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The twelfth anthology of short stories set in the beloved Valdemar universe, featuring 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.
In the latest collection of fantasy short stories set in the land of Valdemar (after Tales of Valdemar), fantasist Lackey and others create heroic stories of men and women using their magical gifts to help others. Most feature heralds with horselike companions who communicate through Mindspeak; others showcase healers and bards. In "Moving On" by Diana L. Paxton, Selaine uses her Fetching gift to pull an illness out of her mother, but when she tries to get a stolen coin back, she pulls the thief back, too. "Cloud Born" by Michele Lang shows that blind Cloudbrother can be a powerful herald who saves entire towns. In the moving final story by Lackey, "Woman's Need Calls Me," a sword that can only be wielded by women is called to a trans woman and magically gives her the body she longs for. This book may be hard to follow for readers unfamiliar with Valdemar and the Magewars, but the tales will be well received by longtime fans.