Heralds of Valdemar Reviews: Oathblood

Mercedes Lackey
Vows and Honour: Book 3

Oathblood is the odd duck of the Valdemar books. It’s the only book that is unabashedly short stories, not covering up like The Oathbound. (There are Valdemar anthologies, but they are generally written by other authors, sanctioned fanfic: good fun, but not under discussion.)

I think the best way to read the Tarma and Kethry books are to start with the first story in Oathblood: ‘Sword Sworn’, first published in Sword and Sorceress III. I actually scrounged through the library to find S&S III, so I could read ‘Sword Sworn’ before The Oathbound, and then was somewhat embarrassed to find that I could have just read Oathblood. ‘Sword Sworn’ tells the tale of how Tarma and Kethry met, and is in Tarma’s POV, and is mostly her story.

After you read ‘Sword Sworn’, put down Oathblood, and read The Oathbound and Oathbreakers before continuing.

The rest of the short stories jump around the continuity a bit. I think they’re laid out in a rough chronology. I skipped the ones that were in The Oathbound, as I’d already read them.

Like in The Oathbound, I don’t have a whole lot to say. In general, I’m not a fan of short stories, but I can and do enjoy them some of the time. I will always take a short story anthology featuring recurring characters over one that is all over the place.

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