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Changing the World

(Tales of Valdemar #5)

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  1,983 ratings  ·  71 reviews
In March 1987, a young author from Oklahoma published her first novel, Arrows of the Queen. This modest book about a magical land called Valdemar was the beginning of a fantasy masterpiece that would span decades and include more than two dozen titles. Now sixteen of today’s hottest fantasy authors—including Tanya Huff, Mickey Zucker Reichert, Fiona Patton, and Judith Tarr ...more
Paperback, 343 pages
Published December 1st 2009 by DAW
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Average rating 3.98  · 
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 ·  1,983 ratings  ·  71 reviews

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Jan 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
3½ stars

I love Mercedes Lackey's writing, and I specifically love her Valdemar series; I own every single one of the Valdemar books – I've even re-bought several in e-book form so I can dive in whenever and wherever the mood strikes – and I've read the whole lot of them many, many times.

If you're wondering how my love for Valdemar translates into a 3.5-star score, it's because this anthology, like all the other collections she's published, only contains one of her own stories. The rest of the s
Kathy Davie
Nov 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
An anthology of sixteen short stories in the Valdemar young adult fantasy series.

There's one constant that keeps cropping up in various stories when a Herald complains about a task he has to do, and a Companion reminds him that this is exactly what he is supposed to do. Help people. Help Valdemar. Because helping and protecting the people of Valdemar is important and can only help Valdemar and a Herald can't pick and choose which tasks he'd prefer to do.

"For Want of a Nail" (the very
For the most part a pleasant if not outstanding journey into snippets of Valdemar. The stories bounce around through history a lot, though, which is fine if you decide to leisurely read one story at a time, a little jarring if you sit down to read the whole book (I was sort of in the middle, read a big chunk and also did some one by one reading). There were good stories and not-so-good stories. A couple of them left me very frustrated because I felt the authors brought up unnecessary details if ...more
Finally got around to reading the most recent anthology, and wound up following about 4-5 years of stories about the same characters. Quite good, most of them.
Julie Akeman
Dec 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
That takes care of my Valdemar favorite story was when the Companion chose TWO Chosen, two girls who were born the same time and were expected to be friends because the mothers are cousins and good friends, instead they HATE each other, and it was almost going to be a blood bath when they realized One Companion Chose both of them..the reason why was pretty fantastic. I read this out of order of the other ones so I found out two more stories that go with two others from the book that's a ...more
Aug 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyable set of short stories

I've loved this world for a long time and, once again, this was a very enjoyable read. I give it only 4 stars because 5 is reserved for books I'd read many times.
Jun 12, 2020 rated it it was ok
This was terrible. There were a few I really enjoyed, but they were overwhelmed by the majority which were poorly written and diverged greatly from well-established Valdemar lore and traditions. Most of them felt like poorly written fan fiction.
Jun 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is the best Tales of Valdemar collection I have ever read. And I do love the Heralds and Companions of Valdemar! Well done!
Kathy Sebesta
Jul 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Especially liked the last story. Actually flipped back to see that it wasn't a Lackey story.
Annette McIntyre
Sep 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
A great selection of short stories adding to the mythos of Valdemar and it's surrounding countries.
Linda Malcor
Sep 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A mix of tales by established and new authors. Quite good.
Feb 08, 2010 rated it liked it
This is the newest collection of short stories set in Mercedes Lackey's world of Valdemar. Not all the stories deal with the Heralds and their brilliant Companions, Healers, guards, and everyday citizens all have their staring role in these 16 fantastic stories. The collection features a new short story by Mercedes Lackey as well as Tanya Huff, Mickey Zucker Reichert, and Fiona Patton.

For the most part I enjoyed all the stories and they added to the stories of Valdemar, however their were two th
Feb 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
A fine group of tales. Although you really need to have read a lot of Mercedes Lackey's writings to (IMO) fully appreciate the last story. ;-)
Apr 14, 2010 rated it really liked it
Well, as Valdemar anthologies go, it was a very nice one. Two things really bugged me though: firstly, it really really really irritated me that there were many repeated sets of characters (already noticeable in the anthology before) in a disorderly fashion, so not only had I an irritating suspicion that I knew these characters before, but I also couldn't remember (in a few cases) what their former stories were. Thus, I actually wanted to sit down and draw a timetable of all the stories and char ...more
ms bookjunkie
The One Left Behind by Mercedes Lackey
Angry, frustrated, tart. I enjoyed it. 3.5 stars

For Want of a Nail by Rosemary Edghill and Denise McCune
Honorable but skeptical. 3 stars

Softly Falling Snow by Elizabeth A. Vaughan
*laughing through my tears* 3.5 stars

The Reluctant Herald by Mickey Zucker Reichert
Entertaining. 3 stars

A Storytelling of Crows by Elizabeth Waters
Pretty delightful. 3.5 stars

Waiting To Belong by Kristin Schwengel
Lovely. 3.5 stars

The Last Part of the Way by Brenda Cooper
Sad. But hop
Deborah Ideiosepius
Jul 24, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
A pleasant easy reading collection of stories set in Valdamar (Mostly).

Some are quite good, some are not, as one would expect from a ‘fan fiction’ collection.

The first story “The one left behind” by, Mercedes herself was pleasant, a bit of a reversal on the ‘everyone loves heralds’ theme.

Rosemary Edghill’s contribution "For want of a nail"(with Denise McCune) was one of the one’s that stood out as good.

Tanya Huff however disappointed me, she is a favourite author of mine and one of the reason
Fantasy Literature
Dec 18, 2013 rated it liked it
In Changing the World: All new tales of Valdemar, Mercedes Lackey edits a collection of short stories from several different authors. They’re all set in her famous Valdemar, and many center on a theme: What happens when being Chosen causes more problems than it solves? I enjoyed this approach to the classic being Chosen trope in which being Chosen is the end of all your troubles.

Lackey starts off the collection with “The One Left Behind” about a young woman who is dealing with the emotional fall
Mar 22, 2010 rated it liked it
One of the stories there is written by someone I know: Denise McCune, "For Want of a Nail" (apparently in collaboration with Rosemary Edghill). I still don't know what the title is referring to. But I found it suspicious how quickly Navar changed his mind about the Companions. If anything that confirms his suspicions, at least for me. It seems as though he would naturally try to leave the Companion's presence, and examine his mind when he's not affected by them, to make sure that it still seems ...more
Caroline Selby
Aug 07, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2010
I've been starved for new Valdemar tales as of late. Mercedes Lackey dominated by bookshelves in the '90s, and while I do like some of her new works, the world of Valdemar will always be my first love.

I think this was the best collection of short stories that's been put out so far. Admittedly, a couple of them were a bit dull to the point where I skimmed through them, but what really set this book apart, for me, was the last story, "Interview with a Companion" by Ben Ohlander. It was reminiscent
Feb 23, 2014 rated it liked it
This one is pretty good - it didn't have any 'gems' that really stand out, but there were fewer disappointing ones than the other anthologies.

'The One Left Behind' was good, but than that's Lackey's contribution, so it SHOULD be. :)

'For Want of a Nail' was an interesting look at Valdemar's founding, but I couldn't identify with the main character, so it fell a bit flat.

'Softly Falling Snow' and 'The Reluctant Herald' were both good.

I really enjoyed 'Midwinter Gifts' - I'm totally shipping Bar
Sep 05, 2009 rated it liked it
I am a long-time Valdemar lover and therefore read each and every book Mercedes Lackey writes, regardless of its concept and/or co-authors. This book of Tales of Valdemar is a very nice example of talented authors in addition to Misty writing in her style about her world. I was amazed by Tanya Huff, for instance, who you could tell was a true Valdemar fan; her story has little bits and pieces included that only one who has read all the books would know to include.

As a whole, I usually do not car
Jan 22, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, valdemar
A mixed bag. Lackey's story was wonderful as expected. (And really, the world's creator *should* have an excellent feel for the world.)

I'll admit I was surprised that Lackey let some of the author's play with her pre-existing characters. And several authors wrote sequels to their stories from earlier anthologies.

Most of the stories were good, but not great. However, there were a few unexpected bright spots, particularly Reichert's story "The reluctant Herald", Cooper's "The Last Part of the Way
Aug 10, 2009 rated it liked it
Not bad! I laughed quite a bit during the Tanya Huff story, and enjoyed Lackey's contribution to her own world. Like other reviewers, I was a bit surprised by what was allowed with this collection. Some authors dealt with main characters from the full-length books, which has not been allowed previously. There were also follow-up stories to those that appeared in a previous anthology. Good subsequent stories, but a quick recap would have been necessary for someone who hadn't read the previous sto ...more
Dec 23, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2009
A somewhat ironic title as this collection of short stories really doesn't change anything about Valdemar or add anything really significant. The stories vary wildly in quality and in adherence to the traditional Valdemar tropes. A couple, including one set in Kentucky, seem wildly out of place, while others, such as Midwinter Gifts fit well into Valdemar. It's not a bad collection for fans, and I discovered a couple of authors who I want to track down some of their other writing. I don't recomm ...more
Jan 17, 2010 rated it really liked it
Mercedes Lackey's Valdemar series are my favorite books of all time - I've re-read them frequently. So... I'm not an unbiased reviewer. This book is a collection of short stories set in Mercedes Lackey's Valdamar, but written by others. It's the 3rd or 4th such book she done/edited. She sets parameters & the stories must fit with in her (seemingly fairly broad) rules. This collection varies wildly in quality of story, unlike past collections. I really strongly dislike the last story (I don't wan ...more
Apr 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: adventure, fantasy
More tales of Valdemar from authors other than Mercedes Lackey, creator of Valdemar. These were completely enjoyable if mostly predictable escapism, and I was pleased to discover that many authors have written for several of these anthologies, continuing the stories of the same characters. I've always liked episodic plots, so I find it appealing. I have to say that the last 'story' was just ridiculous, though. Companions in our world? Talk about pushing it. And I really didn't appreciate the det ...more
Valdemar is my favorite fictional fantasy world, but I have been disappointed with Mercedes Lackey's offerings as of late. It just kinda seems like she's rather be doing something (anything) else than writing in Valdemar once again. Which is why I have loved these short story anthologies so much. They play in the world that I love, but the myriad authors exude the enthusiasm and fresh looks that I've been craving.

That being said, not every story is a hit in this anthology. If I could have given
Martina the Book Fairy
This book is a group of 16 short stories all taking place in the fantasy world of Velgarth, where the Valdemar fantasy series by Mercedes Lackey takes place. Only one is written by Lackey herself, and as with pretty much all anthologies, the stories are very much hit or miss. My favorites are the ones featuring the Heralds and their Companions, but there are a number of stories without them that are good, too. A couple about a hobgoblin and his friend and at least one about a guardsman. Overall ...more
Jan 31, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Another fine collection of Valdemar tales with a new one by Lackey herself. Interesting stories as usual, but nothing that really grabs you. I wasn't sure about the one where a Companion Chooses 2 girls - that was a bit far-fetched for me based on what we know of Valdemar, but as it got past the author I suppose she approved it, though I don't really like it. The last story was also a bit of an eye-roller with its gimmick of a reporter "interviewing" a Companion, and what annoyed me about it was ...more
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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)
  • 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)
  • Pathways (Tales of Valdemar #11)

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