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I am looking for a book I found in the library about 6 years ago. It was in tatters then, and the librarians didn't know it existed so I'm assuming it was pretty old.

It's high fantasy, and revolves around a (farm?) boy who is found to have some kind of powers (telekinesis / pyrokinesis as I remember.) He is found to have these abilities by the authorities, and goes to a place where people with the abilities are trained. There he meets his mentor (an elserly man) and his companion (in the shape of a horse, as all of them are), who he speaks telepathically to, and whom he loves dearly (souls bonded type of thing, each special person has one.)

The boy is non-violent (and not a soldier), but when a war breaks out all of the people trained like he is are required to go fight. He tries to negotiate peace (as I remember, this bit is a bit foggy) and doesn't want to harm his enemies, but they kill his companion. Driven mad by grief, he sits atop a hill and kills them all via pyrokinesis, taking great pleasure in watching them burn (this is said to be like ants under a magnifying glass, as I remember. Might just be how I saw it.) Using his powers so much kills him, leaving him drained of all life.

Unfortunately, this is all I can remember (which is why I'm having great difficulty finding it.) The library moved buildings, and had a lot of old books tossed out (don't even get me started.) They rebuilt the book listings after that, so I can't even look through their records (and the book is no longer there - both fantasy/scifi sections are small.) Hopefully someone else has read it...

The copy I had was around 300 pages, and had a green cover depicting a woodland forest theme.

Feel free to ask for more detail, but I doubt I'll know it.

  • Horse, or really a centaur? – Mr Lister Jan 23 '14 at 13:36
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    Telepathic horse companions bring to mind Mercedes Lackey's Valdemar books. – Kreiri Jan 23 '14 at 13:55
  • @MrLister, horse meaning looks like a horse (actually spiritual beings who appear like that, but I couldn't remember that at the time.) – Matthew M Jan 23 '14 at 15:12
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    Elebenty seven internets to @Kreiri, who put me on the right track: The answer is Burning Bright by Mercedes Lackey - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brightly_Burning. Much much appreciated. If you'd like to add it as an answer, I'll accept it. Didn't realise she was such a prolific writer - I have catching up to do. – Matthew M Jan 23 '14 at 15:12
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Telepathic horse companions bring to mind Mercedes Lackey's Valdemar books.

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Specifically, this is Brightly Burning, the tale of Lavan Firestorm.

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As per the description on Mercedes Lackey's website, his parents enroll Lavan in a special school where he is bullied by upperclassman, driving him to unleash his fire-summoning talents. He is found by a Companion, a spiritual being that takes the form of a horse and he trains to become a Herald when a war breaks out with Karse.

He doesn't want to fight, but after they kill his companion, he unleashes a firestorm that kills the army and scars the earth permanently, and is consumed in the flame himself.

Canadian Girl Scout has more details below.

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This is definitely a Mercedes Lackey novel with the telepathic Companion reference.

...his companion (in the shape of a horse, as all of them are), who he speaks telepathically to, and whom he loves dearly (souls bonded type of thing, each special person has one.)

Synopsis: (Spoiler)

The character is Lavan Chitward a.k.a. Lavan Firestorm and his Companion is named Kalira. Kalira helps the young boy to stabilize his thoughts and emotions, but when Kalira is struck down by an arrow, his control breaks and Lavan's gifts are unleashed upon the Karsite army. Lavan and Kalira are martyred in the conflict.

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Mercedes Lackey

Brightly Burning is the most likely match

it mostly matches although I think the companion choosing comes first then whatever gifts the herald has will manifest

  • Does this add anything to the existing answers above? – Rand al'Thor Jan 7 '16 at 12:05

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