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Winds of Fate

(Valdemar: Mage Winds #1)

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  15,796 ratings  ·  251 reviews
Lackey, who has enchanted readers since the publication of her first novel, Arrows of the Queen in 1987, scores another hit with the paperback release of the first book in an exciting new series. High magic had been lost to Valdemar when Vanyel gave his life to save his kingdom from destruction by the dark sorceries. Now it falls to Elspeth -- Herald, heir to the throne -- ...more
Paperback, 458 pages
Published July 7th 1992 by DAW (first published July 1st 1992)
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Leah Not really. Even when Lackey writes romance, it isn't graphic.
Leah The Winds series is gripping, it can be a bit violent, but not graphic. If she loves to read and can read some what above 8th grade level, I suspect s…moreThe Winds series is gripping, it can be a bit violent, but not graphic. If she loves to read and can read some what above 8th grade level, I suspect she can read this.(less)

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Average rating 4.04  · 
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 ·  15,796 ratings  ·  251 reviews

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Oct 13, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Sophie by: Kathleen
I have mixed feelings about this book. I like Darkwind and Elspeth a lot, and I like the overall storyline about Elspeth bringing magic (and the knowledge of the Tayledras) back to Valdemar. I liked the whole thing with the ruined Heartstone and Darkwind's struggles with his father. All of this was good.

But I don't like how casually Lackey uses rape to get her point across. (Yes, we get it, Falconsbane is evil. Really, really evil.) I also don't like how easily rape victims in her books recover
Sep 11, 2007 rated it really liked it
Let it be known: Before I was an elitist literary bitch, I utterly adored fantasy books. Mercedes Lackey was the greatest thing in my entire eleven-year-old life. ...more
Linda ~ they got the mustard out! ~
3.5 stars

Lackey definitely does better when she focuses on a single main plot. Going back and forth between the two sides here left it pretty obvious how and when they were going to merge - and made me wonder just how quickly those Companions can ride because Elspeth and Skif got down there way too fast. This was a tighter story and faster-paced, and getting all the aspects of this story and conflict without having to rely on second- or even third-hand information allowed it to flow better.

I was
MrsJoseph *grouchy*

This is it. The book that started it all. The beginning of my Mercedes Lackey habit and my Fantasy journey.

For me, Everything Valdemar begins with Elspeth. From my review of By the Sword :

I first met Mercedes Lackey while browsing the stacks at the public library in my home town. I don't remember what grade I was in but I was somewhere in the area that covers both Middle and High school. Regardless, before Mercedes Lackey, I'd mostly read a lot of
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Sep 30, 2010 rated it really liked it
If you're new to Lackey and the Valdemir series, I wouldn't begin with this book: I don't think the book, or the trilogy it is a part of, is the strongest in this series, and it would be a spoiler for the earlier trilogy that starts with Arrows of the Queen. Go back and read those first, and if you like them, I think you'll enjoy this tale of Elspeth, a character in earlier books, coming into her own. I enjoy Lackey's "Vows and Honors" series as well with Tarma and Kethry, and in the precursor t ...more
Sep 15, 2017 rated it it was ok
Suffers greatly from Elspeth becoming insufferable halfway through the book, and the "Worf"ing of poor Skif, who is written completely against character to serve the purposes of Elspeth's perspective and story.
Karina Webster
Feb 21, 2018 rated it liked it
3/3.5 - this is a tricky one to rate! Headline - i enjoyed it.

So this is my first Mercedes Lackey story and although I know it’s probably not the best place to start in her Valdemar series, I didn’t feel at a disadvantage. I effortlessly fell into this world and so far, i like what i read.

The world building is intricate and we’re introduced to several different peoples in this world but at no point is it ‘info-dumpy’ nor are there large portions of the story intended to catch us up with the gr
☘Misericordia☘ ~ The Serendipity Aegis ~  ⚡ϟ⚡ϟ⚡⛈ ✺❂❤❣
Townsfolk can get downright touchy over the occasional earth-elemental in the scullery. Can’t imagine why.... (c)
Heather Wickett
awful lot of Mary Sue's and Gary Sue's and that's usually expected in high fantasy but this is nearly ridiculous. Best parts involved Darkwind and the Hawkbrothers. the worst was obviously Elspeth and the near unrecognizable character of Skif (changing his layered character into 'grunt Misogyny' was lazy writing, Lackey). The 180° relationship seemed less like Elspeth was, rightfully, asserting independence and more as if Lackey was going 'look at my strong female character. watch as she acts un ...more
Olga Godim
May 30, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy-scifi
It was a re-read; I read this novel the first time long ago. A good, solid fantasy novel, it is much lighter than many recent novels of the same genre. Although I didn’t like the heroine, Elspeth, much – she is such a brat and she treats her friend Skif like dirt – the story flows nicely and pulls the reader in. I always liked the Tayledras, and this is as much their book as it is Elspeth’s. And of course the gryphons are pure delight.
Off to the next book in the series.
Mar 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Well, that took me forever to read. There was absolutely nothing wrong with this book, I simply didn't have time to read this week, and when I did, my back ached so much I had no desire to read. Bloody work and it's eating into my time to read! :/

Anywho, I quite enjoyed this tale, although it definitely has the old school feel of Valdemar before things were truly established. I enjoyed seeing Elspeth and Darkwind finally meet, and getting more backstory for the books I've read recently. I love t
May 12, 2016 rated it it was ok
I think Mercedes Lackey was at an awkward point when she wrote this trilogy, because this (and the stand-alone novel By The Sword) is where she merged a variety of her fantasy settings together, and the result is a bit clunky.

Pluses: the Companions, the BondBirds, and other animals. Lackey obviously loves animals a lot and it comes through in her writing. Her worldbuilding skills are excellent. Her narrative skills are not, but again, she set herself a hard task by trying to merge divergent sto
Lif Strand
May 05, 2018 rated it liked it
I ordinarily love Lackey's Valdemar books, but I had trouble with this one. I'm guessing it's because it was published in 1991 and Lackey's writing skills weren't what they became later on. The skipping of focus from one character to another was maddening. I knew the two storylines would come together at some point but I couldn't stand being wrenched from one to the other.

So I started bookmarking the Darkwind chapters and only read Elspeth until finally there was mention of Darkwind in an Elspe
Sep 06, 2010 rated it liked it
Elspeth--the legendary Brat from the Heralds of Valdemar--goes traveling with Skif to find someone to teach the Heralds magic. Skif gets a character rewrite as a chauvinist to allow Lackey to preach, which I don't like because he was such an awesome boy when he and Talia were not!dating. Elspeth is ranty and not very sympathetic. I do like Darkwind, the Griffins, and the Tayledras culture--it is a nice break from typical fantasy fare.
Aaron Anderson
I wish you died somewhere in these books Elspeth. I hate you. I don't think the books themselves sucked quite enough to give a 2, but it wasn't from lack of your trying, you wench.
May 12, 2019 rated it liked it
It’s funny how 20 years and re-reading can change the way you experience a book. I still enjoyed this romp, but I wanted it to be something more, something deeper. Regardless, Mercedes Lackey is a prolific and talented author and I’ll be re-reading book two shortly!
May 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Out of all of the Valdemar books, the Mage Winds trilogy - of which this is the first volume - is my most favorite.

The book takes place in the reign of Selenay, where war with a formerly friendly nation is taking its toll. Herald Elspeth, heir to the throne, rides off with her companion at her side to find the training key to winning the war. For those wondering precisely when in the chronology it falls, the book takes up after the end of the Arrows trilogy, which is linked to this one by the st
Melanie Page
Apr 27, 2019 rated it liked it
The novel begins with Elspeth training with armsmaster Herald Kerowyn and Herald Skif. Her practice is worth it, as shortly thereafter an assassination attempt is made on her life. When the Heralds realize Prince Ancar, who has attacked Valdemar twice already, is able to magic in assassins, Elspeth realizes Valdemar needs its own mage. There hasn’t been one in Valdemar since Vanyel died hundreds of years ago, and he was so afraid a mage would attack Valdemar that he set a spell that drives any m ...more
Sharon Hughson
Aug 12, 2015 rated it liked it
This book earns 3.2 out of five stars. This author was recommended to me since I love to read fantasy, but if this book is a fair representation of her stories, I don't know if I'll be seeking another of her titles in the immediate future.
The beginning really dragged with two characters narrating the story who had no apparent connection. In fact, the first 1/4 of the book felt like backstory and setup. I was more than halfway through before I finally was sold on the story (I skimmed much of the
Aug 23, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone who wants to wrap this series up
I was a bit of a Mercedes Lackey fanatic back in the day. I still re-read them from time to time just because I really like the characters. This particular trilogy in Valdemar is my favorite for that very reason. Having read 20 other books all with their own separate plots and characters and legends, its fantastic to see them all come crashing together in this one. Before you read it, make sure you've read the black griffon trilogy, which is actually kind of crappy and I blame it on her husband ...more
Nov 01, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
This is the first book of Elspeth’s story—she’s the daughter of the queen Talia serves, who was the “brat” in Talia’s stories. Elspeth heads off to see whether she has any mage talent and learn how to be a Herald Mage (since she’s already a mage) in company of a Herald friend. And there’s a Tayledras mage, Darkwind, who won’t use his power anymore because he believes he did something wrong. And there’s a gryphon family who are his friends. And—well, there’s just lots going on. Elspeth doesn’t li ...more
Feb 11, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This is the first book I read. It was the launching pad of my love for reading. It is a good book very well writin, good plot, with just a hint of sexual tone to make the teen i was stay on it.
Mar 01, 2013 rated it liked it
Re-read. And, okay, they aren't great literature, but they're awesome for when your brain is mushy. I just wish Lackey's idea of a Sexy Man didn't look quite so... 1980s.
Feb 27, 2016 rated it it was ok
Getting too long, and getting trashier.
Dec 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Back in the heady days of 2016, when some of us thought there might be a chance of electing a woman as president of the US (and yes, it matters that it is the president of the US and not some other country; lovely as it is that countries like Iceland have had female presidents, they're not empires, are they? What we need to see are presidents of empires, and running down women who run for those kinds of positions of power as not being trailblazers is just another way of kowtowing to the patriarc ...more
Lissa Notreallywolf
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jack Vasen
This is the first book in the Mage Winds series. It tells mostly a complete story but there are significant loose ends which fit a larger story encompassing the entire trilogy. That trilogy also fits in the larger Valdemar universe. I would not recommend reading this trilogy out of order.

Much of the book alternates chapters between Elspeth and Darkwind until they come together. That is a little distracting at times, but creates a certain amount of additional suspense. I found Elspeth's story les
Jackie B. - Death by Tsundoku
Winds of Fate might be the book for me which transitions Lackey's writing from young adult into adult. While the writing is still the same easy to read, simplistic style I've come to know, the themes are much darker and more intense. For the first time, this is a Valdemar universe novel I wouldn't put casually into the hands of a teenager. And please. No more rape. I'm serious this time!

The only other thing I struggled with in Winds of Fate was pacing. Lackey's pacing has been a bit, well, long
Ria Bridges
May 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
There are two real parts, by my way of figuring, to the Valdemar continuum. There’s the main story, the ‘modern’ stuff, which is written about in the Arrows trilogy, the Winds trilogy, and the Storms trilogy. The rest is history, elaboration of side stories, and all the other books that make up the tapestry of the history of Velgarth. But those three trilogies all take place around the same time period, involving the same characters, and are interlinked so that they’re the central column of the ...more
Dorothy Brandes
Mar 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Spellbinding and Gripping Story of Two People from Different Worlds Enmeshed in Fantasy and Magic

Winds of Fate(Magic, book 1 in a series of fantasy and magic by Mercedes Lackey, is a spellbinding and gripping story of two people from different worlds, who find themselves cast in an adventure of magic. and power they don't yet know they possess. Elspeth, from the land of Valdemor, a Monarchy of which she is the heir, finds herself cast on a journey to discover a Master Magician who can train h
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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 & M ...more

Other books in the series

Valdemar: Mage Winds (3 books)
  • Winds of Change (Mage Winds, #2)
  • Winds of Fury (Mage Winds #3)

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