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Winds of Change

(Valdemar: Mage Winds #2)

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  13,747 ratings  ·  116 reviews
None but the Companions remember the long-ago age when high magic was lost to Valdemar as the last Herald-Mage gave his life to protect his kingdom from destruction by dark sorceries.

But now the protective barrier set so long ago over Valdemar is crumbling, and with the realm imperiled by the dark magic of Ancar of Hardorn, Princess Elspeth, Herald and heir to the throne,

Hardcover, 449 pages
Published October 1st 1993 by DAW (first published 1992)
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4.04  · 
Rating details
 ·  13,747 ratings  ·  116 reviews

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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
Karina Read
Perhaps reading this one straight after the first was a mistake... this instalment was full of contradictions which constantly frustrated me. The writing continued to be simplistic which, again, was so at odds with the adult content. The inner dialogues of the characters in no way matched their age.... i could go on. It’s such a shame as the world was super interesting and had lots of potential. Sadly the execution let it down.
Feb 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Had Mercedes Lackey not been such a prolific author, I feel this particular volume would have been widely acclaimed in mainstream literature. It is probably the best of all her novels, in my eyes. It is extraordinarily rich in characters deeply fleshed out, their motivations clear, in breathing settings the reader can walk in to, and in plot development. I am impressed!

The character Darkwind has an immense appeal as an Aragorn-type character. Elspeth really comes into her own and shows a much ap
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 13, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5* rounded up.

The plot, the world building, the diverse and likeable cast, the obsessed villain... It all worked together well. The book wasn't just sitting in the middle of a trilogy, it did a lot of heavy lifting to provide lore for the upcoming books, to foreshadow the next series, the Mage Storms, and to both tie things up from the first book and introduce the next.

But I'm conflicted. Super conflicted. The romantic subplot could have been satisfying, but Darkwind and Elspeth both seemed
Chromium Kitty
Jul 27, 2014 rated it liked it
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
Carol Gibson
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 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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.
Melanie Page
May 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Characterization is hit or miss in Winds of Change. While women are distinguishable and unique, male characters blend together. I confused Skif for Darkwind for several pages when I let me brain relax a little, and their backstories are nothing alike: a former street thief who is now a herald vs. a tribal person who has never been in a city and has a mage gift. Because Skif has a unique background from other heralds in THE HERALDS OF VALDEMAR trilogy, I missed his unique playfulness while fighti ...more
Lissa Notreallywolf
Aug 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, ya
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jack Vasen
This second book of the Mage Winds series tells mostly a complete story. It builds heavily on the first book and it has many significant loose ends to carry into the final book. I recommend reading in order. It is also very much a part of the larger Valdemar universe story. In fact there are many references to other series in the Valdemar universe.

This is a long book. I could have done with at least a quarter less. A lot happens but much of it, especially in the first half, drags a little. A lot
Dec 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Middle books in trilogies can be trouble. You've already set up the beginning, but you're not ready for the denouement yet. Instead you have to fill the book with marching the characters from Point A to Point B, without a satisfying conclusion.

I'm glad to report that Lackey, who is a professional when it comes to plotting, largely manages after the excitement of "Winds of Fate" to avoid the middle-book sag in "Winds of Change," and craft an thrilling tale of adventure and romance.

Indeed, I remem
Jackie B. - Death by Tsundoku
Compared to other books, the plot dragged. I know that Lackey wants to explore her magic system, but I could have done with fewer magic lessons and more overarching plot. This meant the story bogged down quite a bit. In fact, it wasn't until chapter 14 (57%) that I really got into the book. Why is this? Because up until this point, it just felt like a lengthy training montage with quality character developing supporting it. And don't get me started about the big bad not appearing untill 73% of t ...more
Cassie Roberts
May 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was great! We got to see more of the character's backstories and watch them progress. The story line was well built and didn't feel like it was reaching, like many second books do. I liked that we got to see more of the character's thoughts. The only thing I didn't like was that the ending seemed a bit rushed. There was this big built up and plan and then it was all over without anything going wrong in a matter of about 2 pages. But other than that, I loved it! Great story, great writi ...more
Kristen Coffin
"Few people are good judges of their own heart."

I love the plotline of this series, I love the Vale and it's people, and the Companions and the gryphons. But I still hate Elspeth. She's so spoiled, but in a different way that in the Arrows of the Queen trilogy. She thinks she the best and it's her way or no way. It's only towards the later half of this book that I start to actually not hating reading things from her POV and hearing her speak.
Bree Taylor
Dec 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, fantasy
I loved the continuation of Elspeth's story. Again, the pacing of the story gets me irritated every time I read this one and I just want the romance to be the background, not the foreground of the story.

The addition of the kestrachern and Firesong bring depth to the world outside of Valdemar. A great read and very interesting to see more of Mornelithe and his history.
Dwayne Tranbarger
Winds of Change

Elspeth and Darkwind have become close and work magic together. There love for each other has grown. But the power of the heartstone did not go to the location of the new vale. Nyara has found love with Skif.
Sandra Walker
Jun 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Magical Changes

Great love story among all the action was wild and free. Surprise Vanyel is hanging around they will need his help.
Kat  Hooper
Sep 22, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
Will review soon at
Jan 06, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nota Geral: 3.4/5
Escrita: 3.5
Cenário: 3.5
Originalidade: 3.5
Personagens: 4
Suspense: 3.5
Humor: 3
Romance: 3
Capa: 3
Aditivo: 3.5
Previsível: 3
ms bookjunkie
Skif's backstory does not match up to his childhood in Take a Thief, which is annoying. He gets a romance, which is delightful and satisfying.

Things finally start moving. An enjoyable read.
Jul 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
This one definitely feels like a continuation of the previous in a lot of ways, which is fine. It's what I want once in a while.
I mean you know you have a problem when the first book was trash but you picked up the second anyway.
May 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good but a little irritating

I found this book 2 of the trilogy entertaining but the numerous transcription errors in the gryphons dialect were really offputting
More cheesy talking horse (and talking bird!) fantasy. Just what I need.
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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

Other books in the series

Valdemar: Mage Winds (3 books)
  • Winds of Fate (Valdemar: Mage Winds #1)
  • Winds of Fury (Valdemar: Mage Winds #3)
“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.” 17 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.” 10 likes
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