Winds of Fate (Valdemar: Mage Winds, #1)
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Winds of Fate (Valdemar: Mage Winds #1)

3.96 of 5 stars 3.96  ·  rating details  ·  10,242 ratings  ·  113 reviews
Lackey, who has enchanted readers since the publication of her first novel, Arrows of the Queen in 1987, scores another hit with the paperback release of the first book in an exciting new series. High magic had been lost to Valdemar when Vanyel gave his life to save his kingdom from destruction by the dark sorceries. Now it falls to Elspeth -- Herald, heir to the throne --...more
Paperback, 460 pages
Published July 7th 1992 by DAW (first published July 1st 1992)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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oriana
Let it be known: Before I was an elitist literary bitch, I utterly adored fantasy books. Mercedes Lackey was the greatest thing in my entire eleven-year-old life.
Lisa (Harmonybites)
If you're new to Lackey and the Valdemir series, I wouldn't begin with this book: I don't think the book, or the trilogy it is a part of, is the strongest in this series, and it would be a spoiler for the earlier trilogy that starts with Arrows of the Queen. Go back and read those first, and if you like them, I think you'll enjoy this tale of Elspeth, a character in earlier books, coming into her own. I enjoy Lackey's "Vows and Honors" series as well with Tarma and Kethry, and in the precursor t...more
Leila
Aug 23, 2007 Leila rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone who wants to wrap this series up
I was a bit of a Mercedes Lackey fanatic back in the day. I still re-read them from time to time just because I really like the characters. This particular trilogy in Valdemar is my favorite for that very reason. Having read 20 other books all with their own separate plots and characters and legends, its fantastic to see them all come crashing together in this one. Before you read it, make sure you've read the black griffon trilogy, which is actually kind of crappy and I blame it on her husband...more
Dawn Livingston
When I was a teen I read most of what I consider the big three women fantasy writers; Marion Zimmer Bradley (Darkover), Mercedes Lackey (Valdemar) and Anne McCaffrey (Dragonriders). I think I have read at least some of their books since and liked them still.

Recently I decided to revisit the big three to see if I still liked them. I tried an anthology collection of Darkover tales from Bradley. Nah, don't like Darkover much any more. Maybe TOO feminist...? I'm not sure.

Dragonriders... to be hones...more
Carol Gibson
Here we go again with my love hate relationship with Mercedes Lackey's Valdemar series.

This continues the story of the heralds in Talia's time. This book tells the story of Princess Elspeth and Skif search for a mage who can help Valdemar with its magic problem.

It fills in nicely some of the mysteries of the world like where the sword Need came from, what is going on with the barrier that Vanyal put up to keep magic out of Valdemar, you even learn a little more about the companions themselves....more
Tarren
This is the first book I read. It was the launching pad of my love for reading. It is a good book very well writin, good plot, with just a hint of sexual tone to make the teen i was stay on it.
Aaron Anderson
I wish you died somewhere in these books Elspeth. I hate you. I don't think the books themselves sucked quite enough to give a 2, but it wasn't from lack of your trying, you wench.
Lena
Re-read. And, okay, they aren't great literature, but they're awesome for when your brain is mushy. I just wish Lackey's idea of a Sexy Man didn't look quite so... 1980s.
Mike
Out of all of the Valdemar books, the Mage Winds trilogy - of which this is the first volume - is my most favorite.

The book takes place in the reign of Selenay, where war with a formerly friendly nation is taking its toll. Herald Elspeth, heir to the throne, rides off with her companion at her side to find the training key to winning the war. For those wondering precisely when in the chronology it falls, the book takes up after the end of the Arrows trilogy, which is linked to this one by the st...more
Jeremy Preacher
I customarily skip the Mage Winds books when reading through Valdemar. They're pretty terrible, for the same reasons the Gryphon books are terrible. That reason is Larry Dixon. He's uncredited on these, but his atrocious writing is unmistakable. (I have been harsh on some of Lackey's work too, but her failures are in completely different directions.)

The Elspeth and Skif chapters are marginally ok - if they were the whole of the book, I'd probably give it three stars. The mock-romance is annoying...more
Maria
Jul 13, 2012 Maria rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Maria by: Wyatt
The book is well-crafted and yet left me with a feeling of not being satisfied. In most trilogies, each segment has at least a mini-resolution, not of the main problem but of some minor one. This one didn't do that. The second of the orginial Star Wars movies didn't either, and both left me cold. Fortunately the next in the series is available so I can move on. I really, really feel sorry for those who had to wait for the second book to be published. As to the characters, I know there must be ro...more
♥Xeni♥
I actually didn't want to read this series in the world of Valdemar for the longest time. Although, I almost feel that way about any new Valdemar books that came my way (strange, that, since I love the world so much!)

But, this became one of the most richly written series in the Velgarth realm. Not only does it tie all the countries together (finally we learn more from outside Valdemar), ML also branches off into the Hawkbrothers and the Shin'a'in a bit more. Also also, we get a lot more informa...more
Mynameisntcollins
This is Elspeth's story, and Lackey does not disappoint. We had seen her from a distance in the Arrows trilogy, and she was just barely growing into her own as a woman, not to mention Heir to the throne. We knew that she was a brat when she was younger, and when Talia arrived, she managed to reform into a somewhat shy creature but a capable one. Now she's a young woman, and a full Herald. And we finally get to be inside her head. Now, maybe I was distracted by Talia's story in the Arrows trilogy...more
Bibliotropic
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Amy Aelleah
Apr 02, 2013 Amy Aelleah rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: romance/fantasy fans
This was not my first book by Ms. Lackey.

Before this book, I read the Mage Storm trilogy (which I loved with a vengeance) as well as the Phoenix Unchained (which I tolerated with a slight bit of enjoyment). I figured that because this book started the trilogy before Mage Storm, that it would be nearly as good. It wasn't.

If you want a fantasy/romance novel (strong emphasis on ROMANCE!) this might be the one for you. Although I believe you could find books in that sub-genre that had a good deal o...more
CatBookMom

I posted these comments at Audible, and I've duplicated them here, because I spent a lot of time thinking about this narration and this review, and I don't know that I can do it justice in two versions.

I have been hoping for an audiobook version of this series for years. Now that one has been released, I'm so disappointed.

Karen White has a lot of books listed at Audible, but many aren't well-known, at least not to me. She narrated The Hemingses of Monticello, but those reviews reflect comments...more
Brittany
I can't think why I put off reading these books for so long. Possibly because of the embarrassing over-the-top fantasy covers. Possibly because they aren't actually really "meaty" books. However they are perfect for some solid, fun, summer fantasy escapism. Also, as a bonus, when you're sitting on your beach with your sister, who is complaining because her book (about divorce, children, nurses, newborns with devastating diseases) is bumming her out, you can look at her smugly and say, "My book h...more
Mallori
Finishing Talia's Heralds of Valdemar series, I was excited to pick up Elspeth's story. Ancar had been set up as the big bad menacing Valdemar's borders and Elspeth was a redeemed flawed character I was invested in.

While the overarching story in Winds of Fate was interesting, I have to say, this novel was 200 pages longer than it needed to be, and those 200 were all in the first half. (You will notice these books are significantly longer than the books in Talia's series, and from what I read th...more
Victoria
Mercedes Lackey’s Valdemar series provides one of the cornerstones of my reading history. After discovering her when quite young, I still follow new additions to the series - nearly twenty years later! I read and re-read these books over and over again throughout my youth, but I haven't re-read this series in its entirety in a long time - and never as an adult. There are some new books added to the series since the last time I read them, so this re-reading project is pretty exciting for me since...more
Marco
I have been slowly reading Mercedes Lackey's Valdemar book series in order of publication. With this book her writing style and skills have reached maturity. The story flows really well, the characters are surprisingly human, more fascinating because of their limitations and short-falling than for their magic powers. The book uses all the tricks of modern fiction to capture the reader and it is very hard to put down. While very entertaining and well written, there is something missing when compa...more
Jon
This is one of my more favorite series in the whole Valdemar corpus. I like the "coming of age" story of Elspeth, as well as the start of tying current events (view spoiler). The thought and planning that goes into a story that takes place over such a timespan is always entertaining to me.

Plus I love all these books so that nicely glosses over any negatives there may be.
Ann Carpenter
Another one I'm not rating because I've read it too many times and there's too much series baggage. Though I will say this is one of my least favorite Valdemar books. It's too long for the amount of plot, for one. Plus Skif acts totally out of character in many ways, essentially as a plot device for Elspeth to be able to be angry that she's not being treated as an equal.
Alix
Jan 12, 2008 Alix rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Those reading the entire Velgarth series.
Shelves: fantasy
This particular book of the series is quite dark, with the blatant incest and rampant torture. Perhaps it's just too dark for me as rereading it didn't bring me much enjoyment. I recognize it as a necessary set up for what lies ahead, as well as a look into bits of history that were left out of earlier books, but in the end, it just feels lifeless taken on its own.

For a bright spot, the way the history (both that of Need and the tribes) was handled was delightful. Not at all like the rest where...more
Meagan
This series is definitely not my favorite from Lackey. Elspeth is kinda annoying and I hate what Lackey does with Skif. On the other hand, I like Darkwind and the Tayledras in general. I'm halfway considering just skipping Winds and Storm for Owl, which I remember liking much more.
Ubiquitousbastard
I cannot honestly say why I read this book when I so clearly loathed the previous series. What I can say, is that this book toned it down a bit, which is a good thing. But it did sort of feel like first draft work from a writer with a bit of the ol' block. I guess, I mean to say it was a bit uninspired and a bit forced. Elspeth is more tolerable than Talia, but they are almost interchangeable. None of the protagonists have much character differentiation, and since sexuality is so fluid in this w...more
taryne
well written, likable characters, and aside from numerous spelling errors, it was a good book. (also, i was 30% into it before i went back and checked if there where previous bks((outside the 'Mage Winds')), and if i had read those, it probably would have made more sense than it did, but it didn't really take away from the experience of reading it so)
Matt
Pretty enjoyable story with a well-constructed world and characters I was interested in but not as involved as I could be. Very much follows the "looming threat to the kingdom" motif, with its own unique touches. The role of magic is handled well and has some nuance to it.

One of my main gripes with this is the few sex scenes in it. They are pretty out of place and needlessly detailed, almost like this author has written romance novels before and felt she needed to squeeze some of it in for some...more
Rachel Lein
I first read this book when I was a teenager. I remember liking it better back then than I did when I made an attempt to re-read it in my mid-20's. The ideas are alright. I enjoyed the overall theme and general plot of the book, as a fantasy lover. Sadly, I felt that the story was too bland. This book felt like it dragged on and on without a whole lot of point. I also could never get close to the characters. They came off as very dry, never giving me any reason to care about what happened to the...more
Cindy
I read this series years ago. I decided to re-read them and read all the Heralds of Valdemar books chronologically.

Loved it just as much this time as the first time!
Jamethiel_bane
So. Re-reading this after having first read it as a teenager. I still enjoyed it, but I'm struck by how simplistic it is. While the good people are flawed, it seems to be in non-major ways that they overcome anyway. Being flawed never causes them to fail. The bad guys are Bad, and indulge themselve in Bad Things. I would have enjoyed a bit more moral shades of grey. Also, significant things are shown with what practically amounts to a brass band--"THIS IS A SIGNIFICANT THING. ARE YOU PAYING ATTE...more
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Mercedes entered this world on June 24, 1950, in Chicago, had a normal childhood and graduated from Purdue University in 1972. During the late 70's she worked as an artist's model and then went into the computer programming field, ending up with American Airlines in Tulsa, Oklahoma. In addition to her fantasy writing, she has written lyrics for and recorded nearly fifty songs for Firebird Arts &...more
More about Mercedes Lackey...
Arrows of the Queen (Heralds of Valdemar, #1) Magic's Pawn (Valdemar: Last Herald-Mage, #1) By the Sword (Valdemar: Kerowyn's Tale, #1) Magic's Price (Valdemar: Last Herald-Mage, #3) Magic's Promise (Valdemar: Last Herald-Mage, #2)

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