Magic’s Pawn by Mercedes Lackey
Magic’s Pawn is the first book in The Last Herald-Mage Series written in 1989.
Discussed this episode
- One of the first openly gay characters in science fiction/fantasy. Vanyel, the protagonist of the book is openly gay; but do to the marketing and era, you have to read the book in order to find out that Vanyel is in fact gay. Lackey pushes the genre forward and incorporates representation of a gay characters all under the radar enough to not — in the real world — obtain negative marketing.
- Plot Overview: A wandering plot through three novellas.
- A coming of age story as Vanyel finds himself. His dream of becoming a bard, and then failing. And his finding of Tylendel and falling in love.
- Vanyel finding happiness at court with his secret lover, Tylendel.
- The aftermath of a the horrible death of Tylendel. Vanyel’s world is turned upside down, and horribly ruined as Tylendel dies and Vanyel must find his own way through the world. The last act follows Vanyel as he slowly heals and discovers his newly unlocked powers.
- Plot discussion: the wondering plot, which is characteristics of this era of science fiction/fantasy. The death of Tylendel occurs at the middle of the book, but it wonders afterward and doesn’t peak as dramatically.
- 11/22 – 2021 Hugo Award for Short Story Nominees
- 12/6 – The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker
- 12/20 – And then there were n-1 by Sarah Pinsker – read to the novella here
Podcast: Play in new window | Download