Summary: (Taken from GoodReads) This exciting new anthology includes a new novella featuring Mercedes Lackey’s most popular heroines, Tarma (one of the sword-sworn and most feared of all warriors) and Kethry (who wields magic and weapons for the greater good), whose fates are suddenly bound together in blood by the powers that control their destinies. Also included in the unique volume is the complete collection of Lackey’s short stories about these two brave sisters as they answer the call of their destinies with sword and sorcery!
Thoughts: There are some ups and downs to this book. On the up-side, this book is a bunch of short stories and doesn’t pretend to be anything but that, no half-hearted attempts to string them all together into something resembling a coherent and continuing plot. It was nice to see a few interesting adventures that Tarma and Kethry have suffered through, particularly the one inspired by Murphy’s Law.
Also, I finally got to read the story in which the two main characters met in the first place.
The down side is that about half the book consisted of stories that had been seen in other places, most notably the first book of the Vows and Honor trilogy. This would be fine if it was a standalone book unconnected to another series, but as it was, I’d already read some of what was being presented to me, with few to no changed in the presentation between the original short story and the time it made it to the first book of the trilogy. Rather disappointing, I think, to read what I’d already read, especially when I was expecting new things.
What was interesting, though, was to see the obvious progression of the author’s writing talents. From the earlier stories to the later ones, it’s easy to see Lackey’s style become more solid, more confident as she grows into it. Her sense of humour is evident throughout, though; some things just never change.
Overall, I’m glad I can say that I’ve finally read this trilogy, which I think means I’ve read all the Valdemar novels except for one (and that one’s in the mail as we speak). I’m equally glad, though, to say that I don’t have to read it again; this was definitely my least favourite trilogy in the series. Decent, but not the best.