Joy's Reviews > Under the Vale and Other Tales of Valdemar

Under the Vale and Other Tales of Valdemar by Mercedes Lackey
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's review
Dec 13, 2011

really liked it
Read from December 08 to 11, 2011

This is another excellent book of short stories relating to the world of Valdemar and its neighboring countries, and while previous knowledge of the world will help greatly in understanding some of the depth of the world it's not necessary to enjoy the book. I did find the selection of the first story to be jarring, as it is written from a first-person perspective and is a very different sort of story than usually found in these collections. It is not a bad story at all, in fact I greatly enjoyed it when I got to the end, but it was definitely a "huh what?" moment when I started reading the book, and so I think it might have been a better plan to put it in a different order. The range of stories provided some new takes on the Heralds, especially some that were less than flattering, which adds some wonderful texture and depth to the world. The last "story" is actually an essay written by Larry Dixon which covers how the Tayledras Vales are formed and used, and I found that to be incredibly fascinating. It's always clear when an author takes time to research and write up the underpinnings to the world they write about, but to have the chance to read that work for myself was a rare treat. I'm an engineer by trade so learning how the Vales are created and work was very cool, and I'm considering rereading the [i]Winds[/i] trilogy with this information now available. I certainly hope that future collections will include similar essays, and I for one will be waiting in hopes that they do.
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