Book Reviews, Fantasy, YA/NA
Rachel Neumeier’s Griffin Mage and Keeper of the Mist Fantasy  Fiction Review
Intriguing Hooks
Character Development



A wonderfully woven story . . .

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In 3 Parts

By Azalea Dabill

(Part 1)

Ever since I read Rachel’s Griffin Mage trilogy I’ve been a fan of hers, in spite of not liking Black Dog. I hope The Keeper of the Mist holds the same qualities.

In Book 1 of the Griffin Mage trilogy Lord of the Changing Winds, the king of Casmantium attacks two neighboring lands. A griffin mage, three kings, a king’s advisor, a spy, and a young girl are challenged to find the right road among hard paths to their peoples’ survival, and more importantly, the survival of their hearts. To lose yourself and gain the world . . .

Some things are worse than death. Interests cross and loyalties are born and die, while hearts wake to new, painful, and joyful things.

Earth and fire tear Kes’s heart between them as Kairaithin the griffin mage seeks a weapon to save his people from extinction. Bertaud son of Boudan finds himself caught in an unsought ability to command the griffin mage—caught between right and wrong, death and life. Can they find common cause in time to fight the coming threat of yet another king that will overwhelm them all?

“Yes,” the king said. “Tell me clearly what I should do to make him speak. Or do you truly believe I should release this dangerous creature in my hall? Everything he has said to me thus far has had the tone of a threat.”

I don’t know! Bertaud wanted to shout.

He did not shout. He merely plucked the nearest soldier’s sword from the man’s hands, stepped forward, and brought the blade slashing down between Kairaithin’s wrists, where it cut the mage-wrought chain that bound him as though the links had been made of grass stems. They spilled away in all directions, shattering into bits of metal and stone and porcelain.

Kairaithin did not watch the descent of the blade, but had stood quite still and gazed at Bertaud instead. His eyes held an odd expression, as though he had, for once, been taken by surprise . . .

Lord of the Changing Winds was a delightful surprise to me: clean, yet with taut prose as majestic as the griffins’ desert wind. I hunted out the entire trilogy.

(See Part 2)

Lord of the Changing Winds (Griffin Mage Trilogy)

Griffins lounged all around them, inscrutable as cats, brazen as summer. They turned their heads to look at Kes out of fierce, inhuman eyes. Their feathers, ruffled by the wind that came down the mountain, looked like they had been poured out of light; their lion haunches like they had been fashioned out of gold. A white griffin, close at hand, looked like it had been made of alabaster and white marble and then lit from within by white fire. Its eyes were the pitiless blue-white of the desert sky.

Little ever happens in the quiet villages of peaceful Feierabiand. The course of Kes’ life seems set: she’ll grow up to be an herb-woman and healer for the village of Minas Ford, never quite fitting in but always more or less accepted. And she’s content with that path — or she thinks she is. Until the day the griffins come down from the mountains, bringing with them the fiery wind of their desert and a desperate need for a healer. But what the griffins need is a healer who is not quite human . . . or a healer who can be made into something not quite human.

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