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Lord of the Changing Winds (Griffin Mage #1)

3.39  ·  Rating Details ·  1,285 Ratings  ·  127 Reviews
Griffins lounged all around them, inscrutable as cats, brazen as summer. They turned their heads to look at Kes out of fierce, inhuman eyes. Their feathers, ruffled by the wind that came down the mountain, looked like they had been poured out of light; their lion haunches like they had been fashioned out of gold. A white griffin, close at hand, looked like it had been made ...more
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Published October 27th 2010 by Tantor Media (first published January 1st 2010)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Kater Cheek
In many ways, this is a perfectly decent sword-and-castle type fantasy, and in one way it's better, because it has griffins. The griffins are the best part, because griffins are awesome and underused.

The plot is great: we have three different peoples, the griffins, the humans of Feierabriand and the humans of Casmantium, all of whom are arguing over more or less the same terrain. As with many fantasy novels, the people are rather modern and civilized in that they all desire as little blood-shed
MB (What she read)
Really nice worldbuilding, and griffins are a nicely unusual change from the norm.

BUT, I found myself caring less about the characters on finishing than upon beginning. (Not great for keeping me invested in reading the sequels.)

I also thought the warfare was poorly managed. I'm not at all knowledgeable about or interested in military fiction or strategy but there were quite a few times when I said, "wait...what!?!" to myself. Seriously, these men do not seem to think logically about waging war
Paul Weimer
I love Griffins.

Sure, Dragons are awesome. Dragons are mighty. Dragons go with heroic fantasy as much as, say, treasure laden dungeons.

But Griffins...

Combine a lion, king of the beasts, with an eagle, king of the air. That's a potent combination. A combination that speaks to me in a way that the coldly reptilian eye of a dragon doesn't always manage. Too, Griffins are not as well developed as dragons. Everyone knows dragons breathe fire (except when they don't). Everyone knows they love riddles
Nov 25, 2011 Heidi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Originally reviewed here:

Kes is a young woman with a talent for healing, destined to become an herb woman of a small village in Feierabiand, until the day that the griffins arrive to make a dessert north of Minas Ford. A man appears in the village, a man whom Kes knows instantly is no man at all, seeking a healer for his people and asking Kes’s help. She agrees to do what she can, not understanding the consequences of her actions or her own power. Bertaud
Oct 07, 2010 Teril rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love griffins, so I picked up this book at Powells over the summer. It was a great read, the characters are detailed. I guess i give it a three because I was not feeling complete after the ending. Don't get me wrong it was a great read and I went to the bookstore and picked up book two but I think I was wanting a bit more. A bit more character growth, a bit more hmm, romance, a bit less writing about the world and other people and places and palaces and place history since I really wanted was ...more
Oct 28, 2016 Amanda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The worldbuilding in terms of the griffins and their desert/fire magic was exemplary. Their names really interrupted the flow of the narrative for me and became very problematic. I thought the plot was pretty thin, and only just sustained what was a rather short novel anyway.
Noir Stefon
Jan 28, 2017 Noir Stefon rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
It was alright, not great but not bad, either. Has me interested in reading the next one.
Ranting Dragon
Nov 30, 2010 Ranting Dragon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: stephan

When I entered my local bookstore for the first time after I started reviewing, I decided I should at least pick up one book I would never have considered reading before. The novel of choice was Lord of the Changing Winds, the first book in The Griffin Mage Trilogy by Rachel Neumeier.

A story of Griffins
As the title of the series suggests, this is a book about Griffins, and it is the first book about these mythical creatures I’ve ever read. After some resea
Jan 12, 2011 Ithlilian rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I have tried to limit myself to character based fantasy lately since the quest driven fantasies are starting to tire me. At first glance Lord of the Changing Winds fits the bill, it starts with a day in the life of our main character, Kes. That is how I like to be drawn into a fantasy world, and I was interested right away. I don't enjoy long drawn out descriptions of what the land looks like, who rules where, and who hates who. Unfortunately, the second chapter brought just that. I felt like I ...more
Jan 15, 2014 Mike rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
I was given books 2 and 3 in this series for Christmas, so I felt I should read book 1 first to get a sense of things. From doing so, I'm not at all sure I will be reading those later ones.

Things I liked about this book:

Things I did not like about this book:

Pretty much everything. To specify:

- Terribly overwrought. I don't have the easiest time articulating this feeling, but it's something I find in certain types of work that try to be epic fantasy. It's a style common to Arthurian-style tales,
Jun 04, 2010 Cindy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, read-in-2010
This was one of those books that I was looking forward to reading in 2010.

I don't know if this is a first or second book but the author is fairly new to writing. While I enjoyed the book and plot, there were huge areas of information dumping. Either when described the land, or characters or background. I noticed that I'd skip huge paragraphs, this did get toned down a lot after midway but it'll be hard for people to get past it. Especially since some of the information isn't really an essential
Angela James
May 23, 2011 Angela James rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, 2011
I actually felt indifferently enough about this book that I'm not sure if I'll read the second, though the volume I got is actually the 2-book set. The story was fine, but I didn't feel a particular connection to any of the characters (in case you haven't noticed, I'm a character reader--the world can be awesome, but if I don't connect to someone in the story, a book doesn't work for me). In fact, I was never sure who the protagonist was, since we get several point of views and I didn't feel inc ...more
Fantasy Literature
Lord of the Changing Winds is a very well done, straightforward fantasy novel. While there isn’t anything earth-shatteringly new here, neither is there a sense of “same old story.”

Rachel Neumeier takes an interesting direction with Kes, one of her main characters. Kes is a 15-year-old orphan girl, raised by her sister in a small, quiet village. She has healing abilities and doesn’t quite fit in. So far, all the clichéd standards. Kes, however, is not a cliché. Once Kes meets the griffins and is
Rosalind M
May 01, 2010 Rosalind M rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
For me, the story was lost in the amount of information the author gave about characters, places, and history. I got to the point where I was skipping over pages of background information that should have been woven into the storyline or may not really have been integral to the plot as the reader saw it (versus what was in the writer's head). I suspect that the next book will be a much more enjoyable read, since the background will already have been presented.
Mar 18, 2011 Tracy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
~* 4.5 Stars *~
As the season just starts to change from late spring into early summer in the land of Feierabriand, a shy, slightly fey young girl from the village of Minas Ford is up in the hills gathering healing herbs when the first of the mighty griffins wing overhead, the air turning hot and arid in its wake. Soon the sky is full of the gorgeous but deadly creatures and Kes watches in awe until they disappear beyond the mountain. Their arrival heralds a change on the wind that will shake Fei
Eco Imp
I read this book because it was there - a discard of my daughter's sitting on the coffee table. I had just submitted my final assignment (#52 in 17 weeks) and wanted to read for pleasure. No more scholarly journals and articles or text books requiring metacognition. Another late night/early morning reading (0125-0600).

Female protagonist, not so strong, over-powered by 'male' in need, giving no option but to do 'his' bidding. Reminded me of Iraq and Kuwait - invasion of another country for want o
Nov 18, 2010 Vanessa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
By the end of chapter one of LORD OF THE CHANGING WINDS I began to worry that Rachel Neumeier would make me suffer through new-author syndrome: the first fifty pages stiffly sets up a predictable story, using too-formal prose, repetitive descriptions, and clumsy world building. But I kept reading, because despite a not very illustrious beginning, the prose has some delightful metaphors and turns of phrase that spoke to the author's cleverness with words.

Griffins take center stage here--this isn
Mar 24, 2012 Anastasia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, ebooks
This review was originally posted at Birdbrain(ed) Book Blog on April 3, 2012.

I probably would have never bought this book if a) I hadn’t got the third one for free and b) this one plus the second one was on sale in an omnibus version a few years ago when c) I was flush with money and buying books wily-nily. There’s just something about the cover and summary that doesn’t really speak to me, you know? Luckily, however, it’s been so long since I originally purchased them I’d completely forgotten a
I wish the world-building was stronger. There's good detail about the different "countries" and the sorts of magic that they lean toward. However, there's no sense for the rest of the world beyond these territories. I appreciated the map in the beginning because it helped visualize the borders between the lands and the distance between cities/towns.

Magic. This is one aspect that I wish was more thought out.

There is no "cost" to doing magic, beyond getting tired sometimes. The main character, Ke
Melissa Hayden
Apr 09, 2010 Melissa Hayden rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Kes is up in the woods collecting herbs for her stock when she spies the Griffins flying in the distance, and is distracted by their beauty. After Kes returns home to her sister Tesme and their helper Jos, she goes into the small village with her sister to celebrate the birth of magnificent horse of Tesme's. While there a man comes looking for Kes, asking for her help. Kes realizes something different about this man, that he must have a connection to the griffins by what she sees and feels. Kes ...more
Apr 14, 2010 M— rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
I found this to be a bit disappointing considering how excited I had been when I first learned of this book. Don't get me wrong, mind; the griffins are every bit as cool as I'd hoped and the book is worth reading if only for that aspect, but this book also has things that seriously irk me and make me less than thrilled at the idea of finishing the trilogy.

Firstly, I was extremely annoyed when Betraud developed an affinity for griffins. Gosh... affinity looks like such a meek and gentle word writ
Tried to get started on this one several days ago and have resigned myself to DNF-ing it after feeling no enthusiasm to continue. I didn't get far in, just to the part where the heroine meets the griffin and *SEMI-SPOILERISH SORRY* discovers her magical mage powers due to the griffins. This is where the book went downhill for me. The heroine is unaware she possessed said powers and therefore doesn't understand at all what is happening, how it's happening, etc. While I know things might be better ...more
Mar 10, 2012 Jacey rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, fiction
I bought this on the recommendation of the manager at Bakka in Toronto, in fact I broke my own rule and bought both the first and second in the Griffin Mage trilogy because of such a strong recommendation. Unfortunately I wish I'd stuck at one. Maybe that's the problem of having someone rave about a book (or two) it sets up expectations and then when the book doesn't quite hit the mark, the disappointment quotient is amplified.

I'm still trying to work out why this didn't hit the mark. It's well
Jan 12, 2011 Phuong rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 10, 2013 Terri rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, high-fantasy
I had high hopes for this novel, having loved two out of three of Neumeier’s young adult novels (The City In the Lake and The Floating Islands). The City In the Lake in particular had a rich, lovely prose reminiscent of Robin McKinley, and I found that to be the case with Lord of the Changing Winds as well. Kes is a quiet, thoughtful girl who feels out of place in her world until the griffin mage comes and awakens the magic of fire inside her. The only problem then is that she’s not entirely of ...more
Lindsay Stares
Jun 16, 2012 Lindsay Stares rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-on-kindle
Premise: Kes knows she's different from her sister, from her neighbors. She assumes that she'll always be a bit different, with her quiet ways and her interest in the hills. She assumes that she'll use her herb knowledge to help her sister's horses indefinitely. Then she saw the griffins, and her world was forever changed.

This book had simply gorgeous prose. I adored the way the poetry in the language seemed to echo Kes's thoughts: straightforward on the surface, deep and complex at heart. I esp
Dec 20, 2014 Aelvana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Griffins have come to Feierabiand, bringing the desert with them. But these fierce creatures are in need of a healer, and when Kes agrees to go with them she little suspects the turns her life will take. For the rest of the country, however, the griffins are a frightening invasion, one they cannot understand and cannot stop. Can peace exist between two so wildly opposing species? Or will griffin's and men's blood once more spill on desert sands?

From the beginning, this is a innovative twist on a
This was a good book, starting off with Kes, a young girl who lived with her sister in a small village. All that changed when the griffin mage came. After a threatening talk, well it was threatening in my opinion, the man gave her two options: Come easy and nothing happens, or stay and be forced. After going with the man she became half human, half something else(Which I won't give away). Lord Bertaud who is the kings well trusted friend, Kes who is also known as Kereskitta to the griffins is a ...more
Jan 29, 2012 Leenchen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy

Kes lebt ihr Leben als junges Mädchen in den Hügeln von Farabiand, sie ist Kräuterheilerin und hilft ihrer älteren Schwester so gut sie kann und doch fehlt ihr etwas. Erst als sie die Greifen am Himmel fliegen sieht, spürt sie das Verlangen ihnen zu folgen.
Kairaithin hatte gehofft eine Heilerin zu finden, doch als er sie in Kes findet, kann er sein Glück kaum glauben, denn Kes wird es sein, die zwischen Sieg und Niederlage der Greifen gegen die Menschen entscheidet, doch sie ist selber ei
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Rachel Neumeier started writing fiction to relax when she was a graduate student and needed a hobby unrelated to her research. Prior to selling her first fantasy novel, she had published only a few articles in venues such as The American Journal of Botany. However, finding that her interests did not lie in research, Rachel left academia and began to let her hobbies take over her life instead.

She n
More about Rachel Neumeier...

Other Books in the Series

Griffin Mage (3 books)
  • Land of the Burning Sands (Griffin Mage, #2)
  • Law of the Broken Earth (Griffin Mage, #3)

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“The desert at night was black and a strange madder-tinted silver; the sky was black, and the great contorted cliffs, and the vast expanses of sand that stretched out in all directions. But the red moon cast a pale crimson-tinged luminescence over everything, and far above the stars were glittering points of silver.” 1 likes
“He had known that power requires to be used; that the world compels the exercise of power if one possesses it. And that necessity constrains what one may do with power.” 0 likes
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