Mercedes Lackey's Valdemar novel, EXILE'S VALOR (4), continues the adventures of Herald Alberich. Now Collegium weapons-master, Alberich finds his peacetime duties far more onerous than soldiering. Valdemar's queen, Selenay, is young and inexperienced, and Alberich takes on the role of her personal protector. What with political intrigue, foreign ambassadors, protecting the queen from the schemes of the Valdemaran Council—and from herself—Alberich has few free moments to untangle his own increasingly convoluted love life. Exciting, nonstop action and a likable, multilayered hero strengthen a typical heroic fantasy plot. Required reading for Lackey fans, this novel can stand alone but is far more enjoyable for those who've followed Alberich's tale from Exile's Honor. (Nov. '03, 402 pp., $24.95)

Reviewed by: 
Jen Talley Exum