on February 28, 2003
Okay, a lot of people are going to disagree with me on this, but I thought the ending for this book was excellent. It wasn't one of those cliche endings where everything turns out all right or everyone dies. I like to see variety in what I read, and as I read more and more, I find it less and less. (And for God's sake! I'm only 15!) I have been engulfed in Misty's Velgarth novels for quite some time, and after every time I read this, it seems as if this is the end of the "golden years" of Velgarth. I like that because it makes it seem as if everything is closed in, although there is another trilogy that follows this trilogy.
The other two books in the Storms trilogy may have seemed dull and a lot of talk unless you are an avid reader of Valdemar,(not for me personally) but this chronicle really tops it off well. Although, yes, there is the cliche of the climax towards the end of the book, that is the way that it had to be. What else would Misty talk about after the plot and storyline of three books passed over?
To give a synopsis of what is going on before the book: Karal and his "crew" are in Dhorisha Plains to find Urtho's "weapon against the mage storms." Duke Tremane is in Hardorn mucking around, and the entire country of Valdemar is afraid and confused. In this final volume, all questions will be answered, and the ending will definitely give readers something to think about.
I enjoyed this novel, and as learned person towards Velgarth, I absolutely recommend that anyone who reads the Storms at LEAST read the Mage Wars. I hope that all readers enjoy this page turner as much as I did and will for many years to come.
on January 24, 2003
Karal, Sun Priest of Karse, along with the help of Firesong, An'desha, Altra, and Florian, has managed to temporarily block the Mage Storms from damaging the Alliance nations. The Storms continue to worsen and begin to break through the protections. Karal and his friends must search for a way to counteract the final devastating Storm, the echo of the great Cataclysm that transformed their world thousands of years ago...
Meanwhile, Elspeth and Darkwind have been sent as envoys to Tremane in Hardorn to negotiate the terms of the Alliance. As they help Tremane prepare Hardorn for the worst, a surprising and mysterious ally comes to their aid...
"Storm Breaking" is the final book in Mercedes Lackey's Mage Storms Trilogy. I enjoyed reading it, but it was definitely the weakest book in the trilogy.
The characters, as always, were wonderful. Karal was his usual thoughtful self, and it was very nice to see Firesong in a much more rational light. Tremane continues to grow into an increasingly likable man. I was delighted to see a reappearance of three characters from previous books, who I won't mention here for fear of spoilage.
I also liked the alternating perspectives. The narrative focusing on Melles and the Eastern Empire was surprisingly interesting, despite all of the politicking. The Elspeth/Darkwind narrative was a little slow at times but in the end *very* rewarding. The Karal narrative was by far the most compelling, but that is mostly because I liked the characters involved there the best. Lackey's rapid alternation of narrative towards the end of the book, especially in the last chapter, was extremely effective. The reader knew what was happening in each location, and was driven to keep reading when there were mini-cliffhangers.
My major complaint about this book is not the climax itself (although it is nearly identical to the endings of the first two books in the trilogy), but the way the conclusion is presented. The climax is everything it should be, but I feel that it comes too close to the end of the book. All the loose ends are neatly wrapped up, but there is a definite lack of denouement (ten pages' worth), especially considering that this is the final volume in a trilogy.
Bottom Line: A solid read with likable, well developed characters. Make sure you read "Warning" and "Rising" first!
on August 29, 2001
I have been reading Misty's books for about 10 years now, starting with The Last Herald-Mage series. Since I finished that trilogy, I have purchased every Mercedes Lackey/Valdemar book I can get my hands on. I am eagerly awaiting Take A Thief, the story of Skif pre-Cymry (his Companion), as well as the Valdemar Companion. Anyways, I liked this series. I have read many reviews complaining about Lackey's evil-just-for-the-heck-of-it bad guys. Take a look at Tremane. At first, you want to hate him, because he's from the Eastern Empire. But as we get to know him, it turns out he's not such a bad guy. When he finally took some responsibility (I don't want to spoil the book), I found myself liking him.
As for new Valdemar books, I would like to see a book on the founding and King Valdemar himself. I would also like to see what happens with Selenay's twins, Kris and Lyra. Who becomes Chosen first, who becomes Heir, etc. (Are you reading this, Ms. Lackey?) Getting away from Valdemar itself, I wouldn't mind reading about some of Need's earlier bearers.
Anyways, I like Lackey's books. 'Nuff said.
on March 19, 2001
The flame of my passion for Valdemaran books was quenched by this series. The series started off quite well, but as it progressed, there seemed to be less and less of what I regard as Ms. Lackey's style. I thought we were going to see a heterosexual male come out as a pretty cool guy - not entirely unheard of in Ms. Lackey's books, but not standard fare by any means.
I liked much of the story of the books except the way Gen. Tremane was portrayed. It seemed to me that alot of effort was put into Tremane in the first book and to a smaller degree the second book and then he was just abandoned. He grew in the first book, but by the third book, all of that growth was thrown away as if it had never happened. This also highlights the vast difference between the first book and the third book where in the first book all of the events were necessary and tied together well whereas in the third book everything was just kind of thrown into a salad bowl and not tied together very well.
just kinda disappointed I guess. Ms. Lackey wrote some of the first great fiction I ever read.
on September 2, 2000
Karal, our young hero, is probably my second favourite character in the Valdermar world, and whilst Storm Breaking isn't the most epic or memorable in the Valdermar series, it does provide a nice showcase for Karal. Unfortunately as with many of the later Valdermar books (particularly the Winds trilogy), Lackey seems to want to bring in too many elements which detract from the main storyline. I don't see why we need to be in Hardorn or the Empire - Karal and An'desha are set up to be the main characters in the Storm series so why continually revisit older characters? Its a nicety for fans but it is truly ruining the flow of the story-telling at times. If you're a first time buyer - I would suggest that you do not buy this book - you definitely need to know the Valdermar world very well to keep up with the numerous recurring characters making an appearance. Try the Arrows series or the Last Herald Mage books. If you're a fan, then this is a must buy (although it helps if you have read the other two in the Storm series!!).
on March 25, 2000
My title for this review says it all. After just completing this book and taking over 3 weeks to get through it. I was sorely dissapointed in this story.
The level of detail and insipidness of constantly going into the characters minds over and over again made it seem like this was not a story but an intimation on the characters thoughts and feelings. Ableit these things are needed to make any story done well, I felt that they were done far to much and too often.
I read the other two books of the trilogy some years ago and was satisfied with them somewhat, however the last book falls very short of the energy built up in the previous two books.
Another thing, there were to many characters and plots going on at the same time. We have a group of people at a magical tower. A couple of individuals working with a newly elected (er chosen by the land) king and their problems. The far eastern empire and its problems of political intrigue and machinations. All in all the amount of characters was too much too quickly.
But the worst part of this book was the finish. We come to the last chapter and of course they find a solution to the problem at hand, but then it just practially ends.
The only real thing that held the story together was the tension surrounding the building mage storms!
on November 4, 1999
as someone who has spent way too much money on mercedes lackey books (yes, i own all 21 of the valdemar books, and will undoubtedly be buying owlknight when it comes out in paperback), reading this book (again and again!) makes me feel justified in my purchases! no, of course she is no tolkein. but the world she has created is so vivid and her characters so real, that you can't help becoming totally absorbed. many authors will write a short series, and then when the books become popular, keep writing more and more and eventually end up writing ridiculous books that are nowhere near as good as the first ones were (case in point: the dragonlance series - the chronicles and legends trilogies are absolutely fantastic but the never-ending sequels, in my opinion, are just plain stupid. of course, they're by different authors. but i digress. back to mercedes lackey). where was i? oh yes. mercedes lackey is not like that. in fact, i think her writing has gotten better and better as the series progressed. i did find it hard to get through the long passages about what's going on in the empire - they're the bad guys, you want to know what the characters you care about are doing!
SPOILER HERE - STOP IF YOU HAVENT READ THIS BOOK.
but in the end the conclusion was definitely satisfying and uplifting. that last line, about karal gaining vision without sight (or whatever the exact line is), makes me choke up every time, especially since karal is in a tie with tarma for my favorite character of all the 21 books.
ok, this review has ended up being a bit long and confused, and i'm sorry - anyway - i highly recommend this book. that's all.
on August 25, 1998
I will agree that the story starts of with a weak and predictable plot; however, it does pick up the pace towards the end. At first I did not like this book once I was done with it...But I read it again one month later, and started to like it. While this book is not a "filler book," it does leave you with that impression the first few times. The story ending is somewhat unresolved, i.e. the Empire, the Alliance, and the new laws of magic, but if she follows her pattern, they will be filled in at a later date/book. The latest book, Owlflight, does deal with some of the new laws of magic, but not all aspects are dealt with. I have read every book in the series at least seven times each, so I can say this is not one of the best! Her latest books may leave the reader unsatisfied with the characters, but after a while they grow into the story and fit in. This book could have done with a bit less dialogue dealing with trivialities, but the basic ideas and style that makes her other books so enjoyable are there--just buried under several things that might turn off newcommers or dedicated fans in the series.
Newcommers should start with The Last Herald Mage series, then read it chronologically. Read the Gryphon books as the second to last completed trillogy, though before this trillogy so you can get a better understanding of the plot developments. Overall, this is a good book, mabey not the best of the series, but it does fill in the gaps nicely with a thorough, mostly entertaining, plot with few holes.
on March 13, 1998
This is an excellent ending to the Mage-Storms Trilogy. There is little action until the very last chapter, where it gets very tense and, near the very end, very emotional. Pay no attention to the people who gave this book series a '2'. They don't know what they're talking about. Let me just say this to them... "If you didn't like the first or second book... then why read the whole trilogy?! Just so you can give it a nasty review. I think that's just plain stupid." Anyway... this book series has little action, but it still hooks you through each chapter. The characters are really detailed and very likeable. Every one of the: to the good guys like: Karal An'Desha, Firesong And to the bad guys like Melles, and Emporer Charliss. All are very much likeable to read and get to know. Lackey writes very well written, well thought of fantasy books. Maybe not as good as Terry Brooks-or maybe just as good- but Mercedes enthralls the reader none-the-less. I look forward to reading more books by this talented author; the next of which I'm reading is the Mage-Winds trilogy, which happens before these books, and even has some characters from these books in them. I look forward to another good trilogy there, too. So if you are a fantasy fan, give a Mercedes Lackey book a try, you might be surprised how much you like it.
on September 20, 1996
Storm Breaking quite nicely rounds out the Mage Storm series.
It answers a lot of questions that have been lingering
throughout many of the Valdemar books. It also does what the
previous Wind Series did not do: it is an actual conclusion
to this particular 3-book series. While there are still many
open questions to be answered and some rather interesting
possible storylines, it does not leave you hanging (and
feeling rather cheated) like the final book in the Wind series,
Winds of Fury, did. The cataclysm is over.
The characters who have been present in the previous two books
(Elspeth, Darkwind, Firesong, Karal, An'desha, Grand Duke
Tremaine, et al) are there. You also get to meet two
characters frequently discussed, but never met: the Emperor
Charlis, a marvelously twisted character, and Tremaine's
main rival for the Empire's Throne, Melles, a very practical,
if rather chilling, man.
And what I considered two of the high points of the book, the
gryphons in the far north of Valdemar and the question of
Iftel are finally explained. The answer sent me running back
to the Black Gryphon to see if I had missed something: so far
it doesn't look like I did.
This story is somewhat darker than the previous two books in
this series, nor does not it move at as fast a pace as the
first two did. This is a book that resolves the problems
that arose in the previous two books. The book is eminently
readable and satisfying.
While there are still many unanswered questions concerning
this time line in Valdemar, I hope that Ms. Lackey will do
a book about the founding of Valdemar before she goes any
further. There are so many little tidbits dropped surrounding
Baron Valdemar and the flight of his people, but the real
reason that they fled the Empire is never given, just a
rather vague comment about the abuse of power by Baron
Of course, I have noticed that Ms. Lackey does books about
Valdemar in the order in which they are needed to further
flesh out the Valdemar story, and to provide information that
will be needed in the next set of books or stories.
I look forward with a great deal of anticipation to the next
Valdemar book, whatever it may be.