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Under the Vale and Other Tales of Valdemar (Daw Book Collectors) Mass Market Paperback – 6 Dec 2011


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Under the Vale and Other Tales of Valdemar (Daw Book Collectors) + Changing the World (All-New Tales of Valdemar) + Finding the Way and Other Tales of Valdemar
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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 344 pages
  • Publisher: Daw Books (6 Dec. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 075640696X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0756406967
  • Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 2.2 x 17.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 448,284 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By W.M.M. van der Salm-Pallada on 14 Jan. 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Another December, another Valdemar anthology. It's become a bit of a tradition at my house that one of the books I get for Christmas is the new Valdemar anthology. And every year I spend an enjoyable day or two during my Christmas holiday visiting the world that got me hooked into fantasy for good. This year was no exception to the rule and it was a good visit to Velgarth. Lackey is my literary chocolate, my comfort reading and she never fails to disappoint in that respect.

Last year I was disappointed at the lack of new names among the contributing authors. And while the majority of this year's authors are return contributors - half of which feature recurring characters - there are two new authors to this anthology series: Daniel Shull and Jennifer Brozek. While Shull was an unknown author to me - and I haven't been able to find any more info on him, not even in the author bio's in the back of the book - and Jennifer Brozek, who I had heard of before. Shull's story A Healer's Work, a look at the Healer's life and the way magic's return after The Mage Winds trilogy affects both Healers and Heralds, was very enjoyable and I hope to see more of his work in the future. Brozek's Discordance focuses on Bardic Collegium's occupants and how rejection can affect a teenager and cause him to use his talents to bad ends. I enjoyed this look at the other side of the coin. Most stories in these anthologies are about those who do get Chosen or are Gifted enough to either get into a Collegium or find another good purpose for their gift. Discordance and, to a lesser extent Lackey's own Simple Gifts and Edghill and McCune's Catch Fire, Draw Flame, deal with those who go rogue with their Gifts.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kate W on 31 Dec. 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I bought this book expecting it to be as good as the other anthologies in this series but I was a little disappointed. There were some good stories continuing on themes in the other books but I felt the whole book was a bit thin.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a good compilation of short stories about Valdemar. Mercedes Lackey has again taken us into her world and given us high adventure as well as funny moments, the writers who have penned stories to go into the complication have all written great tales which enrich the world of valdemar and leave you wanting to read more, looking forward to the next one
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This book contained a collection of tales each one different and all with a moral to the story.

One tale of a bard misusing his gift to hurt people and the older bard who had to try and stop him.

This was not the usual collection of tales of Valdemar, but still of the high stanard you come to expect.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 39 reviews
38 of 41 people found the following review helpful
Mostly mediocre; C minus 15 Dec. 2011
By TwoTooth - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Under the Vale and Other Tales of Valdemar is the seventh anthology of short fiction set in Velgarth (not just Valdemar). It is the weakest of the seven. Several stories are further episodes in the lives of characters introduced in earlier anthologies, and invariably the newer stories are less interesting than the older ones.

Most of the stories are okay at best, and most could have taken place in any world, not necessarily even a fantasy one.

Lackey's own The Simple Gifts is an amusing tale of a man finding his vocation, competently written, having a few bits of Valdemaran local color.

Edghill and McCune's Catch Fire, Draw Flame is undeveloped.

Vaughan's In an Instant is inconsequential; it reads like an outtake from one of Lackey's own books (By the Sword).

Cooper's Slow and Steady was good; it's hard to bring this sort of character off, and Cooper does it well. Story could've taken place in any pre-industrial setting (in which women are on a more-or-less equal footing with men).

Paulk and Hoyt each have a further episode in the life of one of the change creatures, Ree, which have the virtue at least of belonging in the Velgarthian milieu. But the characters and situations are losing steam.

The Bride's Task by Williamson and Sanders was interesting; I'd like to see the characters and situations developed further in a longer form (novella or novel, depending).

Ohlander's Fog of War was the best story, with characters worthy of greater development to add dimension. I wanted to know more about them, where they're going and how they got there.

Patton's Watchmen's Ball is essentially Irish cops in Haven. The story could just as easily have taken place in New York City or Boston around 1900. It has its moments, but it's pretty obvious where it's going.

The other stories are mostly competently written, bland, and without a strong sense of place.

There's a longish backgrounder at the end of the book by Larry Dixon. I read the first few pages and skimmed the rest. It's essentially the underpinnings of the world developed in the series published from the early 1990s on. Some may enjoy it.

The book could've used one last edit and proofreading. This is more apparent in some stories than in others. These aren't OCR-conversion errors; it's just plain sloppy editing.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
More Nooks and Crannies 10 Nov. 2012
By Arthur W. Jordin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Under the Vale (2011) is the seventh Fantasy anthology in the Valdemar series, following Finding the Way. The initial work in this series is Sword of Ice.

This volume contains sixteen original short stories and an article. It also includes bios of the authors and the editor.

"The Simple Gifts" by Mercedes Lackey is about a rake with a mind gift.

"Catch Fire, Draw Flame" by Rosemary Edghill & Denise McCune tells of a thief with a strange gift.

"In an Instant" by Elizabeth A. Vaughan concerns the queen and her enemy's brother.

"A Healer's Work" by Daniel Shull involves a pair of healers trying to carry on during a disruptive period.

"A Leash of Greyhounds" by Elizabeth Waters covers an incident that invokes hurt feelings.

"Warp and Weft" by Kristin Schwengel examines a young mage who is suffering from a loss in the Pelagiris.

"Discordance" by Jennifer Brozek shows the mishaps caused by an envious young man.

"Slow and Steady" by Brenda Cooper is a tale of a young girl who is slow, but steady.

"Sight and Sound" by Stephanie Shaver discloses the strains on a Herald with visions.

"The Bride'd Task" by Michael Z. Williamson & Gail L. Sanders examines the responsibilities of a Shin'a'in Herald trainee.

"Fog of War" by Ben Ohlander follows a Herald in the midst of a war.

"Heart's Peril" by Kate Paulk recounts the perilous adventures of a young Hobgoblin.

"Heart's Place" by Sarah Hoyt visits the legal standing of a Hobgoblin.

"Family Matters" by Tanya Huff observes the trials of a Herald who returns home for the first time after receiving his whites.

"The Watchman's Ball" by Fionna Patton relates a tradition of Haven on the first new moon eve before winter.

"Judgment Day" by Nancy Asire describes a judicial case in Levron's home town.

"Ender the Vale" by Larry Dixon is an article about the structure and construction of Vales.

These tales are, of course, stories about Valdemar and its neighbors from before its establishment to the present. Most are continuing works from previous anthologies. Wonder whether any of these related stories will be gathered or expanded into separate volumes in the Valdemar universe?

Explore the nooks and crannies of Valdermaran history. The next installment in this sequence is No True Way: All-New Tales of Valdemar.

Highly recommended for Lackey fans and for anyone else who enjoys tales of Valdemar and its surroundings. Read and enjoy!

-Arthur W. Jordin
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Another fun visit to Velgarth 14 Jan. 2012
By W.M.M. van der Salm-Pallada - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Another December, another Valdemar anthology. It's become a bit of a tradition at my house that one of the books I get for Christmas is the new Valdemar anthology. And every year I spend an enjoyable day or two during my Christmas holiday visiting the world that got me hooked into fantasy for good. This year was no exception to the rule and it was a good visit to Velgarth. Lackey is my literary chocolate, my comfort reading and she never fails to disappoint in that respect.

Last year I was disappointed at the lack of new names among the contributing authors. And while the majority of this year's authors are return contributors - half of which feature recurring characters - there are two new authors to this anthology series: Daniel Shull and Jennifer Brozek. While Shull was an unknown author to me - and I haven't been able to find any more info on him, not even in the author bio's in the back of the book - and Jennifer Brozek, who I had heard of before. Shull's story A Healer's Work, a look at the Healer's life and the way magic's return after The Mage Winds trilogy affects both Healers and Heralds, was very enjoyable and I hope to see more of his work in the future. Brozek's Discordance focuses on Bardic Collegium's occupants and how rejection can affect a teenager and cause him to use his talents to bad ends. I enjoyed this look at the other side of the coin. Most stories in these anthologies are about those who do get Chosen or are Gifted enough to either get into a Collegium or find another good purpose for their gift. Discordance and, to a lesser extent Lackey's own Simple Gifts and Edghill and McCune's Catch Fire, Draw Flame, deal with those who go rogue with their Gifts.

Surprisingly, this year there weren't any complete duds for me--yes, some of the stories were more enjoyable than others to me, but there weren't any stories that I actively disliked. I really enjoyed returning to some of the returning story settings. I absolutely love Kate Paulk and Sarah Hoyt's Ree and Jem stories, so I was glad to get two more of them on this outing, Heart's Peril and Heart's Place, even though the latter made me a little sad. Ree and Jem are lovely characters, so much so, that I'd love to have a whole book about them! Other perennial favourites are Herald Jors and his Companion Gervais. In Tanya Huff's Family Matters we get a lighter tale after last year's tragic adventure. I loved Jors' theatrical little cousin Annamarin and I left the story with a smile. Another fun return visit was that of the Dann family of Haven watchmen in The Watchmen's Ball. I always enjoy Fiona Patton's writing and I really like her tales about the Dann family. They're a fun bunch and again it's nice to have a tale from the perspective of regular people, not connected to any of the Collegia or the Court.

My favourite stories from a non-recurring setting were those by Elizabeth A. Vaughan, Kristin Schwengel and Ben Ohlander. Vaughan's In an Instant, in which Selenay and Daren acknowledge their Lifebond, though very short, was poignant and packed a punch. I really loved this seemingly small, intimate moment, which in actuality is something that is life-changing, not just for Selenay and Daren, but their Companions as well. Schwengel's Warp and Weft was awesome. It is a very cool look at post-Mage Storm Tayledras life and how they go about restoring the Pelagirs and how magic works after the Storms. Finally, Fog of War by Ben Ohlander really impressed me. I loved how this didn't feature a Herald with a very powerful version of a know gift, but one who's gift is rather numinous and who is very, very good at what he does. Plus it was a grittier, darker story than we usually see in the Valdemar universe, which was refreshing.

The titular story Under the Vale by Larry Dixon is less of a short story and more like a scientific essay describing the technical underpinnings of a Tayledras Vale. This was very informative to read and learn about and it makes me curious about all the notes and research Lackey and Dixon have lying around their office! I hope this will be a returning feature in the anthologies or that they would consider publishing these sorts of essays in a follow up to The Valdemar Companion.

Under The Vale is one of the better Valdemar anthologies so far. However, they are not for the casual reader; more and more they've become snacks for the dedicated Valdemar fan. As such, I really enjoyed it, but a casual reader would be better served by starting with one of the earlier trilogies, such as The Heralds of Valdemar series or the Last Herald Mage trilogy, or by starting with the first book of the current trilogy, Foundation.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
mixed feelings 28 Jun. 2012
By che - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It was a pleasure to reconnect with familiar characters like Ree and Jem and to experience a slice of their lives once more. I loved meeting new characters and sharing in their lives as well. Ms. Lackey has again exhibited the high standards we've come to expect in both her writing and her selection of authors for her anthologies.

My only complaint is with the last title in the book, Under the Vale. I enjoy writing and reading about the methods other writers use. I own a number of books on the subject and I am not adverse to purchasing more. The final piece in the anthology is not the culminating "story" of the book. It is an essay that provides an excellent view into some of the writing processes Lackey and Dixon employ. When I purchase a collection of short stories to be entertained by, that is exactly what I expect to recieve. Being unexpectedly confronted with a technical essay did not provide me with the sense of satisfaction that I anticipated at the end of the book. It left me feeling decidedly short changed and dissappointed.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Hated to reach the end 11 Jan. 2012
By S. Collins - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I hated to reach the end of the book, as I usually do when I read these collections. Always gives me at least 1 new author to try, and true fantasy is now hard to find since "the powers that be" have chosen to lump paranormal romance, which I really don't care about reading, in the same category. Hope another is released soon.
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