Pathways: All-New Tales of Valdemar Edited by Mercedes Lackey : Review

 

The Heralds of Valdemar are the kingdom’s ancient order of protectors. They are drawn from all across the land, from all walks of life, and at all ages—and all are Gifted with abilities beyond those of normal men and women. They are Mindspeakers, FarSeers, Empaths, ForeSeers, Firestarters, FarSpeakers, and more. These inborn talents—combined with training as emissaries, spies, judges, diplomats, scouts, counselors, warriors, and more—make them indispensable to their monarch and realm. Sought and Chosen by mysterious horse-like Companions, they are bonded for life to these telepathic, enigmatic creatures. The Heralds of Valdemar and their Companions ride circuit throughout the kingdom, protecting the peace and, when necessary, defending their land and monarch.

Now, twenty-three authors ride with Mercedes Lackey to her magical land of Valdemar, adding their own unique voices to the Heralds, Bards, Healers, and other heroes of this beloved fantasy realm.

Join Janny Wurts, Elisabeth Waters, Michele Lang, Fiona Patton, and others in twenty-four original stories, including a brand-new novella by Mercedes Lackey, all set in Valdemar, where:

A young woman without any of the Heralds’ Gifts must see a Companion safely delivered to Haven….

A Herald must revisit the mysteries of his childhood to save his own young family and combat a threat at the very heart of Valdemar….

A Hawkbrother flees for his life, trailed by a mysterious bird that prophesizes a dire future….

A mage must choose whether to steal a priceless artifact and be branded a thief and traitor, or let his country fall to magic that could prove far more deadly….

I probably wouldn’t be the avid reader that I am today if it wasn’t for an annoyed librarian who handed me a copy of Arrows of the Queen by Mercedes Lackey almost 15 years ago and told me I could sit down and read quietly or go back outside into the 120-degree heat. Now I’ve discovered a lot of amazing books and authors since that day but Mercedes Lackey and her Heralds of Valdemar books have continuously been among my favorites. While I normally don’t like anthologies I think Pathways contains some great stories that make fantastic new additions to the Valdemar series.

I haven’t really read anything by the majority of the authors in Pathways but I think Mercedes Lackey did an excellent job and picked the perfect authors to help her flesh out the world of Velgarth. My favorite part of this anthology is the way we get a look at locations and gifts that we don’t really get to see much of in the main series. While there are plenty of Heralds and Companions in Pathways I feel like they aren’t the focus for a good chunk of the stories. It’s interesting seeing the world through the eyes of someone other than a Herald for a while.

I also really enjoy how a lot of the stories in Pathways are continuations of stories from the anthologies of previous years. One of my biggest complaints about short fiction is how the story always seems to end just as I’m really starting to get into it. So it’s always nice to be able to continue on with a character or story that I really enjoyed a previous anthology.

I also really enjoy the way that a good chunk of the stories in Pathways are just continuations of stories from the previous year’s anthologies. One of my biggest complaints about short fiction is how the story always seems to end just as I’m really starting to get into it. So it’s always nice to be able to continue on with a character or story I really enjoyed in a previous short story.

While there were a few stories that I didn’t  like in this anthology I thought the majority of them were pretty solid and it was nice to see some of my favorite characters make some sort of appearance. I think anyone who is a fan of Mercedes Lackey would enjoy this book and if anyone reading this book hasn’t read anything else by her I would highly suggest that they pick up a copy of Arrows of the Queen next time they are looking for something to read. Trust me you won’t regret it!

While there were a few stories I really didn’t like in this anthology I thought the majority of them were pretty good with a return of many of my favorite characters. I think anyone who is a fan of Mercedes Lackey would enjoy this book and if someone hasn’t read anything else by her I would highly suggest that they pick up a copy of Arrows of the Queen the next time they are looking for something to read. Trust me you won’t regret it!

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

 

 

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