Author: Mercedes Lackey
Review by: CL5 Beryl
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Exile's Honor is a story of duty, and our own perceptions of that term. Alberich, the main character, is devoted to Karse, but is condemned to die by its Sunpriests. That's when he is Chosen by Kantor, a Companion of Valdemar. Kantor rescues Alberich from the fires of his own people and brings him over the border into Valdemar. Alberich has been taught all his life that the Heralds of Valdemar are evil and that their Companions are demons. Now he finds himself faced with the good in what he has always believed was evil.
We are shown, in beautiful clarity, the conflicts of honor and of a man who is devoted to his people and country, if not their government, his religion if not its priests. The focus is on the hardships of a man who no longer seems to belong anywhere - cast out of his homeland and taken in by the people who it has been at war with for many generations.
The details are as well-worked as the plot. Everything, from the tension of waiting for war to the syntax with which Alberich speaks, is exact and adds precision to the "reality" of the situation.
Mercedes Lackey tells this story with the same tactful talent she has used for so many other books. Not only does Alberich value honor, he tries to understand it for himself. He sees that honor is not following blindly what you have been told is honorable, but rather going beyond that restriction and finding the truth.
Title: Exile's Honor