- Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
- Publisher: Penguin; Reissue edition (30 April 1998)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0886777739
- ISBN-13: 978-0886777739
- Product Dimensions: 10.7 x 2.5 x 17.3 cm
- Average Customer Review: 24 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 791,259 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Vows And Honor 3: Oathblood (Vows & honour) Mass Market Paperback – 30 Apr 1998
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A collection of ten short stories and a novella which looks at the relationship of Tarma and Kethry, two ex-mercenary swordsisters who run the schools in Haven.
About the Author
Mercedes Lackey is a full-time writer and has published numerous novels and works of short fiction, including the best-selling Heralds Of Valdemar series. She is also a professional lyricist and a licensed wild bird rehabilitator. She lives in Oklahoma with her husband, artist Larry Dixon, and their flock of parrots. She can be found at mercedeslackey.com.
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To get the individual earlier stories which have already been in print, you would have to own Sword & Sorceress 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10, all of which are (where still in print) somewhat difficult to get, at least where I am. Getting a back issue of Fantasy Book Magazine I leave to the experts. Unless you've consistently collected Sword & Sorceress, the _Oathblood_ collection is the simplest way to get these stories. Only 2 out of the 11 were blended into _The Oathbound_.
"Sword-Sworn" - First appeared in Sword & Sorceress III (they thought it was exceptionally good, accepting it despite their avoidance of rape-and-revenge stories). The tale of the massacre of clan Tale'sedrin, from which Tarma emerged as the last survivor, and its consequences, including Tarma's first meeting with Kethry. Tarma's fiance, her family, her voice, and her old life have all been destroyed - so she petitions Kal'enel to become one of Her Sword-Sworn, the only Shin'a'in who have the right to cry blood-feud. All she wants is to live long enough to avenge the dead - but she listens to her teachers' advice not to reject help along the way.
"Turnabout" - First appeared in Fantasy Book Magazine (Sword & Sorceress received it at the same time as Sword-Sworn and preferred the former). This is the tale of the song "Threes", which actually appeared first (in _Arrow's Fall_, for one). Lackey didn't have the original song with her when writing the story, so she later created Leslac (the bard who always gets things wrong) to explain why the song didn't quite match the story. The story was later written into _The Oathbound_ as chapter 8, because the Thalhkarsh story would have been incomplete without it. The *real* story is given here: Tarma, Kethry, and Warrl were *paid* to track down a bandit gang, by the families of some of the victims. Kethry's poetic justice, alas, comes back to haunt them (see _The Oathbound_).
"The Making of a Legend" - First appeared in Sword & Sorceress VI. Leslac's debut, as he produces "The Leslac Version" (see the songs at the end of _Oathbreakers_). Leslac likes to portray the ladies as shining heroes of light - a nuisance to a pair of hard-working mercenaries trying to find paid work! (Until he began following their career, he couldn't make a decent living, so he won't give up and go away. Bardic immunity protects him from Tarma's knife.)
"Keys" - First appeared in Sword & Sorceress V; a locked-room mystery, later written into _The Oathbound_ as part of chapter 6. Lady Myria has been framed for her husband's murder and now faces execution. Need brings Tarma and Kethry into it, so that Tarma acts as Lady Myria's champion in trial-by-combat, while Kethry works on solving the mystery. Time is the enemy, since Tarma doesn't face one challenger, but many; she may spare them, but they don't have the option of sparing *her*.
"A Woman's Weapon" - First appeared in Sword & Sorceress IX. Actually, poison is a coward's weapon, and someone has been feeding it to a traditionalist Master Tanner. (A local rival makes cheaper goods more quickly, but the 'new methods' involve dumping waste products carelessly and making inferior goods). A locked-room mystery.
"The Talisman" - First appeared in Sword & Sorceress VII. A former classmate of Kethry's wasted her schooling, looking for a magic talisman to boost her powers instead of learning how to stand on her own. Kethry and Tarma encounter her, now that she believes she's found such a talisman.
"A Tale of Heroes" - First appeared in Sword & Sorceress IV. A monster-slaying hero passing through raped a chambermaid; the ladies help her out. This isn't a revenge story, just helping some people get their lives back together.
"Friendly Fire" - First appeared in Sword & Sorceress X. The ladies accidentally get stuck with a bad-luck talisman (it just invokes Murphy's law, but that's bad enough).
"Wings of Fire" - First appeared in Sword & Sorceress VIII. Kethry and Tarma have settled down and are taking a break, visiting Liha'irden with the kids, when a Firefalcon Shaman stumbles into camp, looking for help.
"Spring Plowing at Forst Reach" - You always knew that "Shin'a'in" stud of Mikeal's was a dud, right? (See _Magic's Price_ if you don't know what I'm talking about.) A few generations down the line, the Ashkevrons seek Tarma's help with a little problem arising from some of the results. An interesting sidelight on the Shin'a'in and their horses.
"Oathblood" - Tarma and Kethry's students (including one of Kethry's daughters) take center-stage here, as the adventurers realize that the 'kids' really aren't children anymore.
However, I am seriously disgusted. When I picked up this book, I was very excited- "WOW! A new Tarma and Kethry book!"
I flipped through the pages, feeling my enthusiasm drain out like old water from the fish tank.
She had done it to me again- packaging a "series" of books in one binding, with nothing on the cover or back description to inform a reader that this was, in fact, nothing new.
I had gotten suckered in with two of her earlier books being packaged together, paid my $7.50 for it (obscene isn't it?) and got home all ready to read. And bam.. fish water again. I already OWNED the two books this new(ly packaged and reformed old writing) contained.
So this "new" Tarma and Kethry book (for which, I was to be charged MORE than the ORIGINAL two together cost me) raised my ire. It will be a LONG time before I can be roused to even investigate any "new" books by Lackey. If ever.
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