Thursday, February 12, 2015

Winds of Fate - Mercedes Lackey

Winds of Fate - Mercedes Lackey
Winds of Fate (Mage Winds Book One)
Mercedes Lackey
DAW Books
Copyright: 1991

The product description:
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 he gave his life to save his kingdom from destruction by the dark sorceries. Now it falls to Elspeth Herald, heir to the throne, to take up the challenge and seek a mentor who will awaken her mage abilities.
As the description is not that great, here's the jacket blurb as well:
High Magic has been lost to Valdemar centuries ago when the last Herald-Mage gave his life to save the kingdom from destruction by dark sorceries.

Yet now the realm is at risk again. And Elspeth, Herald and heir to the throne must take up the challenge, abandoning her home to find a mentor who can awaken her untrained mage abilities. But others, too, are being caught up in a war against sorcerous evil.
The Tayledras scout Darkwind is the first to stumble across the menace creeping forth from the "Uncleansed Lands." And as sorcery begins to take its toll, Darkwind may be forced to call upon powers he has sworn never to use again if he and his people are to survive an enemy able to wreak greater devastation with spells of destruction than with swords...
Yes, this is a re-read, but it's been so long ago that it might as well not be. I remembered the general course of events, but the specifics were almost new to me again. One thing I do remember though, is that the last time I tried to re-read Winds of Fate, I just couldn't get into it. Not the problem this time. Once I was past the first chapter or two, I couldn't put the book down.

I was also noticing a fair bit of foreshadowing going on as well - especially for the next series, the Mage Storms books (Storm Warning, Storm Rising and Storm Breaking). Not only foreshadowing, but little details that tied into the previous books that I hadn't really caught on to before - probably because I have never done a concentrated re-read through the whole series prior to this. It's little things mostly - the off-hand reference to Roald visiting the Plains or the mentions of Jendar for example.

Winds of Fate is the first of several Valdemar books that had black-and-white illustrations between the chapters, - in a few different styles over the series. Its also the first of six or so longer books with a smaller font-size IIRC. I like it, but unlike many of the other books in the series, I don't know if this trilogy crosses over to the YA market as well. On the other hand, I don't think this one's any more dark or violent than Arrow's Fall, so I don't really know.

This was also the first for a new style of story - alternating chapters and perspectives, where one chapter was from Elspeth's point of view and the next would be from the point of view of Darkwind - a Tayledras scout. As well, there were a few chapters from other points of view mixed in, although those were the main two.

I did get more of a feeling of the history of the world through reading Winds of Fate (and now Winds of Change, which I'm reading now) - things just seem to be a bit more fleshed out in these books, and Elspeth as a main character really grew on me.

I'm really struggling to understand why I was thinking that this wasn't one of my favorites in the Valdemar world, because I most definitely enjoyed the read this time.

I'm reading this for two separate challenges, the Valdemar Reading Challenge and the Hardcore Re-Reading Challenge.

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