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Storm Warning (Valdemar: Mage Storms #1)

really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating Details ·  10,627 Ratings  ·  107 Reviews
With her phenomenal Mage Winds trilogy, bestselling author Mercedes Lackey captivated fans across the country. Now in the first volume of the series sequel, she continues the same storyline, returning readers to a war-torn Valdemar in preparation to confront an ancient Eastern Empire--ruled by a monarch whose magical tactics by be beyond any sorcery known to the western ki ...more
ebook, 352 pages
Published September 1st 1995 by Daw Books (first published 1994)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Cara
Apr 10, 2012 Cara rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I read once that Lackey's ambition is to be the most prolific writer of the 20th Century; it shows in this trilogy. The storyline is dull, as are the characters. Karal is generic in the first book and becomes increasingly perfect in the following books. Lackey has always had a tendency to create Mary Sue's for main characters; her best protagonist, Vanyel, is not entirely free of this fault. But Karal takes the cake for blandness. And the explanation for how Karse became Valdemar's ally is also ...more
Sophie
Nov 17, 2014 Sophie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm really excited about this series. I liked this first one a lot, especially the "strangers in a strange land" aspect, with the protagonists both being new to Valdemar. I like Karal a lot, too. And there are ENGINEERS, and they figure magic out using MATH, which is awesome, and there are FIRECATS, which are like Companions only instead of horses they are KITTIES. Also there are sheep eyeing things dubiously. I don't know why I find it so hilarious, but I think "sheep eyed it dubiously" is the ...more
Michelle
Jul 08, 2012 Michelle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I really enjoyed this book. We suddenly get an outside view of Valdemar, and I love the way it makes you think about how we are indoctrinated into believing propaganda and how hard it is to let go of. Karal is a great medium to show us how difficult this is. He is young enough to not be directly connected to previous events, but old enough that he has heard the lies of the corrupted officials for most of his life.

At first, I was really annoyed with Andesha. The only reason I could ignore most o
...more
Sam
Apr 16, 2012 Sam rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, quit
This series was given to me as a gift. I was a little hesitant based on the covers, but thought I'd give it a try (don't judge a book by it's cover, right?). It started out okay, built up a couple of interesting characters, but I kept expecting something to happen and nothing did. I finally gave up after about 2/3 through. Too much introspection by the characters, almost teenage angst by some of them, and I just started losing interest in them.
Brittany
May 26, 2014 Brittany rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I forget that, while some of Mercedes Lackey's Valdemar books are exactly the kind of light summer reading I enjoy, I find others of them vaguely tedious. This is one of the tedious ones, much to my dismay.
Megan Lillian
It felt like the entire book was filler. Not sure I am a fan of the central character in this trio either.
Bibliotropic
Jun 09, 2010 Bibliotropic rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: valdemar, fantasy
Another rather dull synopsis from GoodReads, and something of a misleading one. Selenay isn't so much struggling to bring about an alliance with Karse as she already has one, as evidenced by the envoy, Ulrich, and his secretary, Karal, staying at the palace. Better to say that the story actually revolves around the Karsite envoy's secretary for the most part, while everybody tries to figure out what to do about Hardorn now that Ancar is dead and the Eastern Empire seems to be making a move towar ...more
Kirsti
Mar 02, 2017 Kirsti rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So I've been reading a lot of Valdemar books recently, mainly through downloading them on Kindle. I have to wait for payday tomorrow to pick up where I left off in other series, so I jumped ahead and read this on out of order. I really should have tried Winds first, but this was still understandable because I've been reading these books out of order for years! Hopefully one day they will be a comprehensible timeline in my mind!

I really loved Karal <3 His friendship with An'desha is just adora
...more
Rosu Aquabutts
I'm a big fan of the Valdemar books though I recognize their many weaknesses. I first read this book nearly fifteen years ago, so while I remembered the basic plot structure, some of the characters, and a scene here and there, a lot of it was practically new to me.

I found on reread that this was one of the less enjoyable books in the series. I really wasn't crazy about how long it took for anything to start happening. Compare the start of the Mage Storms -- over 100 pages of wandering in the cou
...more
Kathleen
The enemy in this book is the not!Roman Empire, but while they attack from the east, they are not the problem. Magic is going wonky all over the world. Luckily, Elspeth recently brought Darkwind, the Griffins, and Firesong to Valdemar to start training mages. Surely they well be able to work together with An'desha--formerly Mornlithe Falconsbane--and the young Karse cleric Karal to battle the mage storm that makes mage-work impossible, destroys the local weather, and changes plants and animals i ...more
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Sep 29, 2010 Lisa (Harmonybites) rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Valdemar Fans
Shelves: fantasy, fiction, novels
If you're trying to decide to buy this book, I think it comes down to two questions. If you're new to Lackey or the Valdemar books, should you start here? For me that's a decisive no. Go back and at try Arrows of the Queen, and if you like that, finish Talia's trilogy and move on to Elspeth's story beginning in Winds of Fate.

OK, so you've read those two trilogies? Then the question becomes, do you want to continue on and invest in this trilogy? I'd say yes. I didn't like this trilogy as much as
...more
Jeremy Preacher
Dec 26, 2009 Jeremy Preacher rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
As much as I dislike the Mage Winds trilogy, I like the Mage Storms trilogy. Karal is a great viewpoint character - foreign enough to bring some interesting background and insight into the familiar Valdemar court, naive enough to grow and change in satisfying ways, but neither self-pitying nor ineffectual. Not all of the others are quite as successful, but in this book they pretty much don't come into play.

Just like Valdemar is an idealized fantasy of liberal politics, the "true" Vkandis faith i
...more
Meagan
Feb 25, 2014 Meagan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This trilogy is one of my least favorite. It's like Lackey forgot what her damn characters were like. There's this big thing about how the craftsmen are the only people who do logic right. Excuse me but whaaaaaaaat the fuck are you talking about? The heralds have always some of the best goddamned educated people in the country, and the mages are pretty much required to be logical to do magic. The sudden need for a billionty more characters baffles and annoys me. Plus I'm not a huge fan of the in ...more
Férial
3.5 stars. Not 4 because I liked Elspeth's story more (and I've given it a 4 stars).

I love the way Ms Lackey "develops" her characters. Karal is a good example (Talia, Kero and Elspeth were good ones either). You think that nothing is actually happening but then you realize that you have learned a lot of things about Valdemar and her allies and ennemies : the politics, the theology, the peoples, the lands...

And many answers are given. Answers to questions you must have had when 1st reading the Q
...more
Dwer
Feb 15, 2009 Dwer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: f-sf
The first of a triology. An interesting story of magic and science, the interaction of different (magical) societies, not always smoothly, and their struggles to meet a potentially overwhelming physical challenge. The good guys are interesting and engaging. The real bady, as I said, is a thing, not people. But there are some bad guys as well. But even they are interesting, and I don't find them to be truely evil, just ruthless and ambitious.
Rowyn
Mar 14, 2013 Rowyn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a 'review' for people who have read most of the Valdemar series.

I give it a 3 because for me personally I don't want to feel charitable to "The Enemy"! I have spent the entire series until now hating Karse and am not ready to have a story from 'their' point of view especially this kids. He just really annoys me. Maybe it's because his god is Vkandis and he is a priest. I really don't know but this trilogy is my least favorite in the Valdemar series.
Gail
Nov 13, 2011 Gail rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
First story in Mage Storms—Karal comes to Valdemar from Karse as secretary for the new ambassador, his mentor Ulrich. He starts to learn about Valdemar and the mage storms. The Iron Emperor sends his potential heir to take over Hardorn. Lots of stuff going on.
Rebecca
Feb 04, 2014 Rebecca rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great series, really enjoyed the whole story and plot line.

Also has great characters and builds up the world of valedmar even more.
Judy
Jan 22, 2017 Judy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excited about this series. Really like the new characters. We'll see where it goes.
Dawn Livingston
My rating is more like 2 1/2 stars, halfway between it was okay and I liked it. I certainly didn't enjoy the book as much as I did the "Winds of" series's first book with Elspeth.

I liked Karal, at least in the beginning. I related to him, he wasn't one of the "elite" of anything, like Firesong, Elspeth, An'desha. But eventually he got to be too perfect toward the end of the book.

It didn't work for me that the Heralds, Valdemars leaders, who in other books were so creative, innovative can't figu
...more
Casey Fry
Nov 15, 2012 Casey Fry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Delving into fantasy and revealing bits and pieces of a much larger world, Storm Warning is the first book in the Mage Storms Trilogy, a novel in the Valdemar Universe series and personally one of my favorite books. Containing magic, mages, gods, magical creatures, and vastly different world-views from a wide array of intriguing characters, Storm Warning opens the gates to a series that gives me everything I have ever wanted in a story.

We are welcomed into the story as we are introduced to Ulri
...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
Speedtribes
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
So, I Read This Book Today
THIS IS AN AUDIO BOOK REVIEW: NOT A REVIEW OF THE BOOK ITSELF. The series is a 4.5 to me. The Audio by Ledoux? A 1. I gave a three rating because I love the books themselves, but this narrator is definitely NOT mmy cup of tea!
********************
First, please realize that I am a huge fan of Mercedes Lackey's Valdemar tales. I started with The Last Herald Mage Trilogy in 1989 when the first came out and have them still on my bookshelves in paperback editions. I really enjoyed them, though my sigh
...more
Tim Lucier
The first time I read the Storms series, I had no idea what was going on.
As a huge fan of Lackey's work, in particular those taking place in Valdemar, I read most of these books out of order given their accessibility (working through used book stores, etc.) Storms came out new while I was working through her books, so I gave it a try and was completely lost in the narrative and unhappy with this Valdemar that seemed so different from the one I knew.
Later, once I discovered Amazon and was able to
...more
Randal
This review is for you if, like me, you look at an author's work on a shelf and don't quite know where to jump in, particularly in the case of someone so prolific and beloved as Mercedes Lackey.
I chose this one because the library has all three of the Mage Storms series, so although it's by no means Lackey's first, I expected to be able to pick up and enjoy this trilogy as a starting point for her writing. How wrong I was.
The first third (half?) of the book is spent catching up readers on all th
...more
Rowena Tylden-Pattenson
This was not as good as I expected it to be. I read a trilogy of Mercedes Lackey back about 10 years ago and remember loving it, so certainly I had pretty high expectations of this when I grabbed it (as an omnibus) off the library shelf. I'm not that inclined to continue reading the other two books in the trilogy either really.

It started off very slow paced, and continued for about 150 pages at the same slow plodding pace- journeying to Valdemar, with very little happening and little in the way
...more
Daniel Millard
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Megan Cutler
Jun 28, 2008 Megan Cutler rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A breath of fresh air after the "Winds" trilogy.

The Valdemar series tends toward a certain formula, but "Storm Warning" breaks the mould. The protagonist is interesting specifically because he is neither Valdemarian nor a Herald. And because he hails from Valdemar's traditional enemy, his perspective offers a unique and refreshing spin on familiar details. Also, the villain possesses morals and is capable of reason, unlike the usual immoral sociopaths.

Unfortunately it still contains some of the
...more
Jacob
Dec 18, 2016 Jacob rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful. I also really enjoyed the inclusion of LGBT characters in this book.
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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 Storms (3 books)
  • Storm Rising (Valdemar: Mage Storms, #2)
  • Storm Breaking (Valdemar: Mage Storms, #3)

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“When they are seen as a type, and not as individuals, they are easy for a fanatical mind to grasp—and hate.” 2 likes
“Emperor held court from his Iron Throne, made from the personal weapons of all those monarchs the Emperors of the past had conquered and deposed, each glazed and guarded against rust. The throne itself was over six feet tall and four feet in width; a monolithic piece of furniture, it was so heavy that it had not been moved so much as a finger-length in centuries. Anyone looking at it could only be struck by its sheer mass—and must begin calculating just how many sword blades, axes, and lance points must have gone into the making of it.... None” 0 likes
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