The amazon.com product description:
In The Mage Winds trilogy, which began with the best-selling novel, Winds of Fate, author Mercedes Lackey continues the epic that started with her first published book, Arrows of the Queen introduced readers to the remarkable land of Valdemar, the kingdom protected by its Heralds--men and women gifted with extraordinary mind powers--aided and served by their mysterious Companions--horselike beings who know the many secrets of Valdemar's magical heritage. 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.Winds of Change is the sequel to Winds of Fate, which I read and reviewed last week. Again, I found that I couldn't put the book down at all, following the various characters through their lives, although most of the chapters were alternating between the viewpoints of Elspeth and Darkwind, there were chapters seen through Skif's eyes and Nyara among others. And, of course the inevitable chapters from Mornelithe Falconsbane's veiwpoint.
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, has gone on a desperate quest in search of a mentor who can teach her to wield her fledgling mage-powers and help her to defend her threatened kingdom.
This is the book that had several of my favorite scenes in it - the various tricks played on Falconsbane, Darkwind and Elspeth getting to know one another better - including the fashion show, and, of course, the reveal of Firesong's ancestry.
As with the previous book, there's plenty of foreshadowing going on for future books, and also lots that ties the Mage Winds books in with the earlier Valdemar novels - at both ends of the history, because we're getting a sketched outline of the events from the Mage Wars novels too. And, don't forget the other names that Falconsbane has gone by in previous lives.
At the same time, I do have some nit-picks for continuity and consistency going on as I read these books. Starting with the dyheli. In Winds of Change, they are portrayed as being rather abbreviated in how they mindspeak. However, in the Owl books, they're much, much stronger mindspeakers than that. We also see some slightly different views on Skif's background between these books and Take a Thief. Maybe I'm just more aware of it than usual given how closely together I'm reading my way through Mercedes Lackey's books.
I'm reading this for two separate challenges, the Valdemar Reading Challenge and the Hardcore Re-Reading Challenge.