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Lady Lenodara of Westwood, called the Hawkmaiden – Dara, to her friends – has had an adventurous life: she tamed a falcon when she was twelve, learned she had magical Talent, discovered that she had a natural aptitude as a beastmaster, won her witchstone at the first Spellmonger’s Trial, became the junior apprentice to Minalan the Spellmonger, Magelord of Sevendor, mastered the ancient magic of the Thoughtful Knife, fought goblins and a dragon, and was made a noble and richly rewarded for her heroics. Now that she’s safe back home in Sevendor, everything should go back to normal . . . right?
But a secret project with the Alka Alon Emissary, Ithalia, leads Dara to new troubles and adventures, as the Hawkmaiden assumes new responsibilities. Lady Ithalia wants to use magic to transform her falcon, Frightful, into a giant, so that she and other giant hawks can defend the Five Duchies against dragons in the air. Each hawk is to be ridden by a Sky Rider to aid the fight – and Dara is to be the first. When Minalan purchases twenty hawks and hires a falconer to aid her efforts, Dara is tasked with building a mews to house them in the Westwood . . . and encounters her most difficult opponent, yet: her father.
Hawkmaiden vs. Master of the Wood, father vs. daughter, Castle Folk vs. Woodfolk, Dara has to choose sides and made compromises in order to see her task completed without bothering the Spellmonger. But fighting a dragon seems simple compared to challenging the Master of the Wood in his own land. With bandits milling around Sevendor and the threat of exposure for the giant falcon project, Dara has to learn new skills and understand an entirely different kind of magic if she’s to become the first Sky Rider!

260 pages, Kindle Edition

First published November 29, 2018

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About the author

Terry Mancour

40 books915 followers
Terry Mancour is a New York Times Best-Selling Author who has written more than 30 books, under his own name and pseudonyms, including Star Trek: The Next Generation #20, Spartacus, the Spellmonger Series (more than 11 books and growing), among other works.

He was born in Flint, Michigan in 1968 (according to his mother) and wisely relocated to North Carolina in 1978 where he embraced Southern culture and its dedication to compelling narratives and intriguing characterizations. He attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he majored in Religious Studies.

Terry, his beautiful wife and three children live just outside of Durham, N.C. atop Red Mountain. He was nominated for the 2018 Audie Award for Best Fantasy for the audiobook for Spellmonger (narrated by John Lee), the first book in his Spellmonger Series.

He has plotted the Spellmonger Series for at least thirty books, in addition to his Spellmonger Cadet (young adult) series, stand-alone novels, short stories and novellas set within the Spellmonger Universe, all of which will be published by Podium as audiobooks. He is also the author of a series of sequels to Golden Age sci-fi master H. Beam Piper's novel, Space Viking, as well as original sci-fi novels.

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5 stars
385 (59%)
4 stars
188 (29%)
3 stars
63 (9%)
2 stars
4 (<1%)
1 star
2 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 26 of 26 reviews
19 reviews
December 1, 2018
Another great addition to the superbly epic word of the Spellmonger.
The concluding part of this cadet trilogy takes part between the end of Magelord and part way through Highlord.
Dara is steadily mastering the basics and some intermediate magical theory and spellwork, whilst at the same time trying to carve a place for herself in the world, discovering suitors and beginning her teenage angst stage.
Some excellent titbits about the Alka Alon and more details added to the world building make this a fascinating read. It's a short book, more of a novella, but adds to the rich tapestry of Callidore.
Profile Image for Annezo.
251 reviews4 followers
March 22, 2019
Honestly, although I like the character of Dara and have enjoyed the other cadet novels, this outing is the weakest in the entire series.

The story doesn't break any new ground and, unlike the other cadet novels, doesn't advance the main series' storyline at all.

It was reasonably interesting to read, but felt short and kind of rushed, maybe?
Profile Image for GaiusPrimus.
715 reviews70 followers
December 6, 2019
Awesome listen.

4* for the story, +1* for the voice acting.

The side-story of Dara is satisfactorily brought to a conclusion with this book and it does a great job of filling the "in-between space", giving us a lot of background around what's happening and how we come about the discovery of the snowstone mine.

Now to await the next audio in the main series.
Profile Image for Kristine.
2,367 reviews28 followers
November 18, 2019
I truly love the world of the Spellmonger. It was nice to get a peak into what was happening with Dara back before the launch of the Skyriders while we wait for the next installment of Minilan’s story.

For some reason, Dara’s been given kind of a bad rap in the over arching story because we’ve been hearing things from Gareth’s side.... or maybe I’ve just been feeling protective of him and upset on his behalf. (I’m talking about events far in the future from this book) So, it’s nice to get a POV from the Hawkmaiden herself to see how things developed in her part of the world from her perspective.

Entertaining novella with a few interesting tidbits that we did not learn in the main story.
8 reviews
December 12, 2018
Birth of the Sky Riders

I am deeply in love with the Lenodara, the Hawkmaiden after that incredible ride.

Mancour is masterfully developing one of the best characters of all time... young Lady Lenodara, the Hawkmaiden...in the best literary series of all time, the Spellmonger Series.
33 reviews
February 10, 2019
The beginning of something wonderous

I just can not get enough of Terry Mancour's books! From the very first book that I read, I was hooked! Now, to my mind, he can't write them fast enough. The magic is believable, the characters are friends you wish you had and the story could go on forever!
Profile Image for Zachary.
509 reviews8 followers
March 14, 2021
A fun continuation of the Hawkmaiden's story

I enjoyed this entry in Mancour's little side series too his Spellmonger series this one actually revealed some of the background of the purple and answered some lingering questions I've had about the series. Very fun story - looking forward to the next.
8 reviews
May 3, 2021
Followed the chronological order for reading from the wiki. If you are reading this trilogy because you want to follow the whole story I would say you are wasting your time. There are several continuity issues between the main series and these cadet novels. Sky Rider happens to be the worst of the bunch, contrived conflict that doesn't really serve a point.
17 reviews
December 2, 2018
Dara's story

A good book to catch up on all things Spellmongers world, from Data's experiences. Some of of the intelligence she got from her alon friend doesn't get shared in the main books. All in all a refreshing book to read. Enjoyable. Just long enough.
Profile Image for Mike.
9 reviews2 followers
December 3, 2018
Another outstanding entry in the Spellmonger line.

These books are always fun. They do a good job of expanding on the main universe. When seen thru the eyes of a young girl, even a noble girl who is a mage it’s easy to tell we’re not in Kanas anymore.
December 15, 2018
Good read

Finally. I was waiting a long time for the next Terry Mancour book. It was a good story, but it was just backstory. What I am really waiting for is the next book in the Spellmonger series.
Profile Image for Keith Hilton.
29 reviews1 follower
January 31, 2019
Good tale to go with the others

I enjoyed the book and would recommend to anyone who likes the ongoing tales of Mancour's Calidor. The only complaint I would have is it's too short! There is much more he could do with the character hopefully. But i wa a fun read!!
June 21, 2019
Good read.

I have enjoyed the story of BraNdenburg fro. Her perspective. Although a book for young readers, it is well written and entertaining. Will continue reading the following books.
207 reviews
January 26, 2020
Meh. Not horrible and at times entertaining. In my opinion, Mancour's first book in the spellmonger series is still his best. I will keep reading future books by Mancour just because they are better than TV.
March 17, 2020
I love this world. The Spellmonger and Spellmonger Cadet series are delightful reads. They are light, fun, action and adventure filled romps. They are a wonderful way to decompress, especially with the world the way it is now. I highly recommend these books to anyone who needs an escape.
51 reviews
February 8, 2022
Great YA book

Does a good job of fitting into and providing a different perspective on events of the adul nunt series. Also a simpler clearer chronological account from a single person viewpoint. No complex flashbacks or changes in person experiencing events.

Profile Image for Peter Pearce.
14 reviews3 followers
December 26, 2018

Another great book from Terry . I like hearing from other characters perspectives. Keep up the good work please Terry.
Profile Image for Heath.
507 reviews4 followers
February 24, 2019
Good Read.

The continuing story of the Young Adult novel of a character in the Spellmonger series. The expands the story of the main series with additional details.
October 9, 2019
What a delight

Following Dara and picking up more of the spellmonger pieces is wonderful. Another spectacular feature to the world of goblins and wizards.
620 reviews13 followers
November 17, 2019

Awesome saga continues with Sara and Frightful with the building of the mews while fighting with bandits and dealing with her father. Can't wait for following books
Profile Image for Yuri Santos.
15 reviews1 follower
November 27, 2019
Mais uma sequência brilhante! O desenrolar da história de Lady Lenadara é fascinante. Já estou ansioso pelo próximo!

Amazing! I Want the next one!
1 review
January 27, 2021
I am thoroughly grateful for this particular series. It is well written. With likeable characters and crystal clear description. I am very much looking to book 4.
Profile Image for Danny Moody.
970 reviews5 followers
March 18, 2021
Great addition to the Spellmonger universe. This was the story that I knew the least about before hand so it was nice to have some light shed on it. It was fun to see some of Dara’s development through this book.
58 reviews1 follower
November 16, 2021
Loved it....Great book and Dara is an outstanding character. Hope to see more of her in the future.
Profile Image for Alice.
362 reviews1 follower
September 6, 2022
As much as I dislike how open the end is for either a sequel series - or for events happening in the main series, I'm not sure when this is set in relation to them - this was a really enjoyable ending to the trilogy. There wasn't exactly an ending to Dara's story, but it felt like there was an ending to the arc of her finding her place within the world.
Displaying 1 - 26 of 26 reviews

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