5.0 out of 5 stars Her best trilogy to date
I can't even be sure how many times I have re-read this trilogy. The development of the characters is amazing. The action is thrilling but not overdone. Character reactions are believable and sincere. This first book in the trilogy had me hooked and waiting impatiently for the second and third books to be released.
A certain treat for any fan of Valdemar!
Published on Dec 25 2003 by Jennifer Riemenschneider
3.0 out of 5 stars pleasant, but kind of cliche'd
I mostly enjoyed reading this book, but I found it pretty much a cliche. The young, feisty princess is threatened by an evil king and goes out on a quest to find magic. She fails to follow the advice of those older and wiser and acts rather stupidly rebellious.
Fortunately, she didn't suffer quite the expected downfall and retribution for her behavior, which was...
Published on April 30 2004 by Anne B.
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3.0 out of 5 stars pleasant, but kind of cliche'd,
This review is from: Mage Winds #1 Winds Of Fate (Mass Market Paperback)I mostly enjoyed reading this book, but I found it pretty much a cliche. The young, feisty princess is threatened by an evil king and goes out on a quest to find magic. She fails to follow the advice of those older and wiser and acts rather stupidly rebellious.
Fortunately, she didn't suffer quite the expected downfall and retribution for her behavior, which was sort of a relief. I don't think I would have enjoyed reading about her being tortured by the bad guy; and, fortunately, the tortures that others have suffered at his hand are only summarized briefly.
This book is very, very sexual. If they put ratings on books, I think I would give it an NC-17. S&M stuff and incest appear fairly often -- pretty disgusting, even though it's only the bad guy who perpetrates this junk. Unfortunately, they don't put ratings on books, and my 13 year old read it. Fortunately, the stuff is expressed sufficiently metaphorically that most of it went over his head -- at least I hope so. The love scene between Darkwind & Dawnfire, though more traditional, was VERY titillating.
On the upside of this, though, is that the bad guy's evil sexuality is pretty creative. I don't think that I've seen anything quite like it in a book. I just wish there were some warning, so I could keep it out of the hands of my kid.
The suspense is pretty good, but there are some places that drag a bit.
The second book is better, though still kinky.
5.0 out of 5 stars Her best trilogy to date,
This review is from: Winds Of Fate (Hardcover)I can't even be sure how many times I have re-read this trilogy. The development of the characters is amazing. The action is thrilling but not overdone. Character reactions are believable and sincere. This first book in the trilogy had me hooked and waiting impatiently for the second and third books to be released.
A certain treat for any fan of Valdemar!
1.0 out of 5 stars This is the worst book Misty has written!,
This review is from: Mage Winds #1 Winds Of Fate (Mass Market Paperback)I am an avid fan of the Valdemar series--I even re-read the entire series when a new book comes out--except for this book! The opening sequence is wonderful, and so are the bits with Kero. Then it takes entirely different directions. The Skif/Nyara thing, and then Need awakening just when Elspeth discovers she has Mage/Adept potential? Oh, please. Didn't it take decades for Kethry in the Vows and Honors series to attain Adepthood? How can Elspeth do it a couple of years--totally skiping the in-between ranks? It's not like her channels were blasted open like her ancestor Vanyel's were.
I've taken to reading the summary of this book that can be found in the Valdemar Companion. I would suggest the same for you. Read the book once, if you must, but borrow it from a library or a friend. You won't want it taking up precious bookshelf space.
2.0 out of 5 stars Ordinary and Very Average,
This review is from: Mage Winds #1 Winds Of Fate (Mass Market Paperback)The Mage Winds trilogy is the sequel to her Heralds of Valdemar series. It follows the next generation in the bodies of Princess Elspeth and Skif. Magic is returning to Valdemar and Elspeth is one of the few remaining Heralds that has the ability to use it, if she can learn how before being consumed by the dark forces. To do so she defies even her own Companion as seeks a teacher in the part mythical Hawkbrothers.
For those who love the worlds of Valdemar this series will have everything you want; magic, the Companions, romance, evil wizards and of course a happy ending.
Now for those of you who, like me, enjoy a good story here are the problems. This three volum set should have been condensed into one single book. Far too much just plain fluff to tell the truth, and not particularly interesting fluff at that. I found myself skimming and flipping pages just trying to find and interesting part of the story. Another problem is predictability. I felt I could guess the major plots and twists for the entire trilogy within the first hundred pages, turns out I was correct. You know who is going to end up with whom, who's going to die and how everything is going to turn out. Although I will say even I wasn't expecting how anticlimactic the end would be for the arch villain so I guess I lose my Seer's union card over that.
Too little story for three volumes, too predictable, very little new as far as plots. Do I recommend them, not really, but then there are a lot worst out there. I gave it a two mainly due to the fluff factor it's average enough to be up near the threes.
1.0 out of 5 stars OK, one and a half stars,
This review is from: Mage Winds #1 Winds Of Fate (Mass Market Paperback)"Winds of Fate" is an extremely disappointing novel by Mercedes Lackey. In it, she takes her previous characterization of Elspeth the princess of Valdemar from previous books (the "Arrows" trilogy, "By the Sword") and mostly tosses it out the window. This sets up an incredibly difficult amount of suspension of disbelief in my view.
Many other reviewers have gone into the basic synopsis of the plot for this book. I don't want to go into that again. Suffice it to say that Elspeth, who's around 25 and acts much younger (more like a bratty 14 year old), despite her earlier characterization of being calm, cool and collected, instead runs off and starts acting even more like a spoiled brat than she did to begin with.
She meets up with Darkwind, a Tayledras mage from the Clan of K'Sheyna. Darkwind, too, is deeply flawed in my view, as he's angry at his father (for good reason), has renounced his magecraft (for a reason that may or may not be good) and, worst of all, sleeps with someone who's not only underage by our standards (at about 17 when he, too, is at least 25), but is under his command, as he's Head of the Scouts and she's a Scout who's recently passed her apprenticeship. This is a big no-no in my view, and I wonder why Ms. Lackey violated the trust relationship of superior to inferior, as she normally does not do this (especially if one is young and the other not so young).
Will Elspeth and Darkwind meet? Of course, but what happens isn't quite as expected. Some is good; some is very, very bad. They meet up with Mornelithe Falconsbane, who is more or less the eternal enemy everyone faces, from Talia in the "Arrows" trilogy to Vanyel in "Magic's Price." They have to try to halt his expansion, while learning to like and trust the other amidst many small setbacks.
Btw, Elspeth has problems along the path with Skif (approximately 33); Skif, despite characterization in other books that shows him to be kind, adult and reasonably level-headed, acts in a rather hamhanded fashion and keeps throwing himself at her. The reasons he does this are twofold: one, she's an extremely powerful potential Mage, and he's been warned by Quentin (a returning character from "By the Sword") that she could easily be taken over if not watched all the time. Who better to watch her than a lover? Two, he's alone and miserably lonely on the road; he doesn't speak much Trade, and he's never been out of Valdemar before. So, while she's in her element (freedom, glorious freedom!), he hates it and clings harder to her.
That part is realistic. This part is not. He's 33 years old. If she says, "No, I don't want to date you," that's the end of it. Period. Even more so if it's, "No, I don't want you for my lover. Period." And Skif, despite previous characterization that basically showed he would respect any woman who asked him to back off, doesn't do so here. Very strange, and most offputting in my view.
Then, Elspeth is fighting against her own Companion, Gwena, every step of the way. This is realistic; she's a feisty gal, and Gwena has been manipulating her for years, and Elspeth just found it out. So it's not Elspeth's behavior I'm questioning, here; it's Gwena's. Gwena is the _only_ companion outside of doomed Tylendel's Gala who acts in this fashion; she's high-handed, rather self-centered (especially considering she's a Companion) and insists her way is the only way there is. It's behavior that's extremely offputting for a Companion, and although it's exactly the reaction Ms. Lackey probably wanted me to have, it leaves me cold.
Darkwind loses his much-younger lover, hardly seeming to care; that, too, was most offputting. I realize the guy is cold and self-absorbed and into himself, but really, does he have to shrug off Dawnfire's loss so easily and quickly? Not to mention callously? (Especially considering she's underage?)
OK, since you probably have figured out I don't like this book at all, you might be wondering why I gave it any stars. Here's why. I still like Ms. Lackey's writing; if Elspeth and Skif hadn't had previously established characterizations, I would have had no problems with what they did (although I still would have thought they both were incredibly immature for their ages). I enjoyed her Shin'a'in characters (Kra'heera, also returning from "By The Sword," among others). I enjoyed her Gryphon characters Treyvan, Hydona, and their gryphlets. And I especially enjoyed Nyara, Falconsbane's daughter (who turns away from him, choosing good instead of evil) who eventually becomes Skif's lover (and next-best-thing to lifebonded mate).
Still. If you've read the rest of the Heralds of Valdemar books, this book simply does not fit. It doesn't. It sticks out like a sore thumb.
Which is why in all good conscience I can only give it one and a half stars. I do recommend it, oddly enough, because the "Mage Winds" series as a series is quite strong. But this was a very weak opening book, and that's why the exceptionally low rating.
5.0 out of 5 stars Another good book,
This review is from: Mage Winds #1 Winds Of Fate (Mass Market Paperback)This book is about the heir to the throne of Valdemier, Elspeth, and a Hawkbrother, Darkwind.
Elspeth wanted to go find mages for Valdemier, which was being attacked by a neighboring kingdom (though he hadn't sent any more major attacks since 'By the sword'). So, she goes to find mages, and to get trained herself (they find she has a major mage gift), only with her friend Skif and their Companions.
Darkwind is a scout for the Hawkbrothers, who used to be a mage. When they do meet, (after a while) they, Nyara (Falconsbanes daughter who hates him), and two grown griffons and their litter of three, not to mention the magic sword Need that went with Elspeth) get attacked by an evil (aren't all blood mages?) blood mage, Falconsbane. And they get whole new set of probolems...
5.0 out of 5 stars Elspeth's Quest,
This review is from: Mage Winds #1 Winds Of Fate (Mass Market Paperback)Elspeth is not only a full-fledged herald, but the heir to the throne of Valdemar. And as Valdemar faces a tragic looking war with King Ancar from the northern country Hardorn. Unfortunately Ancar has many mages working for him, powerful ones, while Valdemar's gifted heralds are the only one with slightly smaller gifts. Elspeth realizes that she is the only one that can go out and find a mage for Valdemar. Elspeth isn't alone though. She travels with her good friend Skif and her teacher Kerowyn's mysterious protective sword called need. Things start to get complicated when Skif's feelings become more than just friendly towards Elspeth and the sword proves to have a mind of it's own. Elspeth also knows that her biggest problem will be finding the right mage. For the public to trust this mage, the mage must also be a herald, and a herald mage has not existed since the legendary Vanyel who died centuries ago.
Far from Valdemar in K'Sheyna Vale lives the Hawkbrothers who are facing a great ordeal. Not too long ago the heartstone, a place of immense power, was destroyed, ruining all of their lives in the process. No one was scared as deeply as Darkwind though. Darkwind is a former mage who gave up every trace of magic he had after seeing the heartstone destroyed and the death of his mother. Darkwind now serves as a guard but his live gets more complicated when he runs into a strange and beautiful girl, a changechild who has deadly connections to a powerful mage who has connections to the Hawkbrothers. What will happen when Elspeth and Darkwind meet?
Mercedes Lackey once again proves to be one of the stronger modern writers in the fantasy community. Her characters are flawed and well written. It's amazing to see how much Elspeth has grown from simply "the brat," to awkward teenager, and now to strong leader and herald. Darkwind is a strong character you can't help feeling sorry for. The story line is different from the Heralds of Valdemar Trilogy and By the Sword, because of it's concentration on mages. In the beginning of the books the P. O. V. alternates between the ex-mage Darkwind, and the herald princess Elspeth with a few interludes in between. By the end of the book the two have met. The ending is very suspenseful and makes me itch for the second book in the trilogy. I highly recommend this to Mercedes Lackey fans.
3.0 out of 5 stars Unfortunately you have to read this for the other 2,
This review is from: Mage Winds #1 Winds Of Fate (Mass Market Paperback)This is by far in my oppinion the worst of her books. I found the plot overly contrived. I feel that the charaters in the book do things that are frankly out of character. Above and beyond all that I did find it readable. I just had to ignore my mind saying, . . .oh come on would he/she really do something that stupid? I would say to read this book however. The next two in the series are much better and far less contrived. Not on par with Misty's usual standard :(
2.0 out of 5 stars Only for Lackey fans,
This review is from: Mage Winds #1 Winds Of Fate (Mass Market Paperback)In this book, Mercedes Lackey rehashes the exact same plot we saw in the Arrows and Last Herald mage series. Same misunderstood young adult, same hero saves the world, same one dimensional evil villian.
First, Elspeth goes from being a fairly interesting character in the first series, to being a brat. All of a sudden, she is misunderstood, disliked by her mother, and ugly. She isn't happy about anything. Lackey is known for whiny protagonists, but this is ridiculous. Show me exactly what Elspeth has to be discontented about. This happens to several other characters, Skif, who displayed much common sense in the other books, becomes an idiot. Tayledras are fools.
The other problem I had with the book is the rehashed plot, which we have seen in every other series prior to this. Even the villian is recycled!
All in all, if you read Arrow and Herald-Mage, then you have read this series, and the others are much more well done. I say skip this series unless you absolutely have to read everything Lackey writes.
5.0 out of 5 stars Pretty Darn Good,
This review is from: Mage Winds #1 Winds Of Fate (Mass Market Paperback)Okay, so it wasn't as good as "Arrows of the Queen," but I still found it gripping. With the Hawk Brothers, the Heralds and the Gryphons, who can lose. This series is probably my third favorite, after Heralds of Valdemar and then the Mage Wars (with Skandranon et al).
Elspeth goes on an adventure all her own, and Lackey introduces several new characters that are quick to become addicting, including Darkwind and the two Gryphons. The climax is wonderful and the villian is too evil for words. I love books like this, where the evil is evil and the good is good. YOu just can't pull yourself away from this story.
Five stars and a pat on the back to Mercedes Lackey for another well-spun yarn.
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Mage Winds #1 Winds Of Fate by Mercedes Lackey (Mass Market Paperback - Aug 1 1992)
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