Seasonal celebrations were the theme of this collection of tales set in the fantasy world of Valdemar, which acted less as glue holding the collection together and more as an awkward way to pretend all of these stories belonged together. Especially in the cases of the “continuing” stories that feature characters from previous collections.
I abandoned many of the stories without finishing them. Even, I’m sorry to say, the one by Lackey herself. I didn’t have a favorite story in this collection, but the “best” story was definitely “Seeing the Truth” by Angela Penrose. It was a darker tale than I usually expect in these collections, but its message was important.
I’ll continue to buy these collections because I enjoy visiting this world. Here’s hoping that this was just a lackluster year of submissions.