A three-in-one volume combines the works of four popular authors--Nancy Asire, Leslie Fish, Mercedes Lackey, and C. J. Cherryh--and includes A Dirge for Sabis, Wizard Spawn, and Reap the Whirlwind.
These three novels all take place in the same world, in events that occur 500 years apart from one another. The stories are separate, though there are well-presented references to the earlier time. (One character in the first book, who's about 10 years old at the time, is remembered 500 years later as being a Great One.)
But what held me, and what keeps me re-reading these stories, was the worldbuilding, which I suspect was the largest contribution by C.J. Cherryh. There is magic -- but magic consists only of ill-wishing or well-wishing, nothing more. How much can people do with that? And how much will that affect the (inevitable?) evoluation of mechanics and science? These three authors do a good job at exploring those questions.
The first two books are especially satisfying, with strong characters that I quickly grew to care about. The third, by Mercedes Lackey, was... somehow unsatisfying. Acceptable tale-telling, but no more than 3 stars for that one. (To be fair, I've never been a big fan of Lackey's works, so take that with a grain of salt. If you like her stuff, you'll probably like this, too.)
I've often wished for a fourth and fifth book in this series. As is the case for the best SF/F books, the world came alive for me.
The first book - Dirge - I was not impressed by. It was readable, but there were places where it was (in my opinion) redundant, and the villains had the annoying tendency of one-dimensional rot. 3 stars.
The second book - Wizard Spawn - is better. There isn't much on an epic scale, instead it focuses on a close-knit group of characters in the midst of a nation about to fall into anarchy. 3.5 stars.
The third book - Whirlwind - is the best of the three, and has Mercedes Lackey style written all over it. Not one of her really good books, but if you like her stuff, you'll probably be satisfied with this book. 3.8 stars.