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Winds of Change (Valdemar: Mage Winds #2)

4.02  ·  Rating Details ·  12,523 Ratings  ·  90 Reviews
In The Mage Winds trilogy, which began with the best-selling novel, Winds of Fate, author Mercedes Lackey continues the epic that started with her first published book, Arrows of the Queen introduced readers to the remarkable land of Valdemar, the kingdom protected by its Heralds--men and women gifted with extraordinary mind powers--aided and served by their mysterious Com ...more
Paperback, 475 pages
Published August 1st 1993 by DAW (first published 1992)
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Apr 19, 2016 MrsJoseph rated it it was amazing

Note: There will be light spoilers for Winds of Fate in this review. Please read Winds of Fate prior to reading this review.

The ending of Winds of Fate left the K'Sheyna Vale and its inhabitants in chaos. Darkwind's father, Starblade, has been freed from Mornelithe Falconsbane's control but still deeply damaged. Nyara - Falconsbane's abused daughter - has gone into hiding with Need and the gryphlets have been cleansed from Falconsbane's taint. Unfortunat
Carol Gibson
May 26, 2014 Carol Gibson rated it it was ok
Shelves: sf-and-fantasy
I had some major issues with this novel far more than I usually have with the Valdemar novels.

The character of Elsbeth was written like a spoiled brat Mary Sue. First of all, all her angst about her place and her duty did not ring true for a young woman her age who has been a herald for sometime and has seen war. She came across as teenager.

The Mary Sue came in with the whole becoming an adept mage in less then a year. Please in all the other stories it takes years for a mage to make adept stat
Jeremy Preacher
Dec 26, 2009 Jeremy Preacher rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
Winds of Change is both better and worse than Winds of Fate. The writing is substantially more even - we spend less time in Darkwind's head, which is the main problem with the earlier book. The stupid jealousy subplots are present and just as stupid - this is one of my chief pet peeves, the plot where lovers work themselves into a tizzy assuming their lover is attracted to someone else, when the reader - having access to everyone's head - knows that this is totally not the case. Total waste of m ...more
Mar 07, 2012 Danyel rated it really liked it
I read this the first time when I was reading all the Valdemar books back in college. I've reread Talia and Vanyel's series since then but not Elspeth's. I enjoyed this book and the four stars is for nostalgia. If I were rating it as a new book, it'd be a 3.

Having read it before, it's hard to accurately review but the plot was enjoyable and I enjoyed Darkwind and Elspeth's relationship. I'd forgotten a lot until it was reintroduced and my memory was jogged. I'm looking forward to rereading the 3
Jan 28, 2008 Andrea rated it liked it
Lackey is one of my favorite authors ever! I started reading her in 8th grade but I will still pull out her books to reread them. Her character building is really her main strength – you want to meet her characters – which is probably why I always reach for her books as a pick-me-up, it’s like talking to old friends. Another trilogy, events occur after the "Arrows" trilogy and Lackey's writing style improves quite a bit. The reason I gave it three stars is because I have a soft sport for her ear ...more
Brendan Coffey

I picked this series up for nostalgia's sake; I first read it years ago, and the writing and story mostly hold up.

The EDITING though, is TERRIBLE. Whoever put these books together for e-book sale should be fired. Words misspelled everywhere, with a significant predisposition towards conflating "r"s with the following letter, e's with c's and other problems. It happens thought Lackey's series and is annoying enough that I doubt I'll buy another one of her books digi
Rosemary Dutka
Dec 14, 2014 Rosemary Dutka rated it liked it
I found the second book in the series to be predictable with uninteresting characters. Unfortunately, Elspeth's tale is just not as compelling as the original Valdemar series.
Mar 17, 2017 Kirsti rated it it was amazing
Woohoo, finally we get to see Elspeth and Darkwind get it on, after much tiptoeing around the issue. Haha, I've been waiting one and a half books for this, because I expected it. This book I obviously read much quicker than the last, due to it FINALLY being Friday, and the Friday I get four days off after. I guess my reading motivation returned with a decent night's sleep!

I love these books, even knowing what will happen if not exactly how it will occur. I only have one book left in this specif
Rachel Parham
Oh, oh, oh! I haven’t been this excited about a couple in literature since Vanyel and Tylendel / Stefen from The Last Herald Mage trilogy, which was, ironically enough, written by the same author as The Mage Winds trilogy! Mercedes Lackey is nothing if not a fantasy author, but she also creates some of the most touching and memorable couples I have encountered… and I am romance cynic!

Elspeth and Darkwind. Two powerful warriors from two completely different worlds now thrown together in a joint e
Susan Pola Staples

"Mercedes Lackey is one of my all-time favourite authors. Her 'Heralds of Valdemar' series is my favourite series of hers. Every now and then I re-read them. This is the second part of the Mage Winds trilogy. Herald-Heiress Elspeth and her companion Herald Skif with their Companions, Gwyna & Cymry, are at K'Sheyna Vale & have been made wingsibs. Elspeth is there to learn magic from Darkwind."

Darkwind finds Elspeth alternatingly attractive and frustrating as she seems to intuit on her ma
Jun 09, 2010 Bibliotropic rated it really liked it
Shelves: valdemar
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dawn Livingston
Jun 08, 2014 Dawn Livingston rated it really liked it
I really liked this book, as much as the first one. Of course with all that happened in the 1st book the 2nd deals with the aftermath so it's not full, it's about interaction, further character development, the characters trying to take stock of the situation and figure out where to go from there.

The one thing I noticed that bothered me... I couldn't quite figure it out but the phrase deus ex machina kept popping into my head. According to Wiki: "...(from Latin, meaning "god from the machine";
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
Rachel Lein
I read the first book in this series first 20 years ago, when I was a teenager, and then again in 2008, on a whim. I always meant to get around to reading the rest of the series, but something always came up, so I didn't manage to get to it until now.

For all that this book is quite adult in its content, it also has an air of childishness to it. Sometimes I found that endearing, and sometimes it was annoying. I felt differently about it when I was 14 years old, but not so much now that I'm in my
Kristy Halseth
Mar 06, 2015 Kristy Halseth rated it liked it
This series feels like it has a lot of her husband's hand in it. And not just in the drawings. He manages to make sketches of characters that look very little like the descriptions of them in the book. Elspeth turns into the BRAT again. She is whinny and annoying. She is complaining about Skif but it seems like she is over reacting because it never shows what Skif is doing. She is just thinking about things and it really doesn't sound like Skif is crushing on her at all. It really just sounds li ...more
Megan Cutler
Jun 28, 2008 Megan Cutler rated it liked it
If this series were an anime, this book would be the crappy filler animators put out while they wait for the manga (comic) to progress the storyline enough to continue.

In other words, it's obvious the author needed time to pass so that Elspeth could get her mage training without it seeming to happen overnight. So she's filled the entire first half of the book with 'busy work' and random encounters which don't actually advance the plot. Unfortunately, Elspeth's training still seems ridiculously f
May 06, 2012 TheCosyDragon rated it really liked it
This review has been crossposted from my blog at The Cosy Dragon . Please head there for more in-depth reviews by me, which appear on a timely schedule.

This novel details Elspeth's learning of magic, and Skif's finding of his cat girl. It's quite slowly paced, but fills in a bunch of interesting details.

Elspeth and Darkwind both mature in this novel. Elspeth is pretty awesome anyway, if I do say so myself, but it's cute to see the romance happening.

This history covered in this novel is of the Va
Oct 25, 2014 Sophie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A snowstorm swirled about the castle when the crystal was moved.

Uh... Did the Shin'a'in give Mornelithe Falconsbane a SNOW GLOBE??

I don't know why I tend to like the second books in Lackey's trilogies the best. Maybe because we're given more of a chance to get to know the characters and their worlds, without all the PLOT! URGENCY! NON-STOP ACTION! of the first and last books.

So many new characters and interesting pairings! Herald and Tayledras, shaman and spirit-hawk, gryphon and mage-student, h
Ward Bond
Jun 25, 2012 Ward Bond rated it it was amazing

In "The Mage Winds" trilogy, which began with the best-selling novel, "Winds of Fate," author Mercedes Lackey continues the epic that started with her first published book, "Arrows of the Queen" introduced readers to the remarkable land of Valdemar, the kingdom protected by its Heralds--men and women gifted with extraordinary mind powers--aided and served by their mysterious Companions--horselike beings who know the many secrets of Valdemar's magical heritage. None but the Companions remember th

May 17, 2010 Denise rated it it was ok
This book dragged so much in the middle that I had to force myself to finish it. Elspeth is said to be 27 years old in this story. I would think that most young women would have been pushed into marriage by her age? The Valdemar Council has not pushed her into a royal marriage (yet) in order to obtain heirs to the crown. Could it be that they view the Twins (Elspeth's younger siblings--children of her stepfather and her mother) as "sufficient" heirs to the crown? Elspeth tantalizes us with the t ...more
Janie G
Feb 01, 2017 Janie G rated it liked it
Character conflict drives most of this story, the enemy doesn't even make an appearance until late in the book. Actually, most of the book seems to be an extended training montage.

I enjoyed the exploration of Darkwind and Elspeth's relationship, but their character depth seemed lacking compared to Winds of Fate. I particularly love Lackey's emphasis on relationships as partnerships (maybe a foil would be useful somewhere?). Many side characters are developed more deeply. Unfortunately, there's
Jo Oehrlein
Mar 02, 2015 Jo Oehrlein rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Sep 30, 2010 Lisa (Harmonybites) rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Valdemar Fans
Winds of Change is the second book in the Mage Winds trilogy. If you're new to Lackey and the Valdemar series, I wouldn't begin with this book: Go back and read the first trilogy that begins with Arrows of the Queen, and certainly the previous book Winds of Fate. I enjoy the Valdemar series, and Elspeth is one of the first characters I got to know in it, as a child, so I enjoyed reading of her coming of age in this series. This also has elements, that if you loved books of Lackey, including thos ...more
Oct 21, 2012 Marco rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
The story is entertaining and never boring, but it feels episodic, almost as if it was serialized on a newspaper. I like the settings and the characters created by the author, but this series is not as epic and powerful as the previous two set in the same world of Valdemar. Princess Elspeth has reached K'Sheyna vale to find the long lost gift of magic and to fight Ancar of Hardon. Unfortunately things in the vale are not easy, even after the defeat of the legendary Falconsbane. The magic node at ...more
Sep 29, 2016 Amber rated it it was ok
This book was disappointing. I skimmed the first thirty or so pages because it was all a retelling of the first book. Then I alternately read and skimmed the rest of the way through the book. I'm starting to think that Miss Lackey doesn't quite understand what it takes to write a good story. I'll be honest, I really hate reading a day-to-day account of two people living in the ever safe and comfortable Vale. Yes, they are training in magic, but it's just super boring to read about. I can count o ...more
Fuchsia Rascal
One of the beginning Valdemar novels that Mercedes Lackey wrote, and for that I'll forgive her for sticking more to the romance than the more interesting parts of the story. There are quite a few spots where it seems like nothing's happening except lovers' spats, but when something does happen, it's good. This book is especially helpful for learning about the magic of Valdemar, as it follows Elspeth's journey in learning her newly found Mage Gift. Overall, it was useful in understanding more abo ...more
Nov 25, 2013 Brittneigh rated it liked it
Not shelving this one correctly because I don't reeeally feel like Mercedes Lackey re-reads count. But w/e. This series is just not my fave, though it's good to refresh my memory on when things happen in the continuum.

spoilers: (I didn't remember that the K'alend'al or however you spell it came back this book, though it's kind of like... not really a huge deal. And also the shin'a'in spirit riders are badass. I am surprsied that this book doesn't deal with my least favorite character And'e'sha
Sep 11, 2010 Kathleen rated it liked it
Elspeth, no longer the Brat, learns magic and makeouts from Hawkbrother Darkwind. She and Skiff get to be honorary tribe members which gets him help in tracking down his cat-girl one true love. I mock how heavy the tropes are in these books, but I like that Nyara--the cat!girl--chooses to distance herself from Skiff and get her own head together before she even considers a relationship with him. Lackey never acts as though true love's kiss might be the cure for years of abuse. For that, I can pu ...more
Aug 11, 2016 Esterynna rated it it was amazing
I love the 2nd installment of this trilogy. I begin to like Elspeth. She's a chatacter that needs time for me to vouch for. I love Darkwind too. But I have to say, Firesong definitely steal my affection for him. Especially since Gwena said he feels familiar. Immediately I thought of he must be Vanyel descendants and I am right!!! Firesong is so much like Vanyel. His power, his looks, his preference, even his popularity. It's like Vanyel is alive and living all over again but this time as Tayledr ...more
Nov 23, 2015 Leslie rated it liked it
This was the weakest book of the trilogy in my opinion. It was a slog. Honestly the whole book felt like an elaborate rehash of the third act of the first book. It felt totally unnecessary to the plot.

Generally this is how I rate books here on Goodreads:

5 Stars - I never wanted to put the book down
4 Stars - I was usually interested in continuing most of the time
3 Stars - I often got bored but was able to finish
2 Stars - I got bored enough to put the book down - I couldn't finish (or would have i
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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 &am ...more
More about Mercedes Lackey...

Other Books in the Series

Valdemar: Mage Winds (3 books)
  • Winds of Fate (Valdemar: Mage Winds #1)
  • Winds of Fury (Valdemar: Mage Winds #3)

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“It's just as easy to be lonely in a city as out in the wilderness. Easier, really. It's harder to get to know someone when you meet in a crowded place. People can freely ignore you in the city; they can assume they don't have any responsibility for you. When there are fewer people, (...) they begin assuming some kind of responsibility, simply because you naturally do the same.” 18 likes
“Although you feel relief now, this is likely to be the source of many sleepless nights for you. You will lie awake, look upon your heart, and find it unlovely. You will be certain that (...) you are the greatest of monsters. This is a good thing; although you may forgive yourself, you must never come to think that your actions were in any way justifiable. But- (...) Being a sane, honorable human being is not always comfortable.” 11 likes
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