Oathblood: Stories about Tarma and Kethry

Oathblood by Mercedes Lackey science fiction and fantasy book and audiobook reviewsOathblood by Mercedes Lackey science fiction and fantasy book and audiobook reviewsOathblood by Mercedes Lackey

Fans of Tarma and Kethry shouldn’t hesitate to pick up Oathblood (1998), a short story collection featuring all of Mercedes Lackey’s tales about the female sword and sorcery duo. A couple of these stories appeared in The Oathbound and Oathbreakers, the other two books in Lackey’s VOWS AND HONORS series (part of the larger VALDEMAR saga), but most did not (though published elsewhere previously).

In these stories we witness the event that set Tarma on her quest for revenge (and, wouldn’t you know, it involves a gang rape, a common feature in Lackey’s stories) and, after that, her travels and training.

Oathblood by Mercedes Lackey science fiction and fantasy book and audiobook reviewsNext we see Tarma and Kethry’s first meeting, then follow them around as they solve mysteries, help women, dispense justice (I do not always approve of their methods), and occasionally get into and out of various tight spots. The later stories describe their life at the sword and sorcery school they finally set up (which has been their goal all along).

Tarma and Kethry are interesting heroes and anyone who’s read the previous VOWS AND HONORS books will want to read Oathblood to fill in some gaps and find out what happens to them in the end. But those who haven’t read those first two books will be fine starting here, too. These short stories can stand alone and will give you an idea about whether you want to read The Oathbound and Oathbreakers .

Oathblood also contains an introduction by Mercedes Lackey in which she discusses her relationship with editor Marion Zimmer Bradley, talks about trying to get into Bradley’s anthologies, and explains why some of these stories were written (e.g., one is in response to the saying that poison is a woman’s weapon). Fans will appreciate these insights. Another point of interest is that Oathblood also contains the first story Lackey ever published.

Christa Lewis gives a nice performance in Tantor Audio’s recently published edition of Oathblood.

Published in 1998. Audio version in 2019. This exciting anthology includes a new novella featuring Mercedes Lackey’s most popular heroines, Tarma (one of the sword-sworn and most feared of all warriors) and Kethry (who wields magic and weapons for the greater good), whose fates are suddenly bound together in blood by the powers that control their destinies. Also included in this unique volume is the complete collection of Lackey’s short stories about these two brave sisters as they answer the call of their destinies with sword and sorcery.

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KAT HOOPER, who started this site in June 2007, earned a Ph.D. in neuroscience and psychology at Indiana University (Bloomington) and now teaches and conducts brain research at the University of North Florida. When she reads fiction, she wants to encounter new ideas and lots of imagination. She wants to view the world in a different way. She wants to have her mind blown. She loves beautiful language and has no patience for dull prose, vapid romance, or cheesy dialogue. She prefers complex characterization, intriguing plots, and plenty of action. Favorite authors are Jack Vance, Robin Hobb, Kage Baker, William Gibson, Gene Wolfe, Richard Matheson, and C.S. Lewis.

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