In Mercedes Lackey’s novels about the world of Valdemar, Heralds are people who are sort of like a specialized police for the realm. (Regular police would be personified in the group known as the Guard). Heralds are chosen by white horses called Companions. Generally, the people chosen by the companions have magic. In fact, most of the people in Valdemar who have magic are Heralds. Companions are not normal horses.what they are exactly, no one is quite sure. They are the ones who chose the Heralds and help protect the realm of Valdemar.Lavan Chitward has never thought of becoming a Herald. Instead, he has always yearned to join the Guard. His parents though, want him to follow in his father’s and elder brother’s footsteps and become a dye merchant. Lavan is not quite sure how to rebel against this-his family has just moved to the city from the country.
Slightly annoyed with their son, Lavan’s parents send him to the merchant’s school. There he learns much about being a merchant, and also that the lower grades are terrorized and bullied by the higher grades. Then one day, the bullies take it a little too far when bullying Lavan, and a mysterious fire breaks out, even though there had been no fire in the room.
Brightly Burning by Mercedes Lackey is one of the many Valdemar novels. Chronologically, the story takes place several hundred years before Valdemar’s “current” time and by the current time has become something of a legend. Well written, and interesting, this book is well worth the read.