Quite a few of the short stories are set in the Tortallan Universe, and some are previously published in other anthologies, such as Elder Brother, Huntress, Student of Ostriches, and Time of Proving. The book also includes other books set in the universe such as The Hidden Girl (a spin-off of Elder Brother), Nawat, Lost, and A Dragon's Tale, as well as non-Tortallan short stories Mimic and Plain Magic, and the contemporary, non-fantasy story Testing, drawn on Pierce's own experiences as a house mother in a group home for teenage girls.
- "Collected here for the first time are all of the tales from the land of Tortall, featuring both previously unknown characters as well as old friends. Filling some gaps of time and interest, these stories, some of which have been published before, will lead Tammy's fans, and new readers into one of the most intricately constructed worlds of modern fantasy."
- —Product description on the amazon.com product page
The first edition hardcover was first published February 22nd, 2011 by Random House. The ebook edition was released on the same day. The audiobook was released June 14th, 2011, by Listening Library. The paperback was first published April 10th, 2012, by Bluefire.
The short story collection had originally been planned to be published in late 2010, but was delayed.