Friday, December 19, 2014

No True Way - Ed. Mercedes Lackey

No True Way: A Valdemar Anthology
No True Way: All New Tales of Valdemar
Mercedes Lackey
DAW Books
Release Date: December 2, 2014

The product description:
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 touches to the ancient land where Heralds “Chosen” from all walks of life by magical horse-like Companions patrol their ancient kingdom, dispensing justice, facing adversaries, and protecting their monarch and country from whatever threatens. Trained rigorously by the Herald’s Collegium, these special protectors each have extraordinary Gifts: Mindspeaking, FarSeeing, FarSpeaking, Empathy, Firestarting and ForeSeeing, and are bonded for life with their mysterious Companions. Travel with these astounding adventurers in sixteen original stories.
As always, there are great stories in the annual Valdemar anthology. I'm really glad to see it back after a two year hiatus where the annual anthology was based on Mercedes Lackey's Elemental Masters series instead.

After a two year hiatus, there weren't as many recurring storylines in this anthology as there had been in the previous ones, although there was a story set in the world of the Haven Watch - the latest in the series of those. I missed some of the others from the previous volumes.

Mercedes Lackey's story for this volume was one of my favorites, though I do have to say that there were no stories in No True Way that I actively disliked. Quite a few authors decided to work from a theme of woolwork - mostly weaving, but there was at least one story that used spinning as a key plot point. As a spinner myself, that was something that I found to be quite neat.

I know that the last time I mentioned this book - in an Upcoming Books post back in September, I'd commented that the only pre-order option I was seeing on was for an e-book; well No True Way was also released as a paperback thankfully and is available as such from Amazon as well.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Upcoming Release: Deeds of Honor by Elizabeth Moon

Deeds of Honor: Paksenarrion World Chronicles - Elizabeth Moon
Deeds of Honor: Paksenarrion World Chronicles
Elizabeth Moon
Jabberwocky Literary Agency Ltd.
Release Date: December 22, 2015

The product description:
Elizabeth Moon, the New York Times bestselling author of the celebrated Deed of Paksenarrion and Paladin's Legacy epic fantasy series, presents Deeds of Honor, a brand new collection of short stories set in the world of Paksenarrion.

With two exclusive, never-before-published stories featuring characters from the Paladin's Legacy series, Deeds of Honor gathers together lore and legends from Paksenarrion’s world, along with tales from the Paladin’s Legacy era, all revised and updated for this special compilation.

Rich with the vivid and immersive storytelling for which Elizabeth Moon is known, the eight short stories in Deeds of Honor—collected here for the first time, with all-new author notes—are certain to please any fan of the Paksenarrion saga.

Deeds of Honor: Tales of Paksenarrion’s World
“Point of Honor” – “Falk's Oath” – “Cross Purposes” – “Torre's Ride” – “A Parrion of Cooking” – “Vardan's Tale” – “Those Who Walk in Darkness” – “The Last Lesson”
Elizabeth Moon is releasing a collection of short stories set in the world of The Deed of Paksenarrion. Most of them I haven't heard of, but Those Who Walk In Darkness is a story that I almost consider to be a chapter in The Deeds of Paksenarrion. It tells the story of the boy who was tortured along with Paks by the Liartians. The entirety of Those Who Walk In Darkness has been published on her website, but I've read it before in another of Elizabeth Moon's short story collections, Phases.

None of the other story titles are at all familiar to me, but I'm definitely looking forward to reading this short story collection, even though it's only available as an e-book.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The Valdemar Reading Challenge - 2015

Image credits found at
Running from January 1, 2015 - December 31, 2015
I'm challenging people to have a go at one of my long-time favorite authors and worlds of books: Mercedes Lackey's world of Valdemar. It's one of my go-to worlds, with plenty of reading material and characters.

If you're a fan of fantasy and haven't given any of these books a try, 2015 is the year to do it! Magic - of varying flavors and styles, horses, and books that are great for everyone from young readers (some of them, anyway) on through to those young at heart. If you already know and love the series, this is the year for that big re-read!

There are several good entry-points to this series now, ranging from the Heralds of Valdemar trilogy (Arrows of the Queen, Arrow's Flight and Arrow's Fall) to the Collegium Chronicles, which starts with Foundation.

The Rules of the Challenge:
  1. Level One: 3-6 books.
  2. Level Two: 6-12 books.
  3. Level Three: All of the Valdemar books.
  4. Level Four: All of the Valdemar books, plus any two of the Valdemar anthologies.
  5. Bonus books: Any other Mercedes Lackey titles from her other series, including the Elemental Masters, Diana Tregarde, Five Hundred Kingdoms etc.
  6. Any reads for this challenge do count towards any other challenges you are participating in.
  7. To join up, just leave a comment here signing up, and, should you choose, comment with the links to your reviews of the books you've read.
  8. This is the most important rule of them all: Have fun!
The books I've read for this challenge:
  1. Arrows of the Queen 
  2. Arrow's Flight 
  3. Arrow's Fall 
  4. Oathbound 
  5. Oathbreakers 
  6. Oathblood 
  7. Winds of Fate 
  8. Winds of Change

Friday, December 5, 2014

The Hardcore Re-Reading Challenge

Given how much of my blog these days is re-reading - when I'm reading at all (or so it feels some of the time) this is the perfect challenge for me. Even so, I'm only signing up for the very lowest level of this intriguing challenge hosted at You, Me and a Cup of Tea.

There are so many books that I really want to re-read that I have decided to host the 2015 Hard Core Re-Reading Challenge! This is for those of us who have a loooooooong list of books we want to re-read.

Rules (And when I say rules please realize I'm one of the most flexible people in existence)

  • First off, this challenge is for EVERYBODY! That means YOU! I want anyone and everyone to join in on the fun!
  • I suggest you make a list of books that you want to re-read for 2015 and post it with your sign up post. You are welcome to add to it as the year goes on and you definitely don't have to read them all. I recommend it be a suggested list and you can just chose books off of it as you go along.
  • The challenge officially runs from January 1, 2015 to December 31, 2015. ONLY books started AND finished in that time frame will count. 
  • Once the challenge is officially on its way in January, I will have a post where you can link up your reviews of the books you are re-reading. That way not only can everyone enjoy other people's review but also that is how I'll keep track of how many books you complete for the drawing at the end (see below). I don't care how short or long your review is. :)
  • For every ten books you re-read your name will be entered in a drawing and if you complete the challenge you signed up for it is entered again. So even if you go overboard and think you can re-read fifty books but only end up re-reading 20, you can still be eligible for prizes! There will be three winners. The first place winner will get their choice of a book or a literary trinket (costing $20 or less) from Amazon. Second place will have the same option only costing $15 or less and third place the same costing $10 or less.... because I'm a poor nursing student people! ;)
  • All forms of books are allowable including actual book, ebook and audiobook. 
  • If you don't have a blog but still want to participate you can sign up with a comment and use Goodreads for reviews or I suppose even comment on the reviews page with your reviews. I don't want to exclude anyone from joining in the fun. :)
  • You can sign up below with the Linky tool. Registration is open from now right up until the end on December 31, 2015. 


Level 1 10-20 Re-reading itch
Level 2 20-30 Re-reading bug
Level 3 30-40 Re-reading fever
Level 4 40-50 Re-reading paralysis
Level 5 50+ Re-reading coma (if you can do this I highly commend you!)

My Reading List - very loose, as I tend to pick up whatever strikes my fancy at the time, or at most to plan a book or two in advance.
  1. The Serpent's Shadow - Mercedes Lackey
  2. Arrows of the Queen - Mercedes Lackey
  3. Arrow's Flight - Mercedes Lackey
  4. Arrow's Fall - Mercedes Lackey
  5. Oath of Fealty - Elizabeth Moon
  6. Kings of the North - Elizabeth Moon
  7. Limits of Power - Elizabeth Moon
  8. Crown of Renewal - Elizabeth Moon
  9. Echoes of Betrayal - Elizabeth Moon
  10. The Hobbit - J.R.R. Tolkien (Is it a re-read if its an edition of the book that you haven't read before?)
  11. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan - Lisa See
  12. Night Play - Sherrilyn Kenyon
  13. Saint Patrick's Gargoyle - Katherine Kurtz
  14. Unleash The Night - Sherrilyn Kenyon
The books not on the initial list:
  1. Oathbound - Mercedes Lackey 
  2. Oathbreakers - Mercedes Lackey 
  3. Oathblood - Mercedes Lackey 
  4. Winds of Fate - Mercedes Lackey
  5. Winds of Change - Mercedes Lackey

Thursday, December 4, 2014

The Pre-Printing Press Challenge - 2015 Edition

The Pre-Printing Press Challenge
January 1st 2015-December 31 2015

I've seen a lot of challenges for reading romances, fiction, award winning books and many more. Challenges on various themes (King Arthur etc.) and challenges to fit certain criteria, such as the What's In A Name Challenge.

What I haven't seen is a challenge for reading books that pre-date the Printing Press. There's so many good pieces of writing that fit in this category (and I'm not asking you to read them in the original language unless you want to). So, for my first reading challenge, the pre-printing press challenge, I'm asking people to give these ancient and medieval books a try.

I started running this challenge back in 2009 and ran it again in 2010. Since then, I haven't run it, but I'm going to give it another try this year.

Just some rough examples of the sorts of books that count, both histories and fiction:
Thucydides History of the Peloponnesian War
Herodotus The Histories
Homer The Iliad and The Odyssey
Greek Tragedies and Comedies

Norse Sagas
Geoffrey of Monmouth The History of the Kings of Britain

The lists could continue on and on.

The rules of the Pre-Printing Press Challenge:
  1. All books must have come out before 1440, when the printing press was first invented.
  2. Books chosen for this challenge can overlap with other challenges.
  3. Books can be translated into the language of your choice.
  4. All the books you've chosen must be read by December 31, 2015.
  5. You can read 1-3 books, 4-6 books, 7-9 books or 10 or more books if you're feeling particularly ambitious.
  6. The choice of books is up to you. There are no set reading lists, and you don't have to set one when you join.
  7. Post your blog address where you'll be posting your comments on your choice of books in the comments of this post when you join, and tell me how many books you've chosen. I'll set up a link to participating blogs from here.
  8. Above all, Have fun.
The challenge starts January 1st.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...