Epic Fantasy Story in Lord of the Changing Winds
In true epic fantasy fashion, Lord of the Changing Winds follows the transformation of a band of characters as they encounter magical creatures. It is this encounter that will require them to grow beyond who they think they are to become their true selves. Kes is a simple girl, perhaps too simple to many of the folks in the village of Minas Ford where she lives on her sister’s farm. But it is true that she would rather spend a day walking the hills looking for the herbs she uses to heal than at the pub drinking beer and talking to boys.
As her sister points out, that is not typical behavior for a young girl, even in a small Feierabiand town like hers. But on this day even the herbs are forgotten as Kes watches in awe the arrival of the most magical of beings – griffins. Creatures of gold and danger, creatures that don’t generally leave their desert land. But they are here, and she is enthralled by their beauty and power. But it is the arrival of a stranger, a dark man who Kes knows cannot possibly be what he appears, that will change everything for Kes, even her own humanity.
“The desert was as cleanly and elegantly beautiful as any airy palace or many-towered citadel built by men, Bertaud thought. But it was not a place meant for men, or for any creature of earth. Its starkness invited meditations on mortality and on the silence that lay behind life: the voice of the wind that sang across its twisted sharp-angled spires offered a suggestion of that greater music that lay behind the ordinary melodies of men.”
This was an amazing story, one that follows the lives of not only the girl Kes but also of Bertaud, a lord and friend to the King who is sent to find out why the griffins have arrived at Minas Ford. For the griffins bring with them the desert, and destruction. But the further you read, the more you come to understand that the griffins are beyond the simple decisions of mortal men. They are awesome creatures of fire and air – they think and act in ways that are as alien to a human as our actions are to a mountain.
The story takes place on many levels. We watch Kes as she struggles with her shyness and feelings of powerlessness. We see Bertraud as he questions the assumptions he has made about his life. We follow the lives of kings and the ego of conquest. I loved that there are no true bad guys in this epic fantasy tale, just decisions that affect each other’s lives as they each strive to understand what they are capable of being.
A Tale of Epic Adventure and More
Kes is the innocent, even as she comes to understand the power within her that the griffins reveal. And the griffins – my gosh I have never read an interpretation of them quite like this one. It is a world that centers on them, and yet denies this in the same breath. They are beyond regal, beyond alien, beyond any human understanding. But even with all of that, you see them as individuals and come to perhaps glimpse the divine creatures that they are.
Best of all is the language of this book. In this first in a trilogy of epic fantasy tales that each have their own pace and destiny the language is poetic without being pretentious. It is the language that reveals the desert in all its power and glory, the beauty of the mountains and the simplicity of Kes’s belief in the griffin’s authority. The language is poetic like something out of an old epic but never just for the sake of the language.
The sun poured down with ruthless clarity upon the rocks, which were red, all in twisted and broken shapes, nothing like the everyday rounded gray stone of the mountain. 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.
I was swept into this epic fantasy tale of poetry and majestic beings and soon found myself hungry for more. This is good because there are two more books in this trilogy. The next book Land of the Burning Sands and the final book Law of the Broken Earth can both be downloaded just as soon as you close that last page on The Lord of the Changing Winds. So just don’t be surprised if you find yourself doing exactly that because this magnificent land and its epic fantasy series of man and griffins can be very addictive.