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Last Updated: Wednesday 19th July, 1995

Why do people like reading Mercedes Lackey?

Jerry Cullingford ( [reviews page maintainer] 1995:

I asked people on the Mercedes Lackey mailing list why they liked reading Misty's books, and the following points came up:

I like the books because there's a good background, the stories are interesting, Misty makes you care about the characters, and they're fun to read. The fact that Misty manages to encourage tolerance along the way - and without ramming the message down your throat, showing rather than telling - is icing on the cake, and a tribute to her considerable skill. Misty's characters are people you empathise with, and care about, and she's one of the best authors I've come across in that respect.

If you can judge an author by their fans, I have to say that the people on the Mercedes-Lackey mailing list are a great bunch - anyone that can attract fans like these must be good :-).

And her music is excellent, too.


Here are some of the comments I got:


If you've read some of the books, why not mail me your comments (see below), and let people know what YOU think about them?

Rhonda Rodriguez 1995:

I read Misty's Valdemar books (I stay away from the others because I don't like fantasy set in modern times) for the same reason I read fantasy in general - to escape. Valdemar is an extremely well-developed world and it has only become richer with time. The plots might be a tad predictable, but there's only 37 plots in existence anyway that are just redone time and time again, or something like that. For the most part, her characters are sympathetic and interesting. I love the Companions, and I LOVE the magic. Especially the mind-magic. I have always believed that "real" people are capable of such mind-maguc if we tried hard enough. I also like most of the dialogue and I applaud Misty's open mind concerning homosexuality and religion. Mostly, I like Valdemar because it is truly a world of imagination, different from anything we as readers have experienced. Like Anne McCaffrey's Pern, I find it thrilling to envision the lives these people lead, and wish I could have such a life, if only for a day.

Is that a good Web entry, Jerry?

Wind To Thy Wings - Rhonda Rodriguez :)

[Yes, I reckon it is - Jerry]

Matt J 1995:

I was intoduced to Misty throught the LHM. Being a gay male (as if most of you didn't know that already!) and going throught some hard times at that point in my life a friend gave me the set and said here read this. Now keep in mind that I did not read sci fi fantasy on a regular basis.

During the course of reading LHM, I cried, and among other things, became hooked on Misty! She is the first author that I had come across that treated life as life with all its little diferences and saying that its ok to be different and have different views. I really admire that in her works.

Matt J

Iris 1995:

I may not express this well, and I hope that nobody will get offended with this, but I wanted to bring up this point.

I grew up in a small town, and never came across the idea of homosexuality until I was a teenager. So naturally (I think that's fairly natural :) I found the idea strange and bizarre.

And never having met anyone gay, I never had a chance to change this opinion. Then I met one person who was gay, seemed like a super sweet guy, who was married to his male lover. You'll have to understand that this just blew me away. I figured, he's really nice. He must be a very unusual gay person. Sorry folks! We often fear that which is different. And nothing could be more different to my upbringing. I was brought up with the understanding that one went to school, got a job, got married, and had 2.5 kids. Period. No questions. No changes. Let's just say I grew up in a real small town, in an extremely conservative part of the world.

And I faithfully held onto my prejudices Then I encountered Misty's books. And felt Vanyel's pain growing up, meeting 'Lendel, falling in love. And my attitude flipped upside down.

Having read these, I recently picked up Gael Baudino's Gossamer Axe, on the recommendation of this list. And because of this experience with Misty, was able to utterly enjoy the book, regardless of the gay characters, and realize once and for all, that love is love, regardless what shape it takes. Even though I will always be straight, I can now see homosexuality as just another form of love. It's still a little odd to me, but I've definitely gotten over this nasty little attitude of prejudice.

In other words, Misty changed my life! Or at least one of my attitudes.

Did books have similar effects on other people? If so, what was the attitude, and what book changed it?


Joan Ferguson 1995:

On June 13, 1995, Iris said:

In other words, Misty changed my life! Or at least one of my attitudes.
The best part about Misty's books for me is realizing that she really does influence people to this degree - and while you can't lump every gay/lesbian person under one character, she does an excellent job of defining the characters she does create to the point of true recognition (even for people who aren't gay/lesbian!) and empathy. I found that the effect of fantasy lit. as a whole was a truly astounding thing - I discovered that there were these other *worlds*, created by people a whole bunch more talented than me (grin), where I could be immersed and entertained and learn something new. That's why I read fantasy, and Misty in particular - I find that most "literature" is *too* close to reality, and I need a break from that. I do read all of her stuff, including the "modern day" books - I think I just love the way she writes, and crafts her characters, and creates her own worlds, even in the one that can be called "ours." Having grown up in a rather liberal home, and being a lesbian, I never "discovered" that homosexuals were "normal" - they were people like me, and I consider myself pretty OK :)
Scya 1995:

(Delurking long enough for a response)

I like reading Misty because:

Misty writes stories about characters...those with real feelings for which everything doesn't go right or wrong but somewhere closer to reality where things go partially right with unexpected circumstances or creating situations caused from misunderstandings. Her work is not always predictable where others are. She offers the opportunity for people to broaden their horizons without shoving their nose in it.

My couple cents worth anyway!

Gyrfalcon 1995: Why do YOU read Misty?

I'm not really sure but being an avid sci-fi/fantasy fan, I couldn't resist when I saw the trilogy of Arrows books rubberbanded together on the shelf of a used-bookstore. I bought them and immediatly fell in love w/ Velgarth. Immediatly hooked. I can honestly say that I suffer from a slight case of bleeding heart romanticism. But I honestly can say I felt for the characters. Any author that can bring any emotion to the surface through writing is one that I'll keep reading. Oh well, I've rambled enough. Who's next?


'Little Witch' A Freitas 1995:

Because I love horses, and she has strong gay characters with decent personalities, as well as straight ones.

I was immensely relieved to find Misty's books - they have strong gay characters and they act like real people. It is incredibly difficult to find gay people in books, though not as much so in sci-fi and fantasy. Since I'm gay, it was nice to find some characters that I could relate to, instead of the usual straight and ordinary ones. A friend of mine said she did not understand how anyone could read these books and still not understand that love is love, whatever color, whatever gender. You don't fall in love with a gender or a color or a religion. You fall in love with a PERSON. As a gay person, it is nice to see gay people treated as just that, people, for once, in books - and not treated as if there was some whole ISSUE going on. It's just a story, get on with it, you know? Misty does this very well, I think.


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Jerry Cullingford