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The third volume, Oathblood, is made up entirely of short stories in place of a longer narrative.
With its publication, nearly all of the Tarma and Kethry stories were available together in a single compiled volume for the first time.
These occur some centuries before the Heralds of Valdemar books, telling the life story of Vanyel Ashkevron; by the time of the "later" books he has become legend, thus explaining some of the small inconsistencies.
The original Vows and Honor pair of books were linked together with By the Sword (published long before Oathblood) as a trilogy.The introduction of a fourfold deity (Tarma's Goddess) was something of a novel idea at the time of publication.This is a stand-alone novel which connects the Vows & Honor sub-series to the Heralds and other trilogies; it introduces the character Kerowyn who features therein.Secondary protagonists include Skif and a new character Darkwind.The latter part of Kerowyn's Tale, By the Sword fills in the events that happen after Arrow's Fall but before Winds of Fate.
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The nature of this sword, Need, is explored in later series set in Valdemar.