Thursday, November 9, 2017


I remember reading the original Valdemar books in the late 1980s.  I have been a lifelong reader of speculative fiction, so it was delightful to me to read about a society where difference was often a strength rather than a reason to be judged and despised.  Mercedes Lackey occupied a space in my library with Ursula LeGuin, Anne McCaffrey, Sheri Tepper, Zenna Henderson, Evangeline Walton, and many others (Heinlein, Bradbury, Clarke, Atwood, Bester, Ellison, etc etc).

Throughout the years, I've always loved anthologies.  Whether or not they share a thematic cohesiveness, I like the inevitable variation of having a group of stories from which to choose, and have never yet been disappointed in finding a story to fit whatever reading mood I'm in.

Pathways, due out is a collection of  21 short works set in the Valdemar universe, including a novella by Mercedes Lackey herself.  The stories are varied, but editorially cohesive and all of them, in my opinion, are true to the spirit of the Valdemar books.  The author list is a nice blending of established writers and unfamiliar-to-me authors, which brings me to another reason I love anthologies.  I've yet to read an anthology (and I read a lot of them) that didn't increase my reading list at least a little bit and introduce me to authors with whom I was previously unacquainted.

The general quality of the stories in this anthology is high, with several standouts.  I enjoyed seeing familiar characters in new roles and totally new characters.

The cover art is by Jody Lee who will be familiar to readers from earlier volumes (and many other covers in the original novels and collections).

There is something here for Valdemar fans old and new as well as fans of fantasy.

Four stars

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher. 

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