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Fantasy Friday Review – The Windsingers

The Windsingers by Megan Lindholm

Review by Cyndi J. (cyndij)


This is Megan Lindholm’s (aka Robin Hobb) second novel in the “Ki and Vandien Quartet”. The first in the series is Harpy’s Flight. You can read my review of that here. I’ve also seen this listed as the Windsingers series. You don’t need to have read the first one to catch the plot, although Ki’s motivation depends on something that happened in the first book. However, Lindholm provides enough backstory to tell the reader what happened.

As we begin, Ki and Vandien’s relationship seems to have skipped ahead since we left them in the last book.  Ki comes into an unfamiliar town with her horses and wagon and no money.  She’s looking for Vandien at their pre-arranged meeting place and finds him in an inn that is better suited for one of the other species on this world, but they’re fine with that. Vandien tells Ki about a deal he’s just made: There’s a seaside town where every year, at the lowest of low tides,  they contract with a teamster to search for and then haul out a treasure from a sunken Windsinger tower. The benefits are legendary, but there’s a catch – one of the Windsingers is going to be there, whipping up the weather against the teamster.  What Vandien doesn’t tell her is that he’s also been promised something very personal.

Ki listens to this with incredulity. How could he promise her team of horses without even asking her? This job has been around for years, it’s almost a joke amongst the teamsters because a) there probably isn’t any treasure and b) there’s no payment if you don’t succeed. All you get is food and lodging for your effort. How can Vandien never have heard of this? But he’s determined to go, she’s determined not to, and so they split up again. Ki says she’s off to get a real job and if she gets some cash, she might go there. But now Vandien has to find some kind of team, which is the funniest part of this book.

What neither of them realize is that they are being manipulated by the same evil wizard for his own ends.  Ki is tricked into assisting the wizard, and stubborn Vandien needs to find a way to the treasure.  What the treasure is, and who gets it in the end, Is surprising.

I liked seeing more of the various species in Lindholm’s world. You wonder where they all came from, and how they interact with each other. There’s a lot more magic being used this time around.  I didn’t care much for Ki’s story apart from Vandien, the quest was okay, but the Windsinger’s habitat was too surreal for my taste. I did like that Ki has to think more about what Vandien wants. I liked the characters in the town, but the wizard and the Windsingers not so much.

It’s a better novel than the first, and is also a complete story in itself so you’re not left with a cliffhanger.  But like the first, it is unsurprisingly no longer in print.





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