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Today I want to tell you about the Palace-Collegia at Haven featured in many of Mercedes Lackey's books about Valdemar (a wonderful fantasy setting).
The Palace-Collegia is made up out of three different collegia:
First there is the Bardic Collegium.
Here the bards are being trained in their musical gifts. And let me tell you these bards aren't just any singing or musical instrument playing minstrel. They have a sort of magical gifts that make it possible to influence their audience, so next to their music lessons they are taught how to use their gift wisely.
Next up is the Healer's Collegium.
As you might guess this is the place that trains the healers.
And yes: Healers have a magical gift too that helps them in their healing.
And last but not least the Herald's Collegium.
Now this is were the real action is! Here the heralds are being trained. The heralds are very important to Valdemar, they are a lot of things: administrative overseers, dispensers of justice, information gatherers, even temporary military advisors. All in all they help rule the country and help to keep it safe. To help them in their task and to make sure they don't abuse their powers they are guided by a magical creature that takes the shape of a horse: the Companion. At the collegium the students learn how to do their job, how to bond with their Companion and if they have a special gift (like telepathy, empathy, firestarting and cool stuff like that) how to use that gift.
Each of these Collegia has it's own main building, but as there's lots of things that are important to learn for each of these three groups there are shared lessons too, like Weapon's Class, Court Manners and Survival among others.
All in all I really love this setting and the possibilities this setting gives. and best of all: Lackey knows just how to use it too! So if you like fantasy and this sounds appealing I can advice you to start reading about Valdemar in this order:
The Heralds of Valdemar trilogy:
- Arrows of the Queen
- Arrow's Flight
- Arrow's Fall
The Last Herald Mage Trilogy:
- Magic's Promise
- Magic's Pawn
- Magic's Price
There are many more books set in this world, so after you read and enjoyed these there are tons of other books you can read.