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Pathways

(Tales of Valdemar #11)

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4.03  ·  Rating details ·  523 ratings  ·  58 reviews
The eleventh anthology of short stories set in Mercedes Lackey's beloved Valdemar universe features 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
...more
Kindle Edition, 368 pages
Published December 5th 2017 by DAW
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Average rating 4.03  · 
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 ·  523 ratings  ·  58 reviews


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Sctechsorceress
Oct 06, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: e-books, fantasy
I found these stories a mixed bag. Some, I liked a lot, others not so much. I guess the truth is that no one tells Valdemar stories quite as good as Mercedes Lackey does.
Kathy Martin
Nov 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
PATHWAYS gathers stories from all over Valdemar in this eleventh collection. Many of the authors have contributed to some of the earlier anthologies too. All of the stories were entertaining and well written. My only complaint is that they were too short. I would have been eager to read longer stories with the same characters.

I especially enjoyed the stories that included Companions because I'm a fan of white horse-like creatures with silver hooves and blue eyes. I also enjoyed the stories that
...more
Morgan Dhu
Jan 01, 2018 rated it liked it
Mercedes Lackey seems to release a new Valdemar anthology every year just before Christmas, and 2017 was no exception. Which means that one of my solstice presents was an ebook of the latest volume, Pathways.

This year’s collection is, as always, a balance of stories about heralds or would-be Heralds and stories about people from other parts of Valdemar’s world, some human and some not. Because this is an ongoing series of anthologies, there are some familiar characters, as authors write new tal
...more
Angela
Jan 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed the short stories it's nice to see some of my favorite character's from the previous anthologies make reappearances. ...more
Olga Godim
Aug 14, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy-scifi
This collection of short stories by various writers was mediocre at best, although a couple stories rose above the rest.
Kathy Davie
May 22, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Twelfth in the Tales of Valdemar short stories series for middle-grade readers with 21 short stories revolving around Mercedes Lackey's fantastical world of the Heralds of Valdemar, the kingdom's ancient order of protectors drawn from across the land.

The Series
"Reborn" (Reincarnation, 2)
"Unexpected Consequences" (Lady Cera of Sandbriar, 2)
"Patterns" (Deira the Weaver, 2)
"Out of the Pelagiris" (Nwah the Kyree, 2)
"Discovery" (Perran, 2)
"An Ostentation of Peacocks" (Lena, 2)
"Cobblestones" (Dann Fam
...more
Diana
This book is short stories by various authors set in Mercedes Lackey's Valdemar universe. For once, just about all of the stories were well written and entertaining. The last few were hit and miss for me. You do have to read the other books in the series of short stories because some of the stories were continuations of tales in the other books. I like that Lackey gives both established and new authors a chance to play in the universe she and her husband started. However, these books are definit ...more
Caitlin
Dec 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
A collection of short stories set in Valdemar. You don't have to have read the previous books, but several feature returning characters, so you get more out of them if you do. Heralds, Bards, Healers, and more ordinary folk on various adventures--uncovering a thief, preventing fires, revealing truth, and saving lives. Plenty of magic and heroism. ...more
Annie
Nov 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Originally published to my blog: Nonstop Reader.

I remember reading the original Valdemar books in the late 1980s. I have been a lifelong reader of speculative fiction, so it was delightful to me to read about a society where difference was often a strength rather than a reason to be judged and despised. Mercedes Lackey occupied a space in my library with Ursula LeGuin, Anne McCaffrey, Sheri Tepper, Zenna Henderson, Evangeline Walton, and many others (Heinlein, Bradbury, Clarke, Atwood, Bester, E
...more
Elaine
Dec 31, 2017 rated it liked it
I enjoy these roughly annual Valdemar anthologies. Author Mercedes Lackey's fantasy realm lends itself well to the short story format. Also, I gave up on Lackey's current Valdemar series years ago, so this is the only new material I really read.

Of course, none of the anthologies (this is the 11th and counting) get above 3 stars from me because of the range of short stories within each volume. There are always a few I really don't care for and one or two that I really like. Still, this one was o
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Inferno Nightfire
Dec 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I'm just over half way through this anthology and will finish it by tonight or tomorrow. I couldn't wait to do the review.

I found this anthology to be a wonderful continuation of the previous Tales of Valdemar anthologies. I only wish that each new one would come with a "history" of the stories by each author as most of the authors are carrying on continuing story lines that send me back and forth between the current book and previous offerings.

It was good to read the latest of the watchmen st
...more
J.L.
Dec 08, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: december-2017
While I usually call out two specific stories in anthologies, my favorite and the one I'd most like to see expanded into a novel, I'm unable to do that with this Valdemar collection. I enjoyed most of the stories, but none of them jumped out to me as amazing. A few of the stories also dragged, and one I stopped reading altogether. 

One thing this anthology did well was the fantastic representation of diversity in sexual orientation and even gender identity. I'd love future anthologies to explore
...more
Katy
Jan 31, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I'm loving these anthologies, and this one is no different.

It's wonderful to be able to open a new book - for me - and find so many familiar characters to enjoy. They have become as familiar, and much loved, as all of the 'official' Valdemar ones, to the point where I'm hoping that particular ones will have full length books written about them!

There was a couple of new writers here in the book, and I enjoyed their take on Valdemar storied, too, so it'll be interesting if they become as regular w
...more
Donna
Dec 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Pathways takes us back to the fabulous world of Mercedes Lackey’s Valdemar, a place I love to visit and revisit as often as I can. It’s a world of magic and fantasy where there is no one true way. This anthology has 23 stories and there isn’t a bad one in the book. Enjoy these stories of heralds, healers, bards and regular folks in extraordinary conditions. I did. I love that these stories are true to the feeling of Valdemar and have to admit that they left me a bit nostalgic. If you are a fan o ...more
Anne Morgan
Dec 05, 2017 rated it did not like it
A collection of 21 short stories inspired by Mercedes Lackey's Valdemar series- including one short story written by Lackey herself. Most of the stories in "Pathways" leave something to be desired. Short and often missing a few pieces that would make them much more interesting (or coherent), "Pathways" could have benefitted from fewer and longer stories than the brief pieces we see. Very few of the stories contained enough of the taste of the world of Valdemar that would draw in new readers or s ...more
Shelly
Feb 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this ARC!

This was a nice return to Valdemar. I haven't read anything set there for probably...9-10 years? It was nice to read a wide variety of stories, and I appreciated how short some of them were; it was refreshing after reading a lot of looong novels in a row, and many of the stories still got pretty deep. Ultimately, it was disappointing that there wasn't more by Mercedes Lackey, but I guess I'll go read some of her other new books! This was 3.5 sta
...more
Linda
Jan 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Twenty one short stories by a variety of authors. Mercedes Lackey wrote the last story. It has been at least a decade since I read anything in the Valdemar series and I was not sure I'd remember enough to enjoy this. All of the authors did a wonderful job evoking the world with stand-alone stories. The downside is that now I'm tempted to go back & re-read some of the books.
Bottomline: if you like any of the Valdemar books, I think you will enjoy these stories.
...more
J.E. Feldman
Jan 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wow. I have been a huge fan of Mercedes Lackey for a long time, and for her to bring together an array of authors to provide a collection of stories is no small feat. She has done it again. These authors breathe amazing life into the short stories included within this book. From vivid imagery, scenes gripping with emotion, and events that will have you at the edge of your seat. I absolutely loved this selection and look forward to the next installment.
Jennifer Jamieson
Feb 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Typically, I really don't like reading short story anthologies. The stories, when good, are always too short for my taste. Sometimes, you find only a few good, few not so good in the anthology. Valdemar anthologies are always the exception for me--I drink in the tales full of familiar (and not so familiar) characters eagerly. They're always a treat, and this one is no exception. Excepting only in the wish for the stories to all be much, much longer. ...more
Sonja
May 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another solid entry in the anthologies of Valdemar. One of the things I love best about these is that a good half of the contributing authors keep coming back; there are now several different names I automatically look for in the newest anthologies, because I'm interested to know what's new with the characters they've brought into Lackey's world. ...more
annapi
Oct 13, 2019 rated it liked it
Although overall I enjoyed this, as usual most of the stories lacked oomph. Mercedes Lackey's was the best, to be expected. Fiona Patton's new Hektor Dann story was a bit disappointing - her previous ones were much better, this one lacked punch at the end though it started out well. Still it was nice as always to visit Valdemar again. ...more
Kate H
Nov 09, 2020 rated it really 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.
Lark of The Bookwyrm's Hoard
3.5 stars None of the stories in this anthology are bad, but there are few remarkable standouts either; for the most part they are well-written and entertaining without lingering in the reader's mind. Review to come. ...more
Michele bookloverforever
Dec 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Pathways (Valdemar)

I love all things Valdemar and have since I first read Magic 's Pawn. These anthologies have expanded that universe a lot. I found these tales a bit darker and more melancholy than usual but fine stories nonetheless.
...more
Sharyl M Dresser
Dec 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Christmas Come Early!

Every single story is as intricately made as the finest Christmas ornament. Not only do I wish that each story was a book long, they are perfectly balanced together to make an incomparable experience. The only downside is waiting for the next edition. Enjoy!
Keoki Ki`Ili
Dec 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Another hit

Great collection of stories in the Valdemar world. Each author spins their own tale but they all feel connected and some are continuing storylines by author's who have appeared before. Some are so good I wish they were longer.
...more
Becky
Dec 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
I like the short stories, I get another persons view of this world. That being said it seems like the bulk of the stories were continuations of previous stories. Why don’t the authors write their own books? It’s really hard trying to remember year to year what’s happened
Gloria
Jan 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
Good collection of Valdemar stories, though as always, I prefer novel length. However, several of these captures my imagination, and the book overall held my interest. A good choice if you are snatching reading time between prepping for the holidays and attending events, as I was.
Sarah
Jan 09, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
A couple of the stories were really bad. The rest were mainly OK but too many relied on having read the last anthology and more to the point remembering it. The stories could do with an introduction saying when and where they are based and if they are sequels.
Sean Talbot
some wonderful stories including my favourite which is about Herald Wil who has been in multiple anthologies.

anthologies are always hit or miss especially when writing in another person's world. that's what makes this even harder.
...more
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7,540 followers
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 14 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)
  • Crucible (Tales of Valdemar, #9)
  • Tempest (Tales of Valdemar, #10)

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