Monday, April 10, 2006

_Crossroads_ edited by Mercedes Lackey

Crossroads are places of change where decisions are made that can change courses of people’s lives. Mercedes Lackey presents many stories of change in the anthology she edited called Crossroads & Other Tales of Valdemar. This is the third anthology set in Lackey’s world of Valdemar with its Heralds and Companions. Various authors explore different parts of Valdemar with entertaining stories that readers will enjoy.

The anthology opens with “Transmutation” by Larry Dixon. This is the story of people trying to save a gryphon. With a revolt causing war in Valdemar, Kelvren the gryphon is wounded. Housed with a fatally wounded soldier, Kelvren uses all his magic to save the human, which leaves him dying. A young boy and various other characters try to save his life by restoring his magic. Mr. Dixon creates an entertaining story with strong characters and an engaging plot.

“Death in Keenspur House” by Richard Lee Byers is a mystery fantasy. Selden is called to the house of Lord Baltes Keenspur to solve a murder. A guard is killed prior to a wedding and Selden tries to solve who did the crime. The house mage Tregan states that magic was not involved. Selden treads a fine line in a city filled with feuding factions that would end with the marriage of rival houses. The author weaves together an intriguing story of magic and action that readers can enjoy.

Fiona Patton explores the story of the last survivors of a hunter clan. “The Blue Coat” tells the story of Treyill. He is a shaman and must learn to accept his powers to save his brother, cousin and people form bandits. Treyill must interpret his shamanic dreams though he fears his power. This is an interesting story story brought to life by a talented author.

“Finding Elvida” by Mickey Zucker Reichert is a Herald story. IT begins with young Elvida and her two friends attacked by a small army of attackers. Elvida is left alone to defend a fallen Herald and her own Companion. She does not know what her powers are to save her friends and must struggle against great odds. Ms. Reichert provides readers with an appealing story of adventure.

Ms. Lackey gives fans a new Tarma and Kethry story with “Landscape of the Imagination.” The companions must leave a boring kingdom full of laws to help a woman in need in the wilderness. In the dangerous forest, they come across the sorceress Nanca. She hires them for help with a contest she has against a rival colleague. Readers will like the new story of these popular characters of Valdemar.

Crossroads & Other Tales of Valdemar edited by Mercedes Lackey is a new anthology set in her world of Valdemar. Many authors contribute stories about different parts of Lackey’s world. The stories are entertaining with interesting characters and plots. Readers will find many stories to enjoy in this anthology.

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