This is a cute little yarn, a nice little bit of fluff. It's really an overspun short story, or at best, novella tho.
Lackey is a competent hack, and that's a characterization she wouldn't quarrel with, having admitted as much ["There are worst things than being a hack."]. Agatha Christie once said, "I am the perfect sausage making machine." Their modesty is truly admirable.
She is the female equivalent of the military science-fiction writer, David Weber, flat-footed but with moments of charm.
She makes a better anthology editor: i urge readers to find her Elemental Magic anthologies. This is not exactly the golden age of fantasy but her picks are about as good as it gets.