Spencer, IA 51301
Dear Mercedes Lackey:
I was younger, I lost more than I could have imagined. My parents divorced. My
dad disappeared off the face of the planet, and my mom was always away at work.
I fought with my brother and thought I was the only kid in the world who knew
what it was like to hurt. I started to change; acting
like didn't have a care in the world. I almost
never took things seriously and the people I established as "friends"
were more like faces that
could float around me and never actually touch me.
It was Vanyel's flock of people at Haven.
was probably ten when I first read your book, Magic's Pawn. Throughout the book I kept finding I was able to relate to
Vanyel on an emotional level.
Always, I was feeling alone
and that no person or thing could ever make me feel truly happy again. I'd like to believe I was never arrogant, at least not as
much as Vanyel was, but I hid behind a mask. When
Tylendel died it felt exactly like when my dad left and I began to cry. I came
to the same realization that Vanyel did a little before the end of the book. I realized I was being a spoiled brat. I thought what I wanted was to be left alone. I figured my
family only put up with me. I mean if they really wanted to take care of me and
make me happy, they wouldn't have gotten a divorce, right? I really only wanted attention. When I reflected on my actions over the years I felt bitter
disgust. The reason my mom and my brother were
giving me space was because that was what I kept telling them and myself. That
should have proved their love and respect for me. At
one point my brother tried to make me realize I was being selfish. At first, I
didn't understand what he was telling me, and I said
mean things to him. When we were separated for half a year,
I understood. I was both embarrassed and nervous. Then I finished your book.
Magic's Pawn made me realize that I'm not the only person in the world that suffers from loss. It changed
my view of self and people around me and gave me advice on how to greet my
brother. When I apologized, his reaction couldn't have been any more like the one Moondance gave Vanyel; he'd forgiven me before I even had to ask. My family relationships have greatly improved. Instead of making things difficult for my family, claiming that
they never really cared about me, I came to respect them more than I ever had
before. I felt empty when my dad left, small bits of me still haven't healed, but I have other family to help me with that painful loss. I
know it can never completely heal, but I also know I'm not alone. I don't have to face the pain on
my own, or run away from it,
both of which I had been
doing. I came to see the people I called friends as human beings as well. They no longer feel like they're just faces that I can both
ignore and interact with at my leisure. Some of them left me, as I feared, but
some of those people stayed,
like Mardic and Donni for
Vanyel, and helped me become the person I am
today. For that, I am grateful. Without your book, I would still be the old Vanyel, and never be happy like I am now.