Review: CRUCIBLE edited by Mercedes Lackey

CRUCIBLE, edited by Mercedes Lackey

Favorite story: “The Note” by Phaedra Weldon. While many of the stories in this anthology rated between 3 and 4 stars for me and were cute and enjoyable but not amazing, this penultimate tale punched me right in the feels. There are so many things about the life of a Herald that are explored in this tale, even though the story’s point of view is the mother of a (deceased) Herald. Reading this story is worth the cost of the anthology alone.

Story that I wish would be expanded into a novel: “Never Alone” Dayle A. Dermatis. Valdemar has been my go-to escape world since I was 12 years old, which is over half my life at this point. Though the books are marketed as adult fantasy, there was so much that spoke to my teenage and young adult self that definitely shaped who I am as a grown-up. But as an adult today, it was lovely to see the tale of a very nontraditional Herald in the form of Herald trainee Syrriah. The story itself is sweet and delivers a strong message in itself, but the underlying implication that it’s never too late for any of us to be Chosen is what stayed with me.

Rating: 4 (out of 5) stars. Cross-posted to Amazon and Goodreads.

Currently reading: Burn for Me by Ilona Andrews (0%)

Published by steelvictory

By day, J. L. Gribble is a professional medical editor. By night, she does freelance fiction editing in all genres, along with reading, playing video games, and occasionally even writing. Her debut novel, STEEL VICTORY, was her thesis novel for Seton Hill University's Writing Popular Fiction graduate program in Greensburg, Pennsylvania. Previously, she was one of the co-editors for FAR WORLDS, a speculative fiction anthology. She lives in Ellicott City, Maryland, with her husband and three vocal Siamese cats. Find her online (, on Facebook (, and on Twitter and Instagram (@hannaedits). She is currently working on more tales set in the world of Limani.

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