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Tempest: All-New Tales of Valdemar: Too many fragmentary tales

Tempest: All-New Tales of Valdemar edited by Mercedes Lackey

Tempest (2016) is the most recent in a lengthy series of light fantasy anthologies set in and around Mercedes Lackey’s well-known Valdemar, is a land where people called Heralds are “Chosen” (read: magically bonded for life) with telepathic white horse-like creatures known as Companions. Once bonded, the pair joins others in traveling and policing their kingdom against wrongdoing, threats and evils of all kinds. While I’m a relative newcomer to the world of Valdemar, I’ve read several other works by Lackey and was impressed by a couple of her short stories of the Companions. Brilliant and heroic telepathic horses! What’s not to like? And many of these stories feature non-Herald humans from all walks of life, as well as gryphons, kryees (huge, intelligent wolves), and firecats (think large, magical, sentient Siamese cats): a promising variety.
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Changing the World: All new tales of Valdemar

Changing the World: All new tales of Valdemar by Mercedes Lackey

In Changing the World: All new tales of Valdemar, Mercedes Lackey edits a collection of short stories from several different authors. They’re all set in her famous Valdemar, and many center on a theme: What happens when being Chosen causes more problems than it solves? I enjoyed this approach to the classic being Chosen trope in which being Chosen is the end of all your troubles.

Lackey starts off the collection with “The One Left Behind” about a young woman who is dealing with the emotional fallout of being left — her father abandoned her as a child because he was Chosen, and her boyfriend leaves after he is Chosen. Other stories focus on people who have wonderfully happy lives and resent the intrusion of a magical white horse who is just mucking things up, or examine what happens when being Chosen means being forced to overcome per... Read More