author: Mercedes Lackey
series: Tales of Valdemar #5
published: 9 December 2009
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In March 1987, a young author from Oklahoma published her first novel, Arrows of the Queen. This modest book about a magical land called Valdemar was the beginning of a fantasy masterpiece that would span decades and include more than two dozen titles. Now sixteen of today’s hottest fantasy authors—including Tanya Huff, Mickey Zucker Reichert, Fiona Patton, and Judith Tarr—visit the world of Valdemar, adding their own special touches.
The short stories in this collection, written by both Mercedes Lackey and a variety of other invited writers, are a lovely “gift” of sorts to the Valdemar series. They embody both the feel of the world and that of the characters, weaving together old characters and new in ways completely in keeping with the world established by Lackey herself.
With one exception. “Interview with a Companion” by Benjamin Ohlander.
This story was set in the real world rather than that of Valdemar. In it, a Companion comes to Kentucky to give an interview with a journalist. To be fair, there is nothing wrong with the story. It’s well written, witty and amusing. But its juxtaposition with the rest of the Valdemar stories and books was rather jarring for me. It was so out of place that I had a hard time with it. I confess that I am a bit of a purist when it comes to the Valdemar world.