Saturday, March 4, 2017

No true way: All-new tales of Valdemar edited by Mercedes Lackey

For more than twenty years Mercedes Lackey has been leaving readers enthralled, spell bound, emotionally invested, and heart broken with her stories set in Valdemar and the other lands of Velgrath.  It is a world with a rich and long history, and readers have been introduced to hundreds of characters over the years - some fleetingly and in passing, while others we have gotten to know intimately in life and in death. 

It is a world where you might find yourself Chosen by a Companion, spending your life serving King, Queen and Country as a Herald.  Equally important are the Healers and Bards that use their own gifts to help the people of Valdemar and beyond - some of whom have met truly sad ends.  In No true way we cross paths with characters that we have already met through the novels written by Mercedes Lackey, and we are introduced to other characters through stories penned by authors that are growing the legends of Valdemar. 

It is unusual for an author to open their creation to other writers, and while there is the occasional sour note with some of the stories, there are also some truly remarkable and thoroughly enjoyable stories as well.  The best part about a short story anthology is that you can pick and choose what you read, so the book can last for days or hours - depending on how much you want to read!

Some of the highlights of this anthology are:

Vixen by Mercedes Lackey
Healers are usually known for their warmth and compassion, but Vixen is known for her sharp tongue - to the point that no one remembers that Vixen is a nickname and not her actual name!  She has carefully remained distant from the people around her, but that distance is challenged when danger threatens people she cares about.

Forget me never by Cedric Johnson
A young Bardic student is always overlooked and forgotten - so she abandons her education and steps out into the world on her own, and into an unforgettable adventure.

A brand from the burning by Rosemary Edghill and Rebecca Fox
One day Solaris will become the Son of the Sun, but when she was a child she saw how power and faith can be corrupted - and that sometimes you have to do the wrong thing to make things right.

Consequences unforeseen by Elizabeth A.Vaughan
A young widow travels to her late husbands lands, only to discover that her new people need her to do more than rule - they need her to save them.  She will need all her wits and skills to save them from ruin and starvation.

Reviewed by Brilla

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