Seasons: All-New Tales of Valdemar : Review

This thirteenth anthology of short stories set in the beloved Valdemar universe features tales by debut and established authors and a brand-new story from Lackey herself.

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.

 

I probably would not be the reader I am today if it wasn’t for the librarian who handed me a copy of Arrows Of The Queen almost 20 years ago and told me I could either sit quietly and read or go back out into the 120-degree heat of Las Vegas. I’ve been a huge fan of Mercedes Lackey’s books ever since and while I don’t normally read anthologies, I’m always excited when the newest one set in Valdemar releases every year. I found Seasons: All-New Tales of Valdemar to be a fun read that was full of some great stories.

I haven’t really read much by the majority of the authors in Seasons, but I think Mercedes Lackey once again did an excellent job of picking authors to help her flesh out the world of Velgarth and the kingdom of Valdemar. My favorite part of these anthologies is how we get a look at locations and gifts we may not get to see much of in the main series, and while there are plenty of Heralds and Companions in Pathways I like these stories don’t focus solely on them. It’s always interesting to see this world through the eyes of people like the Healers, Guards, and Minstrels that work alongside the Heralds.

Another thing I really enjoyed about Seasons is how we get continuations of some of the anthologies from previous years. One of the things that usually keep me away from short fiction is how I often feel like the story ends just as I’m really starting to enjoy it or to become truly invested in the characters. So it is always nice to be able to continue on with a character or story that I had fun reading in a previous anthology.

While there were a few stories I didn’t really enjoy or just couldn’t get into, I thought that the majority of them were pretty solid. It was fun reading about the continued adventures of some of my favorite anthology characters and I’m looking forward to next year’s book to see what happens to them next. I think anyone who is a fan of Mercedes Lackey’s books would enjoy reading this book. I would also recommend the rest of Lackey’s Valdemar books to anyone hoping to discover a great new series. They are all well worth reading!

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

 

 

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SJardine

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Shane firmly believes that it is impossible to own too many books, which is probably why every surface of his house is covered in books and magazines. He will read just about anything that you put in front of him but is the most passionate fantasy and sometimes science fiction. He has been known to obsess over a book or series for years at a time.

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