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4.3 out of 5 stars
Sword of Ice: And Other Tales of Valdemar (Valdemar Anthologies)
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on November 2, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I thought this was a great collection. I am, admitedly, a long time Lackey fan, but I have to say that recently I'd been disapointed with her Valdemar work (the first Owl one read like a first novel-errgh), but this book completely sucked me in, and I liked getting other author's looks on Valdemar. I read a lot of anthologies like Sword and Sorceress, so I was familiar with a lot of the authors. I especially liked Tanya Huff's, since it sounded like her, but still like Valdemar. This is, though, really only a book for Valdemar fans.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon November 3, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I really like short stories and I think there aren't enough of them published so I'm always glad when a book of short stories I haven't read in magazines comes out.
Letting other authors in your world can be asking for heaps of trouble. Here it really works out well. I'll risk heresy and state that I think Lackey had been getting stale and a book of fresh viewpoints into her mythos is a great thing that can only help future works. There are tales here that are absolutely Valdemaran yet probably could never have been written by Ms. Lackey herself. This only strengthens her world considerably.
To me, every tale here rang true to what Valdemar is about with nothing throwing me out of the story by being obviously wrong. Quality varies of course, but I don't think any story would be worse than mediocre, and most are above average and some first rate tales.
The short story is quite well suited to providing a look at the other corners of Valdemar that aren't royal family, or top herald related and these do so superbly. These new voices may have even inspired the better quality Exile's Honor which was just published.
If you enjoy short stories, if you enjoy Valdemar, pick these up. Allow yourself to believe that other people can write in this universe as well as the creator and you'll be in for a pleasant treat. Ms. Lackey deserves kudos for allowing others into her world, and doing such a fine job of picking good stories that fit into her world yet reveal more.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on September 18, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
... and it makes for a lovely book! Honestly, I'd been finding Mercedes Lackey's own Valdemar books to be getting repetitive. It's to the point where I can pick one up (say, Brightly Burning) and go, 'Ok, he's going to be Chosen, she's going to have a Lifebond with HIM, and those two over there are going to have catastrophic mental Gifts that they have to fight to master.' Predictable. Still affecting, I must admit - nobody can make me cry like Lackey - but boring.
This book is not like this. Why? Because other authors were let in to play with Ms. Lackey's toys, and it's an enchanting work. Lots of short stories set in the Valdemar universe, each exploring some small aspect that Lackey hasn't focussed upon yet. One thing that sucks me into fantasy worlds like nothing else is the feeling that so many OTHER stories could be being told than the one the author has chosen. This book proves Valdemar has this potential.
If only Ms. Lackey could write Valdemar stories like these, instead of her (now-standard) Tayledras/Herald/etc moony lovefests about Grand Quests and World-Changing Events, I'd buy a lot more of them in hardcover. As it is, I hope she lets folks into her playground again, for another similar volume.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on December 9, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Overall, a very enjoyable and cohesive book using the world of Valdemar as originally written by Mercedes Lackey. The majority of the stories have enough of the author's personal voice in them to make them individual, yet work within the confines of the previously created universe.
The one weak story that I read was the Josepha Sherman short, "Babysitter". I'm not sure why this was included as its depth seems to be about on a level with a Very Special Episode of "Full House" or something similar in that Man finds Cute, Fuzzy Gryphon Baby and Learns to Live Again, Meets Gryphon Aunt and Uncle of Baby and Everyone Has A Good Laugh at the End. I never felt any of Leryn's supposed pain at the loss of a loved one and his "grief" was about as biting and intense as warm milk or flat soda, and the supposed hilarity at the end had all the hallmarks of that annoying Errol Flynn hearty "hahaha" in "The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood".
Overall, an enjoyable collection that is a fine addition to the Valdemar library minus that one story.
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on June 24, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is a collection of stories about people in Valdemar. The stories, naturally, lack depth (that is why they are SHORT stories!), but they are good. This is a great book for those of you who are (like me!) impatiently awaiting more Heralds of Valdemar books to come out! It's definately an enjoyable read, and enough to tide you over until another novel comes out. If I could have, I would have given this book 4 and a half stars, but I decided to round it down because this is definately not my favorite book in the Valdemar series, but it is worthy of the read if you're a fan!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on September 8, 1997
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is one of the best compilations of Valdemar related stories that I've had the pleasure of reading. The stories are fresh and insightful, and I truly loved reading about Savil's first meeting with Starwind. I've been reading Misty's books for years, and this is definitely one I want in my permanent collection
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on October 23, 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Although I had never read the original Valdemar series, the tales told in this anthology easily introduced me to that interesting world. As I am a fan of short stories, I probably won't read the Valdemar novels, but if I were a big novel reader, I definitely would read them immediately.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 13, 2014
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Sword of Ice (1997) is a Fantasy anthology in the Valdemar milieu. This volume contains an introduction and eighteen original stories, with short author bios before each story.

- "Introduction" by Mercedes Lackey explains how and why this anthology came into existence.

- "Sunlancer" by Philip M. Austin & Mercedes Lackey stirs doubt in a Karse captain.

- "The Demon's Den" by Tanya Huff strands a Herald within an abandoned mine.

- "Ironrose" by Larry Dixon & Mel. White leads a hertasi to encourage romance between two shy Tayledras.

- "Babysitter" by Josepha Sherman puts a young gryphon in the care of a gem merchant.

- "The Salamander" by Richard Lee Byers solves a case of arson against a Blue family.

- "A Child's Adventure" by Janni Lee Simner brings a Companion to a woman who believes herself to be too old.

- "Blood Ties" by Stephanie D. Shaver uncovers a family secret.

- "...Another Successful Experiment" by Lawrence Schimel produces a new game by an innovative Herald trainee.

- "Choice" by Michelle West embroils Kelsey in a secret mission.

- "Song of Valdemar" by Kristin Schwengel enlightens a Healer who wants to be a Bard.

- "The School Up the Hill" by Elisabeth Waters creates precipitation in the kitchen.

- "Chance" by Mark Shepherd introduces a gay man to Vanyel.

- "Sword of Ice" by Mercedes Lackey & John Yezeguielian admits a Herald into a Tayledras Clan.

- "In the Forest of Sorrow" by John Helfers sends a young boy to Vanyel.

- "Vkandis' Own" by Ben Ohlander takes a Karse regiment to the border.

- "A Herald's Honor" by Mickey Zucker Reichert teaches a Herald a lesson about vows.

- "A Song For No One's Mourning" by Gary A. Braunbeck draws together a bitter man and a confused boy.

- "Blue Heart" by Philip M. Austin & Mercedes Lackey tells about an innocent butterfly and an evil baron.

These tales range throughout the environs of Valdemar, Karse, and other kingdoms in the area. They cover the various folks from farmers to priests to Hawkbrothers and more. They add another layer of richness to the history of Valdemar.

A common theme in many of these stories is the frustrations of the unChosen. Many people are not Chosen to become Heralds or Bards. Yet they have other talents and skills.

Another common factor is the influence of Marion Zimmer Bradley. The next installment in this anthology sequence is Sun in Glory and Other Tales of Valdemar.

Highly recommended for Lackey fans and for anyone else who enjoys tales of Companions, Heralds, and Mages. Read and enjoy!

-Arthur W. Jordin
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on November 23, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I thought about 1/2, maybe 3/4 of these stories were good, and worth the read, but some fell flat in my opinion. Maybe they were just too short, but I found a few boring, and without the "tone" of Valdemar (or maybe it's just MLs writing) that I've come to adore. If you've got the time, give it a try, but don't strain yourself to get at it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 15, 1997
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Mercedes Lackey does an exceptional job of picking and editing short stories for "Sword of Ice And other tales of Valdemar". True Lackey fans should be delighted by a few tales that pick up where Mercedes left off; other stories bring a richness to Valdemar and nearby kingdoms. One or two of the shorts reach the edge of wierdness, but I believe that's what fantasy is all about! Enjoy, this is an easy read well worth the time and money
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