In ambition, The Winds of Khalakovo (Winds) is not so different from A Song of Fire and Ice and any of the other well regarded fantasy epics. There are several different POV perspectives, an imaginative magic system and mythos, political intrigue, romance, lots of battles and a lengthy book that appears to contemplate sequels (I have not checked for them). The problems, however, are many:
(1) one paragraph will be in the POV of one character, and the next paragraph will be a POV from another character with no warning. Normally when people mention this issue in other books I am not bothered by it, but here it was kind of a bigger deal, an actual and repeated annoyance. At least give us * * * to denote POV changes. Something;
(2) the "romance" is poorly done - one character basically falls in love because a prince tries hard at a dance;
(3) the politics are very important to the book but thinly sketched (despite the book's length). For example, there is a hugely important rebel faction that is apparently mad because they had their land stolen. I say apparently, because we are never told anything about the history of this conflict, dont know what land was stolen when or anything of that sort. When a war breaks out among the "Landed" (the folks that apparently collectively stole the rebels land) it doesnt feel convincing;
(4) the magic system and mythos has too many very different components, and while parts of it work quite well, the tie in with the overall plot does not. There is a spirit world with powerful fire/water/air/wind spirits and some can bond/control them to an extent. Other folks have the talent for assuming a sort of astral form when submerged in cold water, and these folks are used for communication, and to help tame the wind currents. Still other folks have the talent for actually manipulating the winds so that ships can fly from island to island. Those parts are fine, and in spots actually work quite well. There are some fun sky-ship battles, for example. But there is much beyond that -- reborn wizards, a seemingly autistic kid, magic gems that get created what feels like randomly, a plot involving the autistic kid, a growing "rift", spirits sucking on souls, a wasting disease, and as you get towards the end, it starts to feel made up as the author went along. Lots of potential and creativity, but the author maybe got a little too ambitious and/or didnt do a good enough job of making his imagination serve the plot. Too many moving parts that dont mesh well enough;
(5) the book really seems to be heading towards a resolution in one volume, and then it just doesnt. What with the overly-complicated mythos, I was just feeling lost and/or like the author was tacking stuff on at the end to try to keep going.
I really feel like this author has a strong imagination, and is *close* to being able to write convincing epic fantasy. Winds has a pretty decent amount of action, and the action sequences seem to be pretty well done. However, I almost gave this book 2 stars, because -- in trying for an epic feel -- this book sets the bar too high. I feel like if the author had just scaled back his ambitions a little and focused on a tighter plot, he could have written something I would give 4 or 5 stars. This, however, is not that book.
Bottom line: Soft 3 star rating. I do not recommend it, but its possible you might like it.