I'm a huge fan of Mercedes Lackey despite all the critics out there. She was the first fantasy author I ever read that used positive portrayals of gay and lesbian characters in her work. The Herald Mage Trilogy stars one of her most popular characters of all time, Vanyel Ashkevron. He was the first fantasy character I came across that seemed to understand some of the same feelings and issues I was dealing with as a teenager. He was surrounded by a vast array of supporting characters throughout those three books, and his aunt Savil Ashkevron was my favorite. I featured her back on 8/4/10 and she didn't seem to get that much attention. I wanted to give it one more try because she deserves all the attention she gets.
So for this post I wanted to talk about Savil Ashkevron, the tough Herald Mage who is Vanyel's Aunt and teacher. Savil, who never married or had children of her own, is fiercely protective of the Herald Mage trainees who are placed into her care. So when her overbearing brother sends her his oldest son who he can't make anything out of, Savil is at first annoyed by the intrusion of a spoiled brat into her well run home. Throughout the course of his stay however she, with the help of her young protegee who quickly falls in love with Vanyel, begins to realize that she has a very scared and emotionally oppressed young man on her hands but doesn't really know what to do about it.
When the relationship between Vanyel and Tylendel enters into a romantic relationship, Savil quickly learns to see what Tylendel has been sensing all along. She shelters the two young men and gives them a sanctuary to build their relationship together. And when that relationship ends in such a way that it leaves carnage everywhere you look, Savil steps up to save Vanyel from himself and others.
What I love about Savil the most, other than her gloriously overbearing and confident personality, is the fact that when she realized she couldn't give Vanyel what he needed to heal, she admitted defeat and took him to the people that could. I have mad respect for anyone who understand their limitations and is able to ask for help. For that request to come from someone who is such a strong character as Savil, makes it that much more meaningful.
Savil is that tough old broad that we all wish were in our lives. She speaks her mind but has a mind that is worth being heard. She gives advice, even the kind you never want to hear. But the best part of Savil and women like her, is the fact that once they give you their loyalty and friendship, it never waivers. Savil and all women like her will have your back and fight your fights for you if you can't. She is a fantastic character and I just hope that everyone will discover for themselves how great she is.