In The Mage Winds trilogy, which began with the best-selling novel Winds of Fate, author Mercedes Lackey continues the epic that started with her first published book. Arrows of the Queen introduced listeners to the remarkable land of Valdemar, the kingdom protected by its Heralds - men and women gifted with extraordinary mind powers - aided and served by their mysterious Companions - horselike beings who know the many secrets of Valdemar's magical heritage. None but the Companions remember the long-ago age when high magic was lost to Valdemar as the last Herald-Mage gave his life to protect his kingdom from destruction by dark sorceries.
But now the protective barrier set so long ago over Valdemar is crumbling, and with the realm imperiled by the dark magic of Ancar of Hardorn, Princess Elspeth, Herald and heir to the throne, has gone on a desperate quest in search of a mentor who can teach her to wield her fledgling mage-powers and help her to defend her threatened kingdom.
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This entire series has always been a favorite of mine and I remember why with each time I listen or read the book.
Elspeth has always been my favorite character. She's improved quite a bit in this book and has stepped away from her royal duties and has just become herself.
Karen White did an admirable job with attempting to distinguish the voices. There were moments when she spoke for Darkwind and Firesong and I couldn't tell them apart. The voices are definitely less gravelly in this book, which I appreciated. I still disliked how she made Elspeth sound; it was a cross between an airhead and overly snobbish heiress.
It stole my attention for hours on end. I spent a great deal of time with my ear buds in my ears as I gamed or worked. It's amazing how Mercedes Lackey can paint entire pictures of the world with such detail. I love the relationship between Elspeth and Darkwind. The fact that they didn't rush into a relationship and became friends before they did really brings a great deal of reality and sweetness to the story.