This 17th anthology of short stories set in the beloved Valdemar high fantasy universe features tales by debut and established authors and a brand-new story from Mercedes Lackey.
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.
Everytime I read an anthology of Valdemar stories edited by Mercedes Lackey, I feel like I’m coming home, with every anthology full of emotional stories. Every story in the anthology keeps to the theme well, that magic isn’t always an answer and that anyone can do anything with nothing. There were several of the stories that resonated with me, some more than others. But I also loved the entire anthology as a whole as it explored the compelling characters of Valdemar.
If I had to say exactly what made me love these emotional stories, it is just that, they were emotional. Each story adds to the world of Valdemar. The stories explore magic but also loss and helping others. I love the different talents of the characters, most especially the ones without magic who find a way to help those around them with nothing but hard work and hard fought skills. One of my favorite stories was about an artist who figures out a way to help children escape terrible conditions with just a hobby horse.
If you like anthologies and have followed the Valdemar books by Mercedes Lackey, these stories will be just right for you. I think even if you haven’t read those, you will find these stories emotional and compelling as each story is complete within itself, not requiring prior knowledge of the series to enjoy. But if you do read this one, I warn you, you will want to read the others.
Rating: 5 out of 5 characters.