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Wizard of the Winds: The Timuras Trilogy Book 1    by Allan Cole order for
Wizard of the Winds
by Allan Cole
Order:  USA  Can
Del Rey, 1998 (1997)
* * *   Reviewed by J. A. Kaszuba Locke

The Timuras Trilogy begins in the splendor of the southern valley of Kyrania, known in the language of its people as the 'Valley of the Clouds' (in the vast land of Esmir, the Turtle of the Middle Seas). Peaceful, bountiful Kyrania is the home of the Timura family, renowned potters who create their art from special clays found within the valley. The holy lake of Our Lady Felakia provides curative waters, and irrigation for crops.

The Council of Elders, including Khadji and Myrna Timura are approached by the Babor clan begging sanctuary for Prince Iraj Protarus. Iraj's father the King has died, and the throne is in dispute. The Babor's are divided as to who will succeed the King (son Iraj or Uncle Fulain), placing Iraj's life in danger. The Timura's son Safar and Iraj become constant companions despite the difference in their societal positions and interests. During one of many excursions of the two boys, 'a flaming object shot through the heavens ... hung above them, a vast swirling ball that chased the night from the hills ... glowing particles floated down ... one floated into Safar's mouth ... whole body tingled with pleasurable energy and he suddenly felt above all mortal things.'

The Forbidden Desert territory is under treaty forged long since by humans and demons, and surrounded by a wizard's mighty spell, the demarcation line between the two species of a 'no-demons and no-(hu)man's land'. To the north is Zanzair, the demon city ruled by wizard King Manacia. Demons are riders with fangs, claws, broad snouts, and mottled green skin. Their leader Sarn is assigned to cross the Forbidden Desert with troops to conquer human territories. Safar and Iraj heroically aid a caravan under attack by the horde of demons. It is here that Iraj's warrior powers catch Safar's attention, and one of many occasions which leads Safar to realize his destiny as a wizard. The time comes for Iraj to return to his people as King. In parting, Safar and Iraj 'embraced and swore eternal brotherhood and friendship.'

Safar leaves his family to attend the university of the Grand Temple in Waleria, accomplishing four years of schooling in two years. Twelve-year old Nerisa, a child of the streets, gives Safar a magical gift - a small ancient icon of a turtle. Within the icon are sassy, engaging magical beings, 'Favorites' named Gundara and his twin Gundaree. Only three hands tall, they help wizards and witches cast spells, and both have an avid 'sweet tooth'. You can't not like beings who say things like 'if I were you I'd command me to get busy with that job right now ... Never fear, Gundara is near! Why do I get all the stupid ones? Three times out in five hundred years and each one dumber than the other!' In his travels, Safar is threatened by death and danger more than once. When reunited with King Iraj, Safar is named Grand Wazier.

There are bloody battles, and trying times ahead, as demon King Manacia and human King Iraj vie bitterly to become the King of Kings over all Esmir. Allan Cole's writing is primo, packed with superlative characterizations of humans and demons, kings and princes, dreamcatchers and stargazers, wizards and witches, loyalists and betrayers, good and evil. Enter the wondrous fantasy world of Wizard of the Winds (originally published as When The Gods Slept), and continue on to books 2 and 3 of the trilogy - Wolves of the Gods and The Gods Awaken. The Complete Timuras will also soon be available from Wildside Press in an omnibus presentation of the trilogy.

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