of his generation, having a special Bond Creature (a firebird), and being able to use a female Gender-Restricted Ability because he's "balanced his masculine and feminine natures." In The Mage Storms, this is downplayed and his more negative qualities get played up more.
    • It's clear that Firesong is deliberately trying to invoke this trope: one example is that he has a firebird because he bred/created it himself in order to show off. He also takes to the role of a showman very happily, and it's when his loved one starts to ignore him that he starts showing cracks. There are implications that he feels that he has to be special because he's descended from Vanyel and has to live up to that legacy & that his mother was very strict and demanding. It's need to be loved or for the mental stabilizing effect of a lifebond that nearly sends him over the Moral Event Horizon.
    • Talia, besides being (as noted below) The Woobie, is an arguable Sympathetic Sue: she's a misfit in her community, an abused child about to be forced at thirteen into an arranged marriage with a man old enough to be her grandfather; and when she runs away, she's rescued not only be a Companion, but by the Monarch's Own Herald's Companion.
  • Snark Bait: For some. In particular, Limyaael's Fantasy Rants often criticize the series.
  • Squick: Young Talia being forced to experience Companion Rolan's sexual encounters through their empathic bond.
  • Stop Helping Me!: Tarma's relationship with the aforementioned bard who follows her around.
  • What an Idiot: A tavern mistress explicitly hires Vanyel as the tavern bard because he's gay, and so he won't steal away her serving girls. Then she gets mad at him when he refuses to sleep with her on request.
  • The Woobie: A lot of the major characters, especially early on, start out this way. Vanyel and Talia are the most Anvilicious of the lot. (Vanyel never stops being one.)

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