Lord of the Changing Winds by Rachel Neumeier
Lord of the Changing Winds is a very well done, straightforward fantasy novel. While there isn’t anything earth-shatteringly new here, neither is there a sense of “same old story.”
Rachel Neumeier takes an interesting direction with Kes, one of her main characters. Kes is a 15-year-old orphan girl, raised by her sister in a small, quiet village. She has healing abilities and doesn’t quite fit in. So far, all the clichéd standards. Kes, however, is not a cliché. Once Kes meets the griffins and is taken by the griffin mage who awakens the magic within her, she changes. She becomes more and more distant from her human emotions. Kes isn’t your typical teen heroine and I for one was happy that this wasn’t just another “youth bonding with a magical creature” book. The other main characters are Bertaud, advisor to King Iaor of Feier... Read More
Rachel NeumeierRachel Neumeier started writing fiction to relax when she was a graduate student and needed a hobby unrelated to her research. Prior to selling her first fantasy novel, she had published only a few articles in venues such as The American Journal of Botany. However, finding that her interests did not lie in research, Rachel left academia and began to let her hobbies take over her life instead. She now raises and shows dogs, gardens, cooks, and occasionally finds time to read. She works part time for a tutoring program, though she tutors far more students in Math and Chemistry than in English Composition. Learn more at Rachel Neumeier’s website
The Griffin Mage Trilogy — (2010) Publisher: 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. Little ever happens in the quiet villages of peaceful Feierabiand. The course of Kes’ life seems set: she’ll grow up to be an herb-woman and healer for the village of Minas Ford, never quite fitting in but always more or less accepted. And she’s content with that path — or she thinks she is. Until the day the griffins come down from the mountains, bringing with them the fiery wind of their desert and a desperate need for a healer. But what the griffins need is a healer who is not quite human… or a healer who can be made into something not quite human.
Lord of the Changing Winds by Rachel Neumeier
The Land of Burning Sands by Rachel Neumeier
The Land of Burning Sands is another well-crafted story from gifted author Rachel Neumeier. Instead of carrying on with the characters from the first book, we interact very little with the griffins and Kes in The Land of Burning Sands. They are a presence, but mostly as a menace overshadowing the developing story. I for one appreciated Neumeier introducing her readers to new characters. So many trilogies stick with the same main characters throughout, and it can get old in a hurry. In addition to new characters, The Land of Burning Sandschanges settings as well. Here we get to find out more about Casmantium.
Gereint Enseichen sat on a narrow pallet in the lowest cellar of the Anteirden townhouse, waiting.
Gereint is a geas-bonded slave who is trying to escape the bond. This first sentence pulled... Read More
The City in the Lake — (2008) Young adult. Publisher: THE KINGDOM’S HEART is the City. The City’s heart is the King. The King’s heart is the Prince. The Prince is missing. Ever since the Prince disappeared, nothing has been right in the Kingdom. Something has disturbed the strange, old magic that whispers around its borders… something cunning and powerful. And the disturbance extends to the farthest reaches of the Kingdom, including the idyllic village where Timou is learning to be a mage under her father’s tutelage. When Timou’s father journeys to the City to help look for the Prince, but never returns, Timou senses that the disturbance in the Kingdom is linked to her — and to the undiscovered heritage of the mother she never knew. She must leave her village, even if it means confronting powers greater than her own, even though what she finds may challenge everything she knows. Even if it means leaving love behind.
The Floating Islands — (2011) Young adult. A sequel is being considered. Publisher: When Trei loses his family in a tragic disaster, he must search out distant relatives in a new land. The Floating Islands are unlike anything Trei has ever seen: stunning, majestic, and graced with kajurai, men who soar the skies with wings. Trei is instantly sky-mad, and desperate to be a kajurai himself. The only one who fully understands his passion is Araene, his newfound cousin. Prickly, sarcastic, and gifted, Araene has a secret of her own… a dream a girl cannot attain. Trei and Araene quickly become conspirators as they pursue their individual paths. But neither suspects that their lives will be deeply entwined, and that the fate of the Floating Islands will lie in their hands… Filled with rich language, and told in alternating voices, The Floating Islands is an all-encompassing young adult fantasy read.
House of Shadows — (2012) Publisher: Orphaned, two sisters are left to find their own way. Sweet and proper, Karah’s future seems secure at a glamorous Flower House. She could be pampered for the rest of her life… if she agrees to play their game. Nemienne, neither sweet nor proper, has fewer choices. Left with no alternative, she accepts a mysterious mage’s offer of an apprenticeship. Agreeing means a home and survival, but can Nemienne trust the mage? With the arrival of a foreign bard into the quiet city, dangerous secrets are unearthed, and both sisters find themselves at the center of a plot that threatens not only to upset their newly found lives, but also to destroy their kingdom.