The 11 stories feature mostly previously unknown characters, but also a few well known old friends.
My favourite stories are The Dragon's Tale about Kitten, Daine's fosterdragon, helping a woman who's been cast out from societ, and Mimic, wherein the sheepherder Ri helps any wounded creature she comes across, however strange. I also particularly enjoyed Student of Ostriches, where we learn the backstory of one of the great female shang warriors.
I did not in particular like the two stories set in our own world. Not that they were bad or anything - they just don't fit in. I expected magic and fantasy, not troubled teens testing their new housemother.
Mostly, reading this book, I just felt like rereading all Pierce's previous books about Tortall :) especially the first three series about Alanna, Daine and Keladry. If you are a fan of Pierce's books, this is a perfect addition and a very nice way to spend a couple of hours.