cover image Winds of Change

Winds of Change

Mercedes Lackey. Daw Books, $20 (576pp) ISBN 978-0-88677-534-6

In this sequel to Winds of Fate, Elspeth, heir to the throne of Valdemar, develops into a strong practitioner of magic under the tutelage of Darkwind k'Sheyna. Accepted as a member of the k'Sheyna clan of the Tayledras, magicians who cleanse lands damaged in the long-ago Magic Wars, Elspeth takes her turn in patrols searching for the vanished Falconsbane, an evil Adept who almost destroyed the clan, its Heartstone, and Darkwind's father Starblade. While Elspeth and Darkwind slowly and contentiously come to love each other, her companion Skif seeks the Changechild Nyara, daughter of Falconsbane, who turned against him to save the Vale of the k'Sheyna and then fled into the wilderness with the enchanted sword Need. Aided by the powerful but mysterious mage Firesong k'Treva, the Vale fights off another attempt at destruction by Falconsbane, while still greater powers put in an appearance and set the stage for the Mage Wind trilogy's projected third title. This is a charming, colorful and romantic coming-of-age tale, deeply imbued with the concept of responsibility as well as the imagined pleasures of power. (Oct.)