Title: Lord of the Changing Winds
Author: Rachel Neumeier
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.
I feel like there's not much I have to say about this book other than the few things I liked and some things I didn't. The best part I would have to mention is the great world building in relation to the griffins. The author really created some good ideas like how they live in the desert, their connection to fire magery, etc. She was very good at describing their supernatural qualities. For instance, when they bleed their blood falls to the ground as rubies.
While I enjoyed reading about griffins (which I don't think I ever have before), I wasn't that into the story or human characters. I thought the first half of the book was pretty slow. Kes, the main protagonist, starts off interesting then I felt she got swept into everyone else's will. There is a lot of description and talk in this book. I'm not generally a fan of too much of either of those.
One character I did find interesting was the title character, Lord of the Changing Winds, the griffin fire mage. I couldn't tell you his name off the top of my head since all the griffin's names were extremely long and unfamiliar. I guess this adds to their uniqueness but I found it very jarring and frustrating. Anyways, the fire mage often displayed cool abilities and was intriguing when he was actually in scenes.
This story continues with Land of the Burning Sands, but I don't think I will be continuing this series. It just didn't hit any particular note for me despite the originality of the griffin world. This doesn't mean it cannot be a good read for those really into griffins and don't mind battle oriented fantasy. Give it a try if that interests you. C