Title: No True Way (All-New Tales of Valdemar)
Editor: Mercedes Lackey
Year Published: 2014
As I’ve previously established, I’m a big fan of Mercedes Lackey, and I try to always pick up the short story collections, even though I’m not always a short story fan. No True Way is the latest collection, and is a mix of excellent stories and some less-than stellar ones (some authors are better at the format than others – and for the record, I’m really bad it, so I admire those who do it well).
In this particular collection, the story that I would classify as the one that had the strongest punch was “Written in the Wind” and reading it was like being punched in the face. Though not explicit stated, it’s set in Vanyel’s time, and two twins are Chosen, but they have the mage gift, and something or somebody has been killing off the mage-born for years.
I also love “Ex Libris” which involves setting up the first public library in Haven – I’m a bookworm, I think I’m contractually obligated to approve – and “A Brand from the Burning” which involves Solaris before she becomes the Son of the Sun. It’s an interesting look at such a powerful figure before she has experienced so much of what forges her.
I did not flat out hate any of the stories, but quite a few were bland-to-unforgettable. Not, in my experience, unusual in these collections. Still, there were a fair number I wished had been full novels, or that we’ll get a follow-up story in a later anthology, so I’ll rate this at a 3/5.