So I was on the fifth story of the anthology. The anthology is, as a reminder, Moonsinger’s Friends: An Anthology in Honor of Andre Norton. The fifth story is The Shadow Hart by Sandra Miesel. And let it be noted that the King in this story is named Valdemar. Which makes me wonder, of course, whether or not this is related to Mercedes Lackey’s well-known Valdemar series. I checked the date on Arrows of the Queen, the first book published in the series, and it’s 1987. This anthology, may I remind you, is from 1985. So the possibility exists. Let’s also note that in Arrows of the Queen, Lackey thanks Marion Zimmer Bradley and Lisa Waters for encouraging her to write (publish? who knows). As mentioned previously, Bradley is one of the contributors to this anthology.
Could I do a quick search for where Lackey got the name from? Sure, of course I could. But it’s much more fun to put the pieces together for myself, to conjecture and suppose.
As this anthology went on, I found two tales that struck me as being familiar, though they’re not (currently) in my electronic library of short stories. This might be because they’re on the two bookcases I have not yet logged, or because I don’t actually own the books I may have read them in.
Regardless, this is a powerful anthology, and well worth the dedication to Andre Norton. I’ll simply end on the same note as the final inclusion, “An Open Letter to Andre Norton”, by Joan D. Vinge. For me, these words hold true not simply for Andre Norton, but for many of the authors contained within these pages and all my books in general.
“Because of you, I am.”