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YMMV / Last Herald-Mage Trilogy

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  • Anvilicious: While few decent people would disagree with the story's Gay Aesop that homosexuals aren't all lecherous pedophiles, does it really need to pound the point in quite so hard in Magic's Promise?
    • Given the general attitudes towards Gays IRL at the time of publication (especially in the media), and towards Gays as portrayed in Valdemar and their neighbours at the time (it's heavily implied during the Collegium series, set several decades after LHM that Vanyel's open sexuality and outrageous heroics was responsible for a huge change in attitudes towards homosexuality)? Probably, yeah.
  • Fair for Its Day: Turning into this in terms of portrayal of homosexuals. Notably for the fact that almost all of them are Camp Gay to a degree and one of the "early signs" being a tendency to be more effeminate than straight male characters.
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  • Wangst: Of course, it's meant to be annoying to the other characters, but every once in a while Vanyel's self-pity risks stretching the reader's patience as well.
  • What an Idiot!: Valdemar, Vanyel and the entire Heraldic Circle firmly grasp the Idiot Ball by not realizing until too late that there is something seriously wrong with the rate at which they are losing Herald Mages. The casualties can be explained by the Karsite war but how did the Circle miss noticing that there were no new Herald Mage Trainees? What's worse is that the critical lack of Herald Mages is a major plot point but no one takes that logical leap.
    • Borders on WMG, but 'Master Dark' who is a reincarnation of Ma'ar, the Big Bad of not only the Gryphon trilogy, but just about everything is, to say the least, a very experienced campaigner as well as a very powerful wizard and extremely evil. Is it possible that he could send a 'confusion to my enemies' or 'don't see me doing evil stuff' spell to the Palace?
    • Could be explained at least partly because the Karsite war broke out. War has a way of occupying people's attention. Remember, at this point there is no Collegium with collected student records, and no staff member who can look them up and say 'Hey, has anyone else noticed that it's been awhile since we had any Chosen with the Mage-Gift?' Plenty of regular Chosen were still showing up, after all. Also, when Vanyel first showed up at the Palace, Savil and Jaysen both had three Trainees apiece; if the other Herald-Mages at the Palace were also teaching, it makes sense that no one having new Trainees would be noticed until after the current crop graduated. Remember, Master Dark was playing the Long Game to the extreme; while the problem of 'just a Herald' was already being talked about in Magic's Promise, there were still at least a few Herald-Mages being trained (Savil mentions that 'Jaysen's teaching three'), which was what, six or eight years before Magic's Price opened? (going by Medren's age, anyway)
  • The Heralds treatment of Tylendel is full of stupid missteps. He's a powerful Herald-Mage with a unique combination of Gifts at great power (implied to be second only to Vanyel himself) with a highly traumatic awakening (again second only to Vanyel), a problematic personality and ties to major conflict. What do they do when he's Chosen? They leave him alone with only Savil as a teacher, a Herald infamous for her prickly personality and No Social Skills. It's a wonder he managed to stay out of trouble for so long. Compare Tylendel with Talia, Lavan or (eventually) Vanyel who have more adult supervision, guidance and monitoring, appropriate for troubled teens with unusual powers.
    • Lavan is trained so carefully because the Heraldic Circle learned their damn lesson with Tylendel and Vanyel; not to mention that his teacher (who has a low-key version of the Superpower Lottery) is probably an example of "the Heralds with rare gifts tend to appear just before they're needed". Not to mention a huge part of Talia's second book is caused by her Gift going out-of-control because Empathy's so rare that no one in the Circle knew how to train it properly (and her teacher getting killed before she could mention to anyone but her wife that she wanted to get Talia further training from the Healers).
    • There's also the part where there is no Collegium at this point, and no Heralds getting specifically trained as teachers; Heraldic training is a matter of one-on-one mentoring. The Collegium chronicles are about Mags and his being part of one of the first year-levels of the Collegium, and even in the first book his initial mentor says that they're still working out the kinks and some of the older Heralds are having some trouble with the new methods - in the second book, it's mentioned that Bardic Collegium doesn't have their own classroom building yet. Now remember that this takes place quite some time after Vanyel's death.

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