Winds of Fate is the first book in the Mage Winds Trilogy.
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....
©1991 Mercedes R. Lackey (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
I have been hoping for an audiobook version of this series for years. Now that one has been released, I'm so disappointed.
Karen White has a lot of books listed at Audible, but many aren't well-known, at least not to me. She narrated _The Hemingses of Monticello_, but those reviews reflect comments about the same sort of disappointing performance that I've been listening to.
Ms White has a very nice basic voice - the one she uses for the background, the narrative parts. She uses inflections, pauses, emphasis, all good. She got most of the character and place names right, including some very odd made-up-language words and phrases full of glottal stops. What she doesn't show in _Winds of Fate_ is a good repertoire of voices for different characters. Instead she chose to use differing accents for the characters, and she not only made some odd choices but wasn't able to do the accents consistently for each character.
So, starting from the beginning of the book, Kerowyn, a very strong, active, decisive woman, who has a background as a successful mercenary soldier, got an unsure, sort-of Irish accent that doesn't reflect her character. Skif, a young man who spent most of his early life as a thief and scrounger, but who has become a reliable, effective member of an elite group, has a sort-of lower-class British accent but sounds rather like a hick. Elspeth, the young female heir to the throne of Valdemar, has a sort-of snobbish upper-class British accent, and is probably the closest in reflecting the character, but it isn't used consistently. Darkwind, who is a young but mature and powerful mage, woodsman and fighter, started out with a somewhat thin, wavery voice; it got stronger over the course of the book (18.5hrs), but he never sounded decisive or strong. The voice Ms White used for the character of Need, an extremely powerful female spirit lodged in a sword who communicates via mind-speech (telepathy), often changed accent within a sentence or two, with a British-sounding beginning to the vowels and an accent from anywhere-USA at the end.
What's annoying is that the voices are partly right. Kerowyn is from a different country than Skif and Elspeth, and Darkwind is from yet a third country. So a different speech pattern or rhythm for each of them wouldn't be a bad choice. Skif was a street kid, so a lower-class voice was somewhat appropriate; Elspeth is from the noble class and should speak more elegantly than Skif, though they were both brought up in the same city of the same country and so should have some similarities in their speech, but didn't. But the accents weren't done consistently nor were they done very well.
It's especially disappointing because fans of Mercedes Lackey and this series of books have been waiting for years and years for these audiobooks. Of course we have some expectations built in from all the re-reads of the print books, the voices we've heard in our minds. But if the voices Ms White had chosen had been done a bit better, more consistently, perhaps with more practice, this would have been a much better audiobook. Another few months' delay would have been worth it to get it done with more polish.
I was all set to buy the other 2 books in this _Mage Winds_ trilogy as soon as they came out, but I'm not going to do that. Sadly, the comments about the next trilogy, called the _Mage Storms_, though narrated by a different person, have similar sorts of comments about a poor listening experience, and some of those shortcomings are evident in the samples. So I'm not buying those books either. I can't even give this book a 3-star rating, because I didn't like it. It's just barely OK, a 2-star deal. And that's with a book that's been a nearly 5-star read for years and years.
I would recommend it to my friends as most have read this series already...
Skif has always my favorite... I like a rascal :-)
Great voice... but her pronunciation of the characters names irked me EVERYTIME she mispronounced them... Talia is pronounces Tal-ya... not Ta-Lee-Ah....
Alberich is pronounced Al-ber-ick ... not Al-ber-ritch (the ch make a k sound... please)
sorry...petty I know... but it grated like nails on a chalk board...
I would like it... my cast would include...
Danielle Panabaker as Elspeth, Alex Meraz as Darkwind
Gemma Arterton as Talia, Alexander Skarsgard as Dirk, Charlize Theron as Selenay, Mads Mikkelsen as Alberich, Anton Yelchin as Skif, and Katee Sackhoff as Kerowyn
Please... for the next books... have the narrator go back and listen to the pronunciations of the names in the other books that have already made it to audible... would make for a more cohesive listening experience for the listeners...
Reader is painfully slow. Even adjusting the speed to fast is barely adequate. For those of us who love this series and have waited a long time for it to come out in audiobook I recommend sticking to the written word. It sounds as if the reader has no connection or joy in the series or the story.
I don't think I will invest my credits in the rest of the trilogy.
I love Mercedes Lackey's Valdemar series. The book is great, but I can't make myself listen to it because of the narrator. Her pace is too slow, and the accents she gives the various characters is awful. I would never buy anything else narrated by Karen White.
Read, Learn, Dream, Wonder, Question. Never Stop.
The narrator seems to be channaling Captian Kirk and filling her narration with strange pauses and bizzare inflections. Every so often she starts speaking normally then seems to notice and goes back to the odd speach patterns.
The narrator's pronunciations were atrocious. It would help if she had listened to any of the previous recordings. Character voices were inconsistent and, at times, sounded forced and stilted.
The Griffins, because I like Griffins.
No. I will go back to the printed volumes for the remaining 2 books.
The narrators and "director/producers" need to consult with the author, and listen to any previously recorded works, so that consistency between productions are maintained.
a 79 year old, I have always liked sci-fi. My family reads a lot. Have cats, a dog, a parrot. Love wild animals. Have over 500 books.
I have the books in hardback and looked forward to hearing them on tape. The narrator had poor character portrayals. Strong women were made to sound like wimpy little children. When she read background, it was OK. The volumn varied too much
Could not find one. had a difficult time hearing it all.
I bought all three books but have not listened to them. having a hard time getting in to them,
Mostly use audio books in planes these days. Know I really like a book when I find myself with earphones still on from home to hotel
I am nearly convinced there are 2 different authors posing as Mercedes Lackey. The Last Herald Mage series being a gloriously exciting and well-written story. This series is so different in writing style and even mythology at times that I could swear it couldn't be the same author. Where the Herald Mage series propels the storyline forward with wonderfully vivid descriptions of events and characters, this Winds series tells the story from within the thoughts of the characters - what an inane and repetitive means to tell a story when you literally can spend 15-20 minutes listening to a character think about the pros and cons of doing something and then skip past them actually doing it. So little actually happens plot-wise because hour after hour is spent listening to the obsessive thoughts of characters that you find yourself skipping forward to get on with it. As I write this, I'm just about finished with book 3 and it's taken a more than a month to get through this series. I just can't understand how the same author can seem so completely totally different in writing style. Based on release dates, the last book from Herald Mage series and this first book came out the same year - no clue why they feel and read/sound so different.
Designer. Aviation Enthusiast. Fitness Instructor. Love books. Prefer long series with happy endings in mystery, comedy, fantasy, & romance.
I'd like to start off saying, I love this author. Maybe it was the narrator or just they style of writing. Mercedes Lackey did another book series called the five hundred kingdoms and it was beyond addictive. If I actually tried to READ this book I never would have made it and found my self rewinding multiple times. I think the story was there but either the narrator missed the mark (there where lots of distracting sound effects and voices used with whistling sounds and lisps) or it was the old english that was randomly interspersed. Can't tell but I don't think I will finish the series.
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