"This book is listed as part of the Heralds of Valdemar series, but it actually takes place about 1000 years before Valdemar even existed. Ma'ar and Urtho, the Mage of Silence, are at war with one another. Skandranon, one of Urtho's gryphons, is a spectacular aerial fighter. Amberdrake, Skan's human friend, heals the minds, hearts, and, sometimes, bodies of many of the soldiers and healers, but even he sometimes needs a shoulder to lean on. Winterhart might be someone Amberdrake could come to depend on, but first she has to get past the secret about herself that she's buried and her belief that the nonhumans in Urtho's army are little more than somewhat intelligent animals. Zhaneel, another gryphon, has suffered because the humans around her believed that, but, with help from friends, her stunted self-esteem blossoms. In the end, they must all try to survive the consequences of the Mage Wars."
Melissa Cookson, Resident Scholar
This book didn't really do it for me. I'm pretty picky about books that feature other species like gryphons, faeries, elves, etc. All of the races here acted very human. I understand that part of the point here was interracial cooperation (showed through the species) and that the other species are human equals, but I feel that emotionally they should be tinged with other qualities. The story line was kind of iffy too - it ended up being kind of like a fantasy romance novel. It was a very stereo-typical for this genre, which isn't necessarily always a bad thing, but in this case it was for me. I knew EVERYTHING about what was going to happen within the first three chapters. It kinda takes the fun out of it when you know who's going to hook up with who, who's going to die, who's actually a traitor...it was too easy to see through! I'm the queen of looking up the ending of a book before I finish reading it, but the fun is in seeing how things get to that end.
A below-average book, but its good if you are in the mood for exactly what this book has to offer - no surprises, fantasy war and love.
Sci-fi/fantasy readers, romance readers who don't mind other species being featured in the novel.
Fantasy/Sci-Fi Readers who don't mind romance.