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Storm Warning

(Valdemar: Mage Storms #1)

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  11,739 ratings  ·  136 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
Paperback, 428 pages
Published September 1st 1995 by Daw Books (first published 1994)
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4.03  · 
Rating details
 ·  11,739 ratings  ·  136 reviews

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Nov 17, 2014 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
Dawn Livingston
Jun 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: my-favorites
Re-read the book after 5 years and also my review. Wow, was I harsh in my review. I don't disagree with most of it though I don't feel nearly as strong in my disapproval. I enjoyed the book so I'm bumping up my rating to four stars instead of two (1/2).

I wasn't bored. There was a good deal of suspense and lots of interesting characters. I'll read the rest of the trilogy as soon as I can get my hands on them, so within the week or so. Enjoyable book, interesting characters.


My rating is more
Apr 10, 2012 rated it did not like it
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
Jul 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Feb 25, 2014 rated it it was ok
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
Apr 16, 2012 rated it did not like it
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.
May 26, 2014 rated it it was ok
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
Apr 08, 2012 rated it it was ok
It felt like the entire book was filler. Not sure I am a fan of the central character in this trio either.
Jackie B. - Death by Tsundoku
Storm Warning starts off with completely new characters and complications! How thrilling. I'm glad to migrate away from Elspeth and her Tayledras crew. I was tiring of them. It's nice to get some fresh perspectives. The primary protagonist of this novel is a young man named Karal. He is the secretary to the envoy from Karse to Valdemar. An'desha, the former body-host to Falconsbane, also takes a central narrative perspective. Both of these characters are trying to find their place in a foreign w ...more
Mar 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
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
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
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 rated it liked it
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
Jeremy Preacher
Dec 26, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
May 30, 2013 rated it liked it
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
Mar 14, 2013 rated it liked it
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.
Feb 15, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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.
Nov 13, 2011 rated it liked it
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.
Feb 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Great series, really enjoyed the whole story and plot line.

Also has great characters and builds up the world of valedmar even more.
Melanie Page
Jul 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Ah, a fresh start with a new trilogy! I’m so glad, because the previous trilogy was getting both too stale and sadistic for my tastes. Storm Warning gives fans a new character to root for, Karal, a secretary to a priest from Karse who is serving as the envoy in Valdemar. The novel opens with Karal and priest-mage Ulrich being escorted to Valdemar. When they get there, Karal will be surprised to learn how diverse Valdemar is compared to Karse, a homogeneous country that used to be Valdemar’s swor ...more
Judy Hall
Tremayne finds his ambition is within his grasp as the Emporer Charless sends him to pacify Hardorn and bring it into the Empire, which will prove he is a worthy successor to the throne. Andisha does not know where he fits in the world now that he has been saved from Mornelithe Falconsbane. Karal doesn't understand what he is doing in Valdemar, so far from his home in Karse. He loves his master the Karsite envoy but he is so homesick. As the two become friends, they find themselves right in the ...more
Mo D
Jul 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Another excellent book that ties into the overall series very well. It has a wonderful insight into how someone's perspective may be formed by how they're raise culturally and how shocking it can be to have that the perspective you were raised with (be it Religious, Cultural, ect . . .) to be turned on it's ear through exposure to peoples with different perspectives. Definitely recommend reading after the Arrow's & Mage Winds trilogies so you have a better understanding of where & when t ...more
Jun 06, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
My relationship with Lackey's work, particularly the Velgarth setting, is...complicated. I had bailed on it after the Winds trilogy, aside from the Skif book and the first Mags novel. But people I trusted said the Storm trilogy was good, and I decided to give it another shot. And it was enjoyable! A bit more complex than some of the previous books, especially in regards to more complicated villains. Still kinda...blunt about How The World Should Be, but not as thuddy. I'll pick up the next book ...more
Olga Godim
Jun 12, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy-scifi
3.5 stars
I liked it. It is #1 of the Storms trilogy, and I'm definitely reading the other 2 books.
Negative impressions: Lots of preaching, and I don't like the protagonists too much. Neither An'desha nor Karal is a living boy. They are both cartoon characters, with cartoon personalities - everything exaggerated, with no subtleties.
Positive impressions: Fortunately, the story was interesting enough to keep me reading.
Jul 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I'm rereading Valdemar in chronological order - so much fun! This book introduces a whole bunch of new characters at once so the beginning feels a bit slow, but the story is good and you get invested in them before too long. Looking forward to rereading book 2!
Dwayne Tranbarger
Storm Warning

Andesha and Karal are the center of this story. Both have strength and perseverance to stand and do what is needed in troubled times. The storm warnings cause great problems what is going to happen with the major storm.
Jan 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Like a 3.5? Someone said not to start reading here and I did. And someone said the book was slow 2 start and it was, but that was kind of helpful having no previous knowledge of the world books were based in. All in all enjoyed the book, looking forward too where the next one takes me.
Mar 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
Full review here:

Fun book. I know I say that often, but this series has been on my shelf for several years now, and it remains a smile inducing read.
Carlynne Toomey
Dec 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love all the Valdemar books and read them over and over again. Storm Warning is probably my favorite, after the Vanyel series books anyway, which are by far the best in the series. I highly recommend these books to anyone that loves epic fantasy.
Linda Malcor
Sep 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This follows directly on the heels of the Winds series.

The most frequently asked question we get at Queen's Own is what order the books should be read in. Pick up the most recent valdemar publication and follow the timeline. It makes more sense than trying to follow the order of publication.
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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 Storms (3 books)
  • Storm Rising (Valdemar: Mage Storms, #2)
  • Storm Breaking (Valdemar: Mage Storms, #3)
“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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