- Series: Valdemar
- Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
- Publisher: DAW; Original edition (December 1, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780756405809
- ISBN-13: 978-0756405809
- ASIN: 0756405807
- Product Dimensions: 4.1 x 1 x 6.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 64 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #610,244 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Changing the World: All-New Tales of Valdemar Mass Market Paperback – December 1, 2009
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About the Author
Mercedes Lackey is a full-time writer and has published numerous novels and works of short fiction, including the best-selling Heralds Of Valdemar series. She is also a professional lyricist and a licensed wild bird rehabilitator. She lives in Oklahoma with her husband, artist Larry Dixon, and their flock of parrots. She can be found at mercedeslackey.com.
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This volume contains sixteen original short stories about Valdemar and related themes. Each story has a short description of the author(s).
- "One Left Behind" by Mercedes Lackey is about a woman who was raised by her mother after her father was Chosen to be a Herald and then was left by a fiancee who also became a Herald.
- "For Want of a Nail" by Rosemary Edghill & Denise McCune tells of the suspicions of a soldier and explorer who returns to Haven to find every person in the higher levels is a Herald. Who are these Companions who have such influence in the new settlement?
- "Softly Falling Snow" by Elizabeth A. Vaughan reveals the love between Queen Elspeth and Bard Kyran.
- "The Reluctant Herald" by Mickey Zucker Reichert discloses the trials of a Companion trying to Chose a man who thinks he has everything.
- "A Storytelling of Crows" by Elizabeth Waters introduces a young fletcher -- and speaker to animals - who discovers an injured Companion carrying a severely wounded Harald.
- "Waiting to Belong" by Kristin Schwengel regards a young herbalist who loves a Herald, but is too shy to call attention to herself.
- "The Last Part of the Way" by Brenda Cooper concerns the healing of a Herald who loses his entire family.
- "Midwinter Gifts" by Stephanie D. Shaver relates the investigation by a Master Bard of a woman who has been married four times.
- "Wounded Bird" by Michael Z. Williamson continues the story of Riga, a warrior maid and merchant of the Kossaki. She despises the treatment of a female servant within an abusive society.
- "Defending the Heart" by Kate Paulk continues the tale of Jem and Ree as they live with Garrad, the old farmer. Soldiers come from a Grand Duke to collect taxes, soldiers and slaves.
- "Matters of the Heart" by Sarah A. Hoyt covers the events following the previous tale after the soldiers flee. Now the long gone son of Garrad comes for a visit.
- "Nothing Better to Do" by Tanya Huff recounts the trials of a Herald taking a toddler to his relatives.
- "The Thief of Anvil's Close" by Fiona Patton confronts newly appointed Sergeant Hector with a smith who is angry about allegedly stolen goods.
- "Twice Blessed" by Judith Tarr presents Heralds Egil and Bronwen with the problem of two young women who despise each other, but have been Chosen by the same Companion.
- "Be Careful What You Wish For" by Nancy Asire has a group of bandits who capture a Herald who can tamper with emotions.
- "Interview with a Companion" by Ben Olander brings a Companion to the Kentucky Blue Grass country to meet an investigative reporter.
I believe my favorite in this group is "Nothing Better to Do". Herald Jors has some learning experiences while transporting Torbin. OTOH, I have five daughters and the antics of the toddler are hilarious, but not unanticipated.
Many of these tales continue storylines from previous volumes in this series. Indeed, the pair of stories by Paulk and Hoyt are sequels to their joint contribution in the last anthology.
The next installment in this sequence is Finding the Way.
Highly recommended for Valdemar fans and for anyone who enjoys tales of brief challenges, telepathic creatures, and assorted viewpoints. Read and enjoy!
-Arthur W. Jordin
Collection of short fiction set in Valdemar, selected by Lackey. Includes The One Left Behind, For Want of a Nail, Softly Falling Snow, The Reluctant Herald, A Storytelling of Crows, Waiting to Belong, The Last Part of the Way, Midwinter Gifts, Wounded Bird, Defending the Heart. Matters of the Heart, Nothing Better To Do, The Thief of Anvil's Close, Twice Blessed, Be Careful What You Wish For, Interview With a Companion.
Nice collection for my taste, no horror and mostly positive endings. I still don't like the Jem/Ree stories, and I thought the story about a Companion choosing two girls who were bitter enemies was stupid, but the biggest offense was the last entry, "Interview With a Companion," a really silly piece with a wannabe investigative journalist talking with a Companion visiting Kentucky and claiming that all the world-changers through our real-world history had Companions.
I was especially delighted to find not one, but two stories of Jem and Ree. For this reason alone, I would recommend reading this before "Under the Vale", since these two stories precede the one in the Vale book. But it's not critical; each one can stand alone.
Those two stories, though, aren't enough to stop me from recommending this book overall. I thoroughly enjoyed the collection and, as usual, can't wait to read more about Valdemar/Velgarth ASAP!