Reviewed by Holly White
Winds of Fury is the third and final book in Mercedes Lackey’s Mage Winds Trilogy, coming after Winds of Fate and Winds of Change. It is but one of many in her books about Valdemar, which I am reviewing in order of publication date.
In Winds of Fury, Elspeth and Darkwind arrive in Valdemar, intending to help Valdemar in the war with Ancar, the ruler of the neighboring country of Hardorn. Elspeth, a Herald who was also the Heir to the throne of Valdemar, had traveled far and long to find allies for their fight- mage-trained allies who can not only fight for Valdemar themselves, but who can also detect latent mage gift in Valdemarians, and help train them to use it in the fight as well.
Unfortunately, the mage gate they used to get to Valdemar did not land them where they intended to be. They met a mysterious stranger, and they could not tell if he is friend or foe. They also learned that Ancar had formed an alliance with their old enemy, Mornelithe Falconsbane. But then, they received unexpected help to get to where they intended to be in the first place. They arrived, along with their entourage of people and creatures so varied that the locals were terrorized at first. It took no small amount of effort to convince the good people of Valdemar that these were all allies and not enemies.
As it turned out, their unexpected journey was a bit of good luck in disguise. Apparently Elspeth had been believed to be dead, and her trip from the gate back had allowed her to be seen by the villagers of all the towns they had passed, thereby dispelling rumors of her demise. But when she arrived at Haven, she did something so unexpected, that it left both the Council members and the Queen reeling from the shock of it. However, after having time to think about it, the Queen and Council agreed it was indeed the best decision Elspeth could have made. That left only strategy to plan. The Valdemarians needed to find a way to defeat Ancar and his mage allies, Hulda and Falconsbane.
Then they learned of a further complication. They found a new friend and ally, An'desha. He was a good man whose body the evil Falconsbane had taken over years ago, and whose consciousness still remained alive, if subdued, inside the body, An'desha agreed to help by probing the mind of Falconsbane for his plans and motivations, even knowing that if it came down to it, he might die if they killed Falconsbane. Elspeth and the others agreed that if at all possible, they must find a way to get rid of Falconsbane once and for all, while keeping An'desha’s body intact, so that An'desha would not die as well.
Will the Valdemarians and their newfound allies find a way to defeat Ancar and his two powerful mage allies? Will the mages find and train new Valdermarian mages in time to be of any help during the upcoming battles? Will Elspeth and the others find a way to kill Falconsbane without killing An'desha? Find out by reading Winds of Fury.
Winds of Fury is a great book, holds my interest well, and I recommend it for any adult who loves fantasy, magic, or good vs. evil stories. My next review will be Storm Warning, book one of the Mage Storms trilogy (which also includes Storm Rising and Storm Breaking), also by Mercedes Lackey, also set in Valdemar.