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Choices (Tales of Valdemar #12)
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Archive: Other Books > Choices (anthology) edited by Mercedes Lackey - 3 stars

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annapi | 4965 comments I'm a teensy bit disappointed in this collection. A lot of them felt like the story was hanging, or left incomplete, as if it was expected to continue in a later edition. Another problem I had was that they often referenced characters and events from the books written in this world, and there was a lot to remember without any background given. They were still all good, just nothing that excited me. Even the last story, by Lackey herself, had one niggling issue that bugged me - if I remember right, the sword Need also healed, and the broken arm at the end shouldn't have been an issue for very long. Then again, maybe my memory isn't serving me well...

Regardless, it's a good collection as usual, just not up to a collective 4 stars in my book.

message 2: by AsimovsZeroth (new)

AsimovsZeroth (asimovszerothlaw) | 436 comments I've never been able to get into Mercedes Lackey, or many of the collections she's edited for exactly the reason you've stated. So much of it seems unfinished and unsatisfying, or requires you to already be a fan and have a ton of background knowledge.

annapi | 4965 comments Oh, I'm a fan, and have read all her books, I think! Only this collection seemed to reference a lot of the books I read way way back in my youth and so I've forgotten a lot of it. I would have been happy if there had been some introduction to each story to give more background and help me recall!

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AsimovsZeroth (asimovszerothlaw) | 436 comments Granted, I think the few I tried were ones that she wrote with other authors, so perhaps I should give her another chance. It may just be that I don't like her collaborations. If I were to give her another shot, what would you recommend I try first?

annapi | 4965 comments My favorites of her work are (in no particular order) the Hunter series, the Vows and Honor series including By the Sword (Kerowyn is my favorite herald), The Last Herald-Mage trilogy, the Diana Tregarde series, The Ship Who Sang (collaboration with Anne McCaffrey) and the Elemental Masters series. I like Valdemar overall, but the quality of the stories there goes up and down. Her first books (Arrows of the Queen trilogy) are more YA in feel and not quite as polished as later work.

Regarding her collaborations, I loathe the Shadow Grail series with Rosemary Edghill. The Serrated Edge books are okay, the best ones being those written with Larry Dixon. The Halfblood Chronicles with Andre Norton are okay. I haven't gone through her other collaborations, or else I started reading them but never finished. I do want to try the one she says is her favorite of her works, the Secret World Chronicles, but have yet to get around to it.

Here's a list of her body of work from my go-to website for fiction authors:

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Joanne (joabroda1) | 7448 comments annapi wrote: "My favorites of her work are (in no particular order) the Hunter series, the Vows and Honor series including By the Sword (Kerowyn is my favorite herald), The Last Herald-Mage trilogy, the Diana Tr..."

oooooooooooooh! love this new reference for books! Thanks for the link

annapi | 4965 comments You're welcome, Joanne! I have found it quite useful over the years!

message 8: by AsimovsZeroth (new)

AsimovsZeroth (asimovszerothlaw) | 436 comments What a fantastic resource! Thank you for the detailed reply. I think I may try starting with the Hunter Series, as I think I'd rather judge her by her own merit, and not another collaboration and some of the series look like a bit more than I want to commit to right now if I love them. :) I'm bound to forget all about my reading challenges and just end up back in my favorite genres if I like one as long as say, Vows and Honor!

annapi | 4965 comments LiteraryMania wrote: "I'm bound to forget all about my reading challenges and just end up back in my favorite genres if I like one as long as say, Vows and Honor! "

Actually, Vows and Honor is not that long - 3 books, 4 if you include By the Sword, which is more a standalone and kind of a linking book between Tarma/Kethry and Valdemar, the world which she is most known for. It's really fun. Of the Valdemar books, I think the best written is probably The Last Herald-Mage.

The Hunter series is one of her latest and IMO one of her best. It's YA but feels a little more adult than most YA, and it's more urban fantasy style, set in a different world. I think you would like it.

message 10: by AsimovsZeroth (new)

AsimovsZeroth (asimovszerothlaw) | 436 comments Ohhh gotcha. Yeah, there were like half a dozen under the heading for Vows and Honor and I didn't look closely enough to realize that the others were stand alone Vlademar books! I may just pick up the first one in Vows and Honor as well as the first Hunter book, so I can compare her YA to her adult fiction. They both sound like a lot of fun and it's been ages since I've read a great YA book, which is unusual for me. You and I tend to diverge quite a bit in the author's we're reading, but of the books we both have read, we tend to rate them pretty similarly, so I trust you when you recommend something!

annapi | 4965 comments Fantasy and sci-fi are my favorite genres, then mystery. I did notice the similarities in our books too, so if you like these I might pimp out my other favorites as well :). I have several favorite authors that I like to promote! I'd be interested to get a list of your favorite authors too.

message 12: by AsimovsZeroth (last edited Dec 04, 2018 12:20AM) (new)

AsimovsZeroth (asimovszerothlaw) | 436 comments Well, of course the list is long... but I highly recommend anything by Tamora Pierce (look at that, fantastic fiction has already come in handy) for some fantastic feminist YA fantasy. Even her first quartet, The Song of the Lioness is phenomenal, if less polished than her later works, but her Immortals Quartet is also a great place to start (it's where I did) and takes place in the same universe. There are definitely spoilers for Song of the Lioness in the Immortals books, so be warned. It didn't ruin my enjoyment, but they are pretty major. Most of her books take place in the Tortall Universe and build upon each other, though each quartet has a different protagonist. However, you could also start with the Circle of Magic Quartet, which is in an entirely different universe. Personally, I think the first one in this quartet is the weakest, but it's still very enjoyable. Again, the later books build upon this one.

I haven't read his stand alone novels, but John Marco is fantastic when it comes to militaristic fantasy, both his Tyrants and Kings and his Bronze Knight series were great, though a little heavy if you're tired.

Terry Brooks is most well known for his Shannara series, but I wasn't able to get into it. I may give it another shot at some point, but I thought his Magic Kingdom of Landover series was great fun!

On the sci-fi end of things, I thought Vernor Vinge had some unique concepts in his Queng Ho series. Fair warning - the first book can be a bit hard to get into, but once it moves from space to a planet, (which happens early on) you'll find it quickly becomes an easy read.

Daniel H. Wilson's Robo series was a great apocalyptic set and the author actually has a PhD in Robotics from Carnegie Mellon, so his robot uprising felt uncomfortably possible.

On the YA end of sci-fi, while not necessarily my favorite YA sci-fi author, Scott Westerfeld's Uglies series was a lot of fun. I enjoyed it far more than I expected to when I originally picked it up.

Oh dear. I'd better stop, or I'll go on all day!

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