Thursday, November 30, 2017

ARC Review: Pathways edited by Mercedes Lackey

Author: Mercedes Lackey (editor)
Series: Valdemar (Book 11)
Publication: DAW (December 5, 2017)

Description: The eleventh anthology of short stories set in Mercedes Lackey's beloved Valdemar universe features stories 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.

Join Janny Wurts, Elisabeth Waters, Michele Lang, Fiona Patton, and others in twenty-four original stories, including a brand-new novella by Mercedes Lackey, all set in Valdemar, where:

A young woman without any of the Heralds’ Gifts must see a Companion safely delivered to Haven....

A Herald must revisit the mysteries of his childhood to save his own young family and combat a threat at the very heart of Valdemar....

A Hawkbrother flees for his life, trailed by a mysterious bird that prophesizes a dire future....

A mage must choose whether to steal a priceless artifact and be branded a thief and traitor, or let his country fall to magic that could prove far more deadly....

My Thoughts: PATHWAYS gathers stories from all over Valdemar in this eleventh collection. Many of the authors have contributed to some of the earlier anthologies too. All of the stories were entertaining and well written. My only complaint is that they were too short. I would have been eager to read longer stories with the same characters.

I especially enjoyed the stories that included Companions because I'm a fan of white horse-like creatures with silver hooves and blue eyes. I also enjoyed the stories that took place away from Haven from the Pelagris Hills to Karse.

Readers who want to go on a quick tour of Valdemar won't want to miss this anthology.

Favorite Quote:
 "Why did you ask about peacocks?" she asked the King. "Are you getting some?"

"I've lost some," the King replied, "and they were a gift from our newest Council member, so I do need to get them back."

"How did you lose them?" Lena asked, "And just how ostentatious was your loss?"
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

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