The stories about the Heralds and Companions of Valdemar have been entertaining many fans for a long time. Not only are there novels set in this fantasy world, but several anthologies have been published over the years. _No True Way_ edited by Mercedes Lackey is the eighth Valdemar anthology to be published. The stories in the anthologies have grown from just tales about Heralds and Companions. In this latest anthology, stories explore other people’s lives in the world of Valdemar. The stories range from pleasant to serious, with interesting characters in each of the tales.
“Written in the Wind” by Jennifer Brozek is a dark story that will give readers the creeps. Twin brother and sister are chosen by Companions on their tenth birthday Milla and Orun tell their Companions of the two possible paths their lives might take. On their journey to the city of Haven, the children are pursued by evil creatures trying to kill them. The story is a tense, suspenseful tale of survival with and unusual , surprising ending. Brozek provides a different aspect of Valdemar.
Mercedes Lackey contributes a new story to the anthology with “Vixen.” This is a story about the healer called Vixen dealing with some past emotional baggage as she travels her circuit. A Companion brings her to a small village to help the Herald Mage Vanyel. While helping Vanyel, they must save the people from a giant, ravenous monster. They receive help from an unusual quarter. The story resolves with a satisfying climax. Fans of Vanyel will enjoy his part in the story.
In “A Wake of Vultures” by Elisabeth Waters, Lena must help solve a problem using her gift of animal Mindspeech. While traveling with a Herald, she comes across a group of vultures that won’t leave a dead human body. The body does not show any signs of decomposition. The vultures won’t leave or let anyone get near the body. A witch shows up, claiming the body as her son. Together, they must find a way to break the spell or more people will die. This is a clever, interesting story in the anthology.