Tried to get started on this one several days ago and have resigned myself to DNF-ing it after feeling no enthusiasm to continue. I didn't get far in, just to the part where the heroine meets the griffin and *SEMI-SPOILERISH SORRY* discovers her magical mage powers due to the griffins. This is where the book went downhill for me. The heroine is unaware she possessed said powers and therefore doesn't understand at all what is happening, how it's happening, etc. While I know things might be better explained later in the book in regards to the world's magic, at that moment it is so wishy washy and the heroine not knowing what's going on and therefore leaving the reader in the dark feels like a cop out. As if it's just easier not to explain anything. The magic feels as if it's just too mystical and too high of an entity...or something...for a mere human to understand. Half the fun of fantasy for me personally is the worldbuilding, and if magic is to be such a strong part of the world yet not strongly developed, I just feel let down by it all.
It's possible too griffin-based fantasy books aren't for me. I tried K.J. Taylor's first re-released griffin book and couldn't get into that one either. The griffin's themselves in that one turned me off for their cold callousness. While it was very well done (I was thoroughly disgusted by one in the first several pages), something at the time the griffin said or did just wasn't working for me. That was the end of that one. In Lord of the Changing Winds, the author has tried way too hard to make readers aware that griffins aren't human in any way, especially emotionally and in their thought processes, culture, etc. In fact it's very blatantly told to the reader, really, as opposed to being worked into the development of the griffins as it was so well in only the first few pages of Taylor's book. I dunno, in LotCW, it just felt like too much telling and not enough showing. Another turn off for me.
The idea that non-human characters are different in fantasy is certainly not a new concept. At all. I have no desire to ascribe human emotions or ideas to non-human fantasy characters and I expect the writing itself to show me the differences in the non-humans. It's enthralling when their cultures and ideas are a developed part of the story. Again, maybe that improves in this book, but being told as opposed to shown so early in didn't make me feel any confidence it would be.
I loved the idea/premise and I really felt drawn to the heroine at first and the author's voice. Overall it wasn't working for me.