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(Tales of Valdemar #9)

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  663 ratings  ·  68 reviews
In March 1987, Mercedes Lackey, a young author from Oklahoma, published her first novel, Arrows of the Queen. No one could have envisioned that this modest book about a magical land called Valdemar would be the beginning of a fantasy masterwork series that would span decades and include more than two dozen titles.

Now the voices of other authors add their own special touche
Kindle Edition, 352 pages
Published December 1st 2015 by DAW
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Average rating 3.97  · 
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This was a fun, quick read, but to be honest, only one story touched me and that was The Note by Phaedra Weldon. it tells the story of a Companion and her Chosen, but through the experience of the Chosen's mother. It's a story full of sadness, bitterness, anger, and ultimately, redemption.
Nov 23, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, netgalley
It may be all-new tales of Valdemar, but for the most part I found myself in only a vaguely familiar landscape. I never managed to get into the Mage Storm books, which didn't help, and the dearth of familiar characters was another impediment; even a major inconsistency I spotted in a later story. I was halfway through before I found one that *felt* like a Valdemar story to me, albeit without Heralds.

So I didn't get on with it as a Valdemar extension, but otherwise the stories themselves were qui
Aug 13, 2018 rated it it was ok
A very mixed bag. Some reasonable stories, but mostly no better than so-so. No one story was a real winner, and too few of them were even 3 stars, so the overall compilation? 2 stars. And I'm being generous.
Dee Eisel
Dec 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
Mercedes Lackey has had a really rough year, so when I found out she had a new book out I knew I needed to buy it new for maximum royalties to go to her. Crucible is a book of short stories, one of which is by Lackey, the others by different writers.

I enjoyed each. We have the usual stories of Choosings, Healers and Bards, with a few of Shin'a'in and Tayledras for seasoning. I'm a sucker for telepathy stories, and Mindspeech factors in quite a few of these, so that makes me almost unreasonably
Part of the 5yr read-along. See books #5 & 8. Particularly like the stories about Lady Cera and her Rethwellan estate. Several other good story lines carried from one book to the next. ...more
Mar 21, 2016 rated it liked it
Valdemar is my second home. For some of you it's Hogwarts, others get lost in Narnia, and some of you like to wander around Middle Earth. Don't get me wrong, I like those places too, but there is something about Valdemar, and it's surrounding lands, regardless of the time period, that feels like home. It's the place I go to when I just need to hunker down and recharge.

When I'm not in the mood for a full length adventures, it's the anthologies that I turn to. They are filled with quick little sho
Dec 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
I realized I had missed one of the collections of Valdemar tales when I went to pre-order the one coming out in a week, so picked this up and happily tore through it in a few days. The stories in this anthology were a bit wider ranging than in other Valdemar anthologies, which is both a plus and a minus. Several were new entries following characters seen previously, and most were ones involving new characters and even new perspectives.

The first story in the anthology is "Feathers in Need" tellin
Morgan Dhu
Dec 15, 2015 rated it liked it
I've been having a rather rotten time these past weeks, and so it was with some pleasure that I was able to get my electronic hands on a copy of Crucible, Mercedes Lackey's newest anthology of short stories set in Velgarth, the world where the Heralds of Valdemar and the Hawkbrothers and Shin'a'in and other such peoples live.

It's always enjoyable for me to revisit these places - there is, as I have often said, something about the universe Lackey created here that pushes my simple pleasure butto
Apr 17, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: april-2016
Favorite story: "The Note" by Phaedra Weldon. While many of the stories in this anthology rated between 3 and 4 stars for me and were cute and enjoyable but not amazing, this penultimate tale punched me right in the feels. There are so many things about the life of a Herald that are explored in this tale, even though the story's point of view is the mother of a (deceased) Herald. Reading this story is worth the cost of the anthology alone.

Story that I wish would be expanded into a novel: "Never
Jun 12, 2016 rated it liked it
As with most anthologies, the good and the bad balance each other out and overall rating ends up a 3. I really enjoy these anthologies of stories based on Lackey's world of Valdemar with its Heralds and Companions. One failing of this particular collection is that it had more than its share of stories that started out well and fell short at the end - just left the story hanging when I wanted to know more about the character and the story. As usual with these collections, the story penned by Lack ...more
Jan Niblock
Nov 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
All of the stories in this anthology were great. It brought me back to the days when I first discovered stories about Valdemar and that world. I have really missed those stories but these were a welcome read.

My favorite and the one that moved me the most was “The Note” by Phaedra Weldon. I had tears in my eyes entire time I read it because it was such a moving story and the end was awesome.

If you miss Mercedes Lackey’s Valdemar series, this is defiantly a book you need to pick up.
Phyllis Griffiths
Jan 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Whatever happened to those delightful characters who appeared in the previous Valdemar short story anthologies? Vixen the healer is but one of those who's continuing adventures can be found in Crucible. As a bedtime reader these stories make it easier to close the book at a stories end, with the call of the next story promising another good read. This book has joined others on my "Read Again" shelf. A very good read!
Dec 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this collection of stories. I'm still a fan of Mercedes Lackey's Valdemar series, because they are just plain fun to read. These stories are written by several different authors, and all of them are good. This is not serious reading, or a deep mystery, and I will not compare it to that kind of book, but it is enjoyable, and that's why I read it. I was just what I wanted.
Dec 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is a series of short stories supposedly set in the world built by Mercedes Lackey. Unfortunately, there were several selections that were not quite my cup of tea. I have read all of the Valdemar books and short story publications and have to say this was not my favorite collection. I will continue to read them and hope for new stories to love.

Dec 05, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
Though I love the Valdemar series and usually enjoy the anthologies, this one fell a little flat. We encountered fewer familiar characters and I just did not connect with many of the stories.

If you're a fan of the series, it's worth a read, but it's a bad place to start for someone unfamiliar with Lackey and the series.
Erin Mason
Mar 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A fun and entertaining book full of short stories about Valdemar and the heralds. They were just long enough to be interesting and short enough to keep your interest until the very end. Some of the tales I'd have liked to read more about and maybe in future books they'll continue. Some were funny, some sad, and some exciting. I enjoyed the variation.
Karen Crouch
May 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
I love that Mercy lets other authors play in her universe. I really enjoyed the ones that had a story with characters that have been in earlier anthologies; although sometimes it would have been nice to have a "when last we meet x and y they were..." bit at the start just to jog the memory about them before diving back into another story.
Jun 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
An anthology of short stories written by other authors but set in the Valdemar world, and with one story by Mercedes Lackey, this was a very enjoyable book. Most of the stories were excellent and all followed the template set by Lackey (she edited the book so probably made sure of that). Recommended to fans of Valdemar.
6/21/17 end

Re-reading this antho now 1/2019. I forgot to make notes inside the book so have to read it again and review each story.
Note to Self;
1. Feathers in Need-Jennifer Brozek
Really good 4 stars would love a continued story of this one. =0)

Apr 15, 2016 rated it liked it
I'm a sucker for all things Valdemar, but a lot of these stories didn't really resonate. And the ones that did were too short for me to be sure! I'd prefer a volume with some longer stories. 2.5 stars
Some of these stories didn't feel like Valdemar to me, but as one character reminded another "There is no one true Way" so I guess I could just treat those as not my Way.

Keoki Ki`Ili
Feb 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Enjoy this world and any books I can read about it. Will read the next one for sure.
Dec 30, 2015 rated it liked it
Some stories are 4 stars, some are 3 stars and a couple are 2 stars. Nothing really great.
Carol Gibson
Jun 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sf-and-fantasy
Another short story collection set in Valdemar by various authors edited by Mercedes Lackey.

I truly enjoy these anthologies they give you a wider look into the world of Valdemar. Out of the 18 stories I found myself only disliking one. Which did not surprise me it was written by Michele Lang and I have found I have never liked her character Sparrow or her writing style.

Like most of the anthologies there are continuing stories and new stories using the same characters. I can see how this can be b
These short story collections are always a little hit or miss but I enjoyed more of these than not. Some of my favorites included “Vexed Vixen” (hooray for a story about healers, not Heralds), “Down the Line” (some good gothic family craziness), and “Lost Song” just for the uniqueness of a Kyree in need. But hand’s down the two most enjoyable reads for me were “Never Alone” and “The Note” both of which feature older women with children who are Heralds being Chosen in middle age. Both were well w ...more
Red Risa
Jan 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Beware the Newbys

With more writers new to the Valdemar anthologies than almost any previous, we are left with a mixed result.
And unfortunately, the bad outweigh the good.
At least the returning authors excel, as usual.
After reading the new collection, Choices, I decided to
re-read the whole series and appreciated them even more!
Would highly recommend this to anyone who wants to experience Valdemar again!
Kate H
Nov 09, 2020 rated it liked it
I like the books Mercedes Lackey writes, she is good at creating a believable world and people to populate it. While her writing is not the strongest I do find it engaging ang and enjoyable. I like a series I can live inside of and her books are ones that have characters I feel invested in and a world I believe could exist.
Kelly Martin
Jul 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
I like to read these kinds of books. It allows me to see how well a writer writes in a setting were you are familiar with the story and know that I like this world. Now I can decide if I want to go and read the writers other solo books.
May 24, 2018 rated it liked it
Not the best collection in this series but a good read nonetheless. It is always lovely to have a new short story by Mercedes Lackey, and I truly enjoy other authors viewpoints on this favorite of my fictional worlds to read.
Sandra Walker
Dec 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Multiple Stories

All the stories and plots were really good. Each fantasy had it's own story to tell some funny , some were sad.
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Play Book Tag: Crucible (anthology) edited by Mercedes Lackey - 3 stars 1 8 Jun 12, 2016 11:15AM  

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Mercedes entered this world on June 24, 1950, in Chicago, had a normal childhood and graduated from Purdue University in 1972. During the late 70's she worked as an artist's model and then went into the computer programming field, ending up with American Airlines in Tulsa, Oklahoma. In addition to her fantasy writing, she has written lyrics for and recorded nearly fifty songs for Firebird Arts & M ...more

Other books in the series

Tales of Valdemar (1 - 10 of 13 books)
  • Sword of Ice and Other Tales of Valdemar (Tales of Valdemar #1)
  • Sun in Glory and Other Tales of Valdemar (Tales of Valdemar #2)
  • Crossroads and Other Tales of Valdemar (Tales of Valdemar #3)
  • Moving Targets and Other Tales of Valdemar (Tales of Valdemar #4)
  • Changing the World (Tales of Valdemar, #5)
  • Finding the Way and Other Tales of Valdemar (Tales of Valdemar #6)
  • Under the Vale and Other Tales of Valdemar (Tales of Valdemar #7)
  • No True Way (Tales of Valdemar, #8)
  • Tempest (Tales of Valdemar, #10)
  • Pathways (Tales of Valdemar #11)

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