This trilogy encompasses four distinctly different countries. The story starts in peaceful Feierabiand, a gentle land of green pastures and lush deltas. Earth based magic dominates here, lending itself to the growing of crops, the tending of animals and the arts of healing. That is until the Griffins invade, creating desert in their wake. The griffins are all fire and majesty, war and blood, pride and arrogance. They come fleeing Casmantium, with its cold magic and powerful makers. Then we have mysterious Linularinum with its famous legists. It is believed that any contract written by a Linularinum is magically unbreakable.
An Epic Fantasy Series Review by Mulluane
♦ My Thoughts. I went into this trilogy with far too many preconceptions. First of all I thought this would be all griffins, all the time. I had also fallen into a continuous trilogy mindset. I can not remember the last time I read a trilogy that was essentially three different stories told from three completely different perspectives. Dave Duncan's King's Blades comes to mind but that is neither here nor there. Fact is I was in for a surprise that was part pleasant and part disappointing.
♦ What I liked. I love stories that feature animals, both magical and mundane, especially when some type of affinity is involved. I would imagine that this stems from my own love of animals, and my secret desire to communicate with them. The griffins did not disappoint. They were everything I ever envisioned and so much more. I also appreciated the worldbuilding which was both elaborate and simple depending on the book. Book one covers the griffin's desert environment and that of gentle Feierabiand, with a brief foray into Casmantium. Book two takes place in Casmantium and describes that country in more detail. The final book once again takes place in Feierabiand but features life in the delta, which lies right on the border of Linularinum. Only Linularinum is not fully explored but book three does provide additional insights into it as well.
The characters too were interesting and varied. Each book features new characters, in new situations with a few characters from other books crossing over on occasion. In addition each book stands on its own, to a point. You will need to read the preceding books to understand the progressive backstory, however each book features its own setting and has a conclusive ending.
♦ What I didn't like. The griffins play a major role in all three books, however, only in the first book did I get to spend quality time with them. In the next two books they are more of a distant threat, only making a more up close appearance towards the end of book three. Now believe it or not, this "problem" is the direct result of how well written Lord of the Changing Winds was. I fell in love with Kes and her griffins. As a result I wanted a more traditional trilogy all about, well, Kes and her griffins. Instead this is three different stories, following a progressing timeline and featuring new characters and countries in each book.
I also had a few minor problems with the magic system being too convenient and at times, confusing. I ask that you keep in mind that there is a grand scheme behind all this. If you are unaware of this fact, new forms of magic appearing out of nowhere may annoy you as it did me. I do not consider this revelation to be a spoiler as I am not elaborating in any way on what that grand scheme is. I am simply telling you that there is one, so you will hopefully be more patient than I was.
♦ Conclusion. Knowing what I know now, about both the method of storytelling and the overall plot, I feel like this trilogy will greatly benefit from a reread. If you go into this trilogy fresh but heed my warnings in regards to the standalone nature of each book and keeping in mind that there is a method to the madness, this is not a bad trilogy at all. It will definitely appeal to those of you who hate cliffhangers! The content is also pretty mild. There is war and conflict but not terribly gory in description. There are equally mild romantic subplots but they are secondary at best. Mostly I would say this is a collection of adventures with a good dose of politics, heroics, magic and impending disaster. Fun, not too intense and fairly evenly paced. A good comfortable read.
Lord of the Changing Winds - Land of the Burning Sands - Law of the Broken Earth
|Author: Rachel Neumeier
Genre: Epic Fantasy Series
Content: Hero/Heroine, Magical Beasts
Series: The Griffin Mage
Source: Personal Copies
|US Cover Art: Lauren Panepinto|
Read an Interview with Rachel Neumeier
Author's Web Presence
Website - Twitter - Facebook
Available in Kindle and Audible
See individual reviews for more information.
More Great Epic Fantasy
Epic Fantasy Series Review of The Griffin Mage Trilogy By Rachel Neumeier - Reviewed by Mulluane - on October 7, 2013 - Rating: of 5 Stars