Karse and Valdemar have long been enemies, each hating the other without ever really knowing anything about how each truly operates. Since Ancar of Hardorn's attempted invasions of each country, an uneasy alliance has been formed. Now Ancar is dead and his conquests along with him, but a new and more dangerous enemy has emerged: the mysterious and powerful Eastern Empire. Karse and Valdemar must decide what exactly their alliance entails.
The Son of the Sun, Solaris, High Priestess of Karse, sends an envoy consisting of Ulrich, a black-robe priest, and his secretary, Karal, to Valdemar to negotiate the terms of the alliance.
While the two countries work together to try to determine a way to defend against the Eastern Empire, a new and deadlier threat makes itself known, one so ancient and powerful that it may be impossible to stop...
"Storm Warning" is the first book in Mercedes Lackey's Mage Storms Trilogy. I absolutely loved this book. It was a refreshing change after reading the Mage Winds Trilogy. The story seemed much more about the characters than about the events, which really gave it a more human feel. Similar to Mage Winds, it had alternating perspectives, which made me want to keep reading.
The characters, as always, were wonderful to read about, particularly Karal. He is one of the most remarkable Lackey characters I have encountered yet (and this was my fifteenth Valdemar book). I absolutely loved him. He was an extremely compassionate, caring, sensitive individual, almost on the same level as Talia of the Arrows Trilogy. I was able to feel every step of his journey as if I were there with him. An'desha developed nicely, and I'm anxious to see what will become of him.
It was also nice to see enemies that were entirely human as opposed to insanely fanatic mages bent on revenge. Charliss wasn't completely without honor, and Tremane was a decent human being who just happened to be born an Imperial.
I also enjoyed learning the Karsite perspective. It was interesting to look at Valdemar through the eyes of its enemy and to see Karse painted as something other than barbaric.
Bottom Line: An amazing story with a delightful lead character. A must-read for any Valdemar fan, but make sure you read Mage Winds first.