I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
action & adventure, alternate planes of existence, alternative history, dystopian, fantasy, military science fiction, private investigator, science fiction, short stories in a paperback edition that was published by Baen Books on December 3, 2013 and has 576 pages.
Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon
Other books by this author which I have reviewed include Invasion, World Divided, Silence, Owlknight, Born to Run, Chrome Circle, Unnatural Issue, "The River's Gift", Finding the Way and Other Tales of Valdemar, Foundation, Intrigues, Gwenhwyfar: The White Spirit, Charmed Destinies, Changes, Beauty and the Werewolf, Home From the Sea, Dead Reckoning, Conspiracies, Bedlam's Edge, Crown of Vengeance, Redoubt, Harvest Moon, Elemental Magic: All New Tales of the Elemental Masters, Sacrifices, Steadfast, Burdens of the Dead, Bastion, Victories, Blood Red, The House of the Four Winds, Games Creatures Play, Closer to Home, Wheels of Fire, When the Bough Breaks, Changing the World: All-New Tales of Valdemar, Under the Vale and Other Tales of Valdemar, Arcanum 101, A Tangled Web, Winter Moon, Moving Targets and Other Tales of Valdemar, Elementary: All-New Tales of the Elemental Masters, No True Way: All-New Tales of Valdemar, From a High Tower, Hunter, Closer to the Heart, A Study in Sable, Elite, Closer to the Chest, Tempest: All-New Tales of Valdemar, A Scandal in Battersea, The Hills Have Spies, The Bartered Brides
A collection of thirty-one short stories in fantasy, science fiction, and both that range throughout worlds, space, and history.
“Balance” (The Way*, 1)
“Dragon’s Teeth” (The Way, 2)
* My name for this small series
“The Enemy of My Enemy” is a short story set in Robert Adams’ Horseclans world.
“SKitty” (SKitty, 1)
“A Tail of Two SKittys” (SKitty, 2)
“SCat” (SKitty, 3)
“A Better Mousetrap” (SKitty, 4)
“Nightside” (Diana Tregarde, 0.5)
“Satanic, Versus” (Diana Tregarde)
“Stolen Silver” (Valdemar)
“Gray” (Elemental Masters)
“Gray’s Ghost” (Elemental Masters)
“For Those About to Rock” (The Secret World Chronicles)
“Haunt You” (The Secret World Chronicles)
“Valse Triste” (The Secret World Chronicles)
“White Bird” (The Secret World Chronicles)
“Sgian Dubh” (The Secret World Chronicles)
“Aliens Ate My Pickup” is too funny and will certainly appeal to anyone who owns a pet that eats everything!
“Small Print” is with Larry Dixon and delves into televangelists and pacts with the devil. Oh, yeah, baby, always, always, always read the fine print. I must say, it does explain how it is that so many of these wicked televangelists do so well…
“Last Rights” is with Larry Dixon and pokes fun at protestors and “terrorists” who are all about animal rights. And the fact that such people really have got to do their homework.
“Dumb Feast” is not nice, as Lackey warns us. But it does prove that nice guys can finally finish, as this put-upon wife gets her own back on her domineering husband of the late 1800s. Not that it doesn’t still continue today, ahem.
“Dance Track” is a blend of Lackey’s and Dixon’s interests as we follow Isadora Duncan from dance to car racing to engineering, as she teaches Jimmy Dean to be the best racer he can be.
I enjoyed how Lackey/Dixon pulled in both of their histories and came up with something better for both of ’em.
“Jihad” involves Lawrence of Arabia and a what-if scenario that turns around the events at Deraa. If only Lackey had gone farther and re-shaped that world into today’s. I wonder what it would look like.
“Once and Future” is set in Australia and is a crack-up, as the future King Arthur makes a profound decision about Excalibur.
“Fiddler Fair” was the inspiration for Lackey’s Bardic Voices and follows Rune, a girl who dares to think she can become a bard. Fabulous! I am prejudiced, since I adore Bardic Voices.
“Balance” is the first story of Martis and Lyran and how they meet.
“Dragon’s Teeth” is one nasty “adventure” for Martis and Lyran, as they struggle to survive an enemy city with nothing to hand.
“The Cup and the Caldron” is a blend of Christianity and paganism with a nun and a witch having a dream that could save their land. Whether that salvation be cup or caldron all depends upon your perspective.
“The Enemy of My Enemy” is heartwarming at the start and end and horrible in the middle with a corrupt king and his son who will destroy anyone to get what they want. A story set in Robert Adams’ Horseclans world, and now I need to read those, simply because this was so good.
“Werehunter” is sad as the protagonist suffers so much and then stumbles into an alternate world where she discovers the freedom of her true self. Only, she gets cocky and could be doomed.
“SKitty” is too much fun as we follow the adventures of a spacer and the ship’s cat who share a psychic bond on a world that holds in awe anyone who can train an animal.
“A Tail of Two SKittys” is a blessing in disguise when a fellow shipping company takes exception to CatsEye Company having negotiation privileges on Lacu’un.
This one’s a pip, lol. Hmmm, I think it could make a good kids’ cartoon…
“SCat” relates the search Dick makes to learn Prrreet’s origins, only it lets the drug smugglers know where Prrreet is.
“A Better Mousetrap” is a tricky tale of warring ideologies, and Vena comes up with a better way to disarm the bad guys.
Now if only we could do the same…
“The Last of the Season” is a well-written and disgusting tale of a pedophile as he gloats while listening to the television reports about the missing Molly. And it’s terrifying how easily he eased her into thinking he was safe. Not to worry, there’s a truly gruesome ending…
“Satanic, Versus” is a costume party for “Mrs Peel” and “Steed”, a.k.a., Diana Tregarde and Andre LeBrel in which they banish a monster not invited to the party.
“Nightside” is Diana Tregarde’s very first professional appearance as an occult detective chasing down a soul serial killer.
“Wet Wings” is set in a horrible dystopian world in which magic conflicts with the new world order. It seems that all, ALL, must be equal or you’re not allowed to exist.
“Stolen Silver” is Lackey’s first Valdemar story, and we discover how Alberich first comes to Valdemar.
“Roadkill” is scary and proves out that proverb about curiosity killing the cat!
“Operation Desert Fox” is a match made in heaven between two outmoded, about-to-be-retired soldiers: Siegfried O’Harrigan and Rommel, a Bolo tank. Friendship is easy given their mutual interest in Erwin “the Desert Fox” Rommel. When you put two intelligent beings together…well…you get heroes.
“Gray” was a story intended to demonstrate parrot behavior and tells us the story of how Sarah Lyon-White met Nan Killian. It leads into…
“Gray’s Ghost” continues to follow Sarah and Nan as they help Mem’sab unmask a tricky medium.
“For Those About to Rock” with Dennis Lee is a blip into a mission that goes wrong for Red Djinni, and it is incredible how much information Lackey/Lee cram into this short. Albeit quite a bit of it is background info from Victrix who has some great insults, lol.
“Haunt You” with Cody Martin is another blip into a mission in Kansas City in which John has a flashback into how he was turned.
“Valse Triste” is the tale of a young Jewish pianist who has been a prisoner of Gruppenführer Bruenner for over two years, dreaming of escape. Her impetus will be Brunnhilde, whose voice is a secret weapon.
“White Bird” is a sad tale of a woman who loves to fly and the dogfight that forces her transformation.
“Sgian Dubh” is the code name for a Scottish metahuman sent in to rescue Yankee Doodle and Dixie Belle from a German prison/lab.
The Cover and Title
The cover is wild with the gold and brown jaguar, its teeth bared, prowling into the rocky cave, its A-shaped door frame a scientific wonder. At the horizon in the background is a pool of lights from civilization, one that appears to be set in a desert at twilight with the muddy blues and purples of sunset. The author’s name is at the top in a blue outlined white with a circular badge for the publisher at the bottom right. Almost at the bottom on the left, is the title in a black-outlined orange-to-yellow gradation. A testimonial is at the very bottom in white.
The title is one of the short stories, the Dragon’s Teeth that must be nurtured.