PRAISE FOR GEORGE R. R. MARTIN’S A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE
“What’s A Song of Ice and Fire? It’s the only fantasy series I’d put on a level with J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. . . . It’s a fantasy series for hip, smart people, even those who don’t read fantasy.”—_Chicago Tribune_ A Game of Thrones
“Reminiscent of T. H. White’s The Once and Future King, this novel is an absorbing combination of the mythic, the sweepingly historical, and the intensely personal.”_—Chicago Sun-Times_
A Clash of Kings
“Martin amply fulfills the first volume’s promise and continues what seems destined to be one of the best fantasy series ever written.”—_The Denver Post_
A Storm of Swords
“Riveting . . . a series whose brilliance continues to dazzle.”—_Patriot News_
A Feast for Crows
“Of those who work in the grand epic-fantasy tradition, Martin is by far the best. In fact . . . this is as good a time as any to proclaim him the American Tolkien.”—_Time _
Dubbed “the American Tolkien” by Time magazine, George R. R. Martin has earned international acclaim for his monumental cycle of epic fantasy. Now the #1 New York Times bestselling author delivers the fifth book in his spellbinding landmark series--as both familiar faces and surprising new forces vie for a foothold in a fragmented empire.
In the aftermath of a colossal battle, the future of the Seven Kingdoms hangs in the balance once again--beset by newly emerging threats from every direction. In the east, Daenerys Targaryen, the last scion of House Targaryen, rules with her three dragons as queen of a city built on dust and death. But Daenerys has three times three thousand enemies, and many have set out to find her. Yet, as they gather, one young man embarks upon his own quest for the queen, with an entirely different goal in mind.
To the north lies the mammoth Wall of ice and stone--a structure only as strong as those guarding it. There, Jon Snow, 998th Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch, will face his greatest challenge yet. For he has powerful foes not only within the Watch but also beyond, in the land of the creatures of ice.
And from all corners, bitter conflicts soon reignite, intimate betrayals are perpetrated, and a grand cast of outlaws and priests, soldiers and skinchangers, nobles and slaves, will face seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Some will fail, others will grow in the strength of darkness. But in a time of rising restlessness, the tides of destiny and politics will lead inevitably to the greatest dance of all. . . .
Hyperion by Dan Simmons The Fall of Hyperion by Dan Simmons Endymion by Dan Simmons The Rise of Endymion by Dan Simmons Remembering Siri by Dan Simmons Death Of The Centaur by Dan Simmons Orphans of the Helix by Dan Simmons
The #1 New York Times bestselling author returns to the world of Mistborn with the follow-up to *Shadows of Self*
With The Alloy of Law and Shadows of Self, Brandon Sanderson surprised readers with a New York Times bestselling spinoff of his Mistborn books, set after the action of the trilogy, in a period corresponding to late 19th-century America.
Now, with The Bands of Mourning, Sanderson continues the story. The Bands of Mourning are the mythical metalminds owned by the Lord Ruler, said to grant anyone who wears them the powers that the Lord Ruler had at his command. Hardly anyone thinks they really exist. A kandra researcher has returned to Elendel with images that seem to depict the Bands, as well as writings in a language that no one can read. Waxillium Ladrian is recruited to travel south to the city of New Seran to investigate. Along the way he discovers hints that point to the true goals of his uncle Edwarn and the shadowy organization known as The Set.
“Sanderson is an evil genius. There is simply no other way to describe what he's managed to pull off in this transcendent final volume of his Mistborn trilogy.” ―RT Book Reviews (Gold Medal, Top Pick!) on The Hero of Ages
“It's rare for a fiction writer to have much understanding of how leadership works and how love really takes root in the human heart. Sanderson is astonishingly wise.” ―Orson Scott Card
“Sanderson is crafting an extremely well-thought out saga with Mistborn, one that looks to stand above the pack of his literary peers. The magic system is perfectly detailed, the world, though not completely revealed, has a great sense of natural logic to it, and the characters are a reflection of both.” ―SFFWorld
“Intrigue, politics, and conspiracies mesh complexly in a world Sanderson realizes in satisfying depth and peoples with impressive characters.” ―Booklist on Mistborn
“Highly recommended to anyone hungry for a good read.” ―Robin Hobb on Mistborn
“Enjoyable, adventurous read.” ―Locus on Mistborn
About the Author
Brandon Sanderson is the bestselling author of books including Warbreaker, Elantris, The Stormlight Archive series, starting with The Way of Kings, and The Mistborn series-Mistborn, The Well of Ascension, The Hero of Ages and The Alloy of Law. He has also written Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians, a book for middle-grade readers, and the young adult novel, The Rithmatist. He also completed the final books in Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time® series-The Gathering Storm, Towers of Midnight and A Memory of Light-based on Jordan's notes and material. Sanderson teaches writing at Brigham Young University. He lives in Utah.
Michael Kramer has narrated over 100 audiobooks for many bestselling authors. He read all of Robert Jordan’s epic Wheel of Time fantasy-adventure series as well as Brandon Sanderson’s The Stormlight Archive series. He received AudioFile magazine's Earphones Award for the Kent Family series by John Jakes and for Alan Fulsom's The Day After Tomorrow. Known for his “spot-on character portraits and accents, and his resonant, well-tempered voice” (AudioFile), his work includes recording books for the Library of Congress’s Talking Books program for the blind and physically handicapped.
Kramer also works as an actor in the Washington, D.C. area, where he lives with his wife, Jennifer Mendenhall (a.k.a. Kate Reading), and their two children. He has appeared as Lord Rivers in Richard III at The Shakespeare Theatre, Howie/Merlin in The Kennedy Center’s production of The Light of Excalibur, Sam Riggs and Frederick Savage in Woody Allen’s Central Park West/Riverside Drive, and Dr. Qari Shah in Tony Kushner’s Homebody/Kabul at Theatre J.
The popular paperback edition with a cover design by Tolkien himself, to complement the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings paperbacks. Includes a special preface by J.R.R. Tolkien.The Silmarillion is an account of the Elder Days, of the First Age of Tolkien’s world. It is the ancient drama to which the characters in The Lord of the Rings look back, and in whose events some of them such as Elrond and Galadriel took part. The tales of The Silmarillion are set in an age when Morgoth, the first Dark Lord, dwelt in Middle-Earth, and the High Elves made war upon him for the recovery of the Silmarils, the jewels containing the pure light of Valinor.Included in the book are several shorter works. The Ainulindale is a myth of the Creation and in the Valaquenta the nature and powers of each of the gods is described. The Akallabeth recounts the downfall of the great island kingdom of Númenor at the end of the Second Age and Of the Rings of Power tells of the great events at the end of the Third Age, as narrated in The Lord of the Rings.
In this breathtaking debut novel, one man embarks on a thrilling and treacherous quest for his people’s lost god—in a labyrinthine Dickensian city that is either blessed . . . or haunted. Arjun arrives in Ararat just as a magnificent winged creature sails over the city. It is the day of the return of that long-awaited mystical creature: the great Bird. As it soars across the land, as the city’s mapless streets are transformed, as the great river changes its course, as the territories of the city’s avian life are redrawn, crowds cheer and guns salute. Then comes the time for the Bird’s power to be trapped—within the hull of the floating warship Thunderer, now a living temple to the Bird, and a terrible new weapon to be used, allegedly, in the interests of all of Ararat. Hurtled into this convulsing world is Arjun, who will unwittingly unleash a dark power beyond his imagining—and dare to test Ararat’s moving boundaries. For in this city of gods, he has come to search among them, not to hide.
Best known for his pun-filled, long-running Xanth light fantasy series, Anthony pairs here with a fan and first-time author for a stand-alone novel of improbable plot and lackluster characters. Vegan Herb Moss, a member of a race of genetically engineered plant-humans on a distant planet, is bored by his nice but dull girlfriend, Lily. When he answers a personal ad in Play Plant magazine, however, Herb gets more than he bargained for: beautiful Spring, daughter of a dead sorcerer who magically sealed the secret to extended life inside his child, to be revealed when she mates with her one true love. Spring is hunted by her father's enemy, the evil mage Zygote, and Herb and his friends are her only hope for evading the villain who seeks her maidenhead. The authors' mix of science and fantasy is awkward at best, and the characters never rise above stereotype, from the reluctant hero Herb with his antiquated philosophy about moody, troublemaking women to spunky-yet-understanding Spring, to Lily with her belief that "the love of a good woman" can bring out the good in any man, even the evil Zygote. While Anthony's author's note proclaims he found "cute cleverness" in Taeusche's original manuscript, it's doubtful that even die-hard Xanth fans will discover much here to hold their attention. (Mar.) Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
In the second breathtaking volume of Robin Hobb's Liveship Traders trilogy, a new tide of glory and terror sweeps forward the story of the Vestrit clan, their liveship Vivacia, and all who strive to possess her. As the ancient tradition of Bingtown's Old Traders slowly erodes under the cold new order of a corrupt ruler, the Vestrits anxiously await the return of their liveship--a rare magic ship carved from sentient wizardwood, which bonds the ships mystically with those who sail them. And Althea Vestrit waits even more avidly, living only to reclaim the ship as her lost inheritance and captain her on the high seas. But the Vivacia has been seized by the ruthless pirate captain Kennit, who holds Althea's nephew and his father hostage. Althea and her onetime sea mate Brashen resolve to liberate the liveship--but their plan may prove more dangerous than leaving the Vivacia in Kennit's ambitious grasp.... From the Paperback edition.
In the powerful conclusion to the Liveship Traders trilogy, Robin Hobb weaves the spellbinding story of a once-thriving city on the brink of ruin, a glorious and mythic species on the edge of extinction, and the Vestrit clan, whose destiny is intertwined with both....As Bingtown slides toward disaster, clan matriarch Ronica Vestrit, branded a traitor, searches for a way to bring the city’s inhabitants together against the Chalcedean threat. Meanwhile, Althea Vestrit, unaware of what has befallen Bingtown and her family, continues her perilous quest to track down and recover her liveship Vivacia from the ruthless pirate Kennit. Bold though it is, her scheme may be in vain. For her beloved Vivacia will face the most terrible confrontation of all as the secret of the liveships is revealed. It is a truth so shattering, it may destroy Vivacia and all who love her, including the boy-priest Wintrow Vestrit, whose life already hangs in the balance....
Bingtown is a hub of exotic trade and home to a merchant nobility famed for its liveships--rare vessels carved from wizardwood, which ripens magically into sentient awareness. The fortunes of one of Bingtown's oldest families rest on the newly awakened liveship Vivacia.For Althea Vestrit, the ship is her rightful legacy unjustly denied her--a legacy she will risk anything to reclaim. For Althea's young nephew Wintrow, wrenched from his religious studies and forced to serve aboard ship, Vivacia is a life sentence.But the fate of the Vestrit family--and the ship--may ultimately lie in the hands of an outsider. The ruthless pirate Kennit seeks a way to seize power over all the denizens of the Pirate Isles...and the first step of his plan requires him to capture his own liveship and bend it to his will....
Tarmon Gai’don, the Last Battle, looms. And mankind is not ready.The final volume of the Wheel of Time, A Memory of Light, was partially written by Robert Jordan before his untimely passing in 2007. Brandon Sanderson, New York Times bestselling author of the Mistborn books, was chosen by Jordan’s editor---his wife, Harriet McDougal---to complete the final book. The scope and size of the volume was such that it could not be contained in a single book, and so Tor proudly presents The Gathering Storm as the first of three novels that will make up A Memory of Light. This short sequence will complete the struggle against the Shadow, bringing to a close a journey begun almost twenty years ago and marking the conclusion of the Wheel of Time, the preeminent fantasy epic of our era.In this epic novel, Robert Jordan’s international bestselling series begins its dramatic conclusion. Rand al’Thor, the Dragon Reborn, struggles to unite a fractured network of kingdoms and alliances in preparation for the Last Battle. As he attempts to halt the Seanchan encroachment northward---wishing he could form at least a temporary truce with the invaders---his allies watch in terror the shadow that seems to be growing within the heart of the Dragon Reborn himself.Egwene al’Vere, the Amyrlin Seat of the rebel Aes Sedai, is a captive of the White Tower and subject to the whims of their tyrannical leader. As days tick toward the Seanchan attack she knows is imminent, Egwene works to hold together the disparate factions of Aes Sedai while providing leadership in the face of increasing uncertainty and despair. Her fight will prove the mettle of the Aes Sedai, and her conflict will decide the future of the White Tower---and possibly the world itself.The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass. What was, what will be, and what is, may yet fall under the Shadow.
"Compelling . . . A fantastic American debut . . . potent as a shot of vodka." -- Publishers Weekly on Nightwatch
"Urban and sleek . . . a promising entry into what could be a modern horror epic." -- Entertainment Weekly on Nightwatch
Walking the streets of Moscow, indistinguishable from the rest of its population, are the Others. Possessors of supernatural powers and capable of entering the Twilight, a shadowy world that exists in parallel to our own, each owes allegiance either to the Dark or the Light. Night Watch Agent Anton Gorodetsky’s holiday is abruptly shortened when an urgent call from Gesar – his boss and Night Watch head – forces him to return to work. Gesar has received an anonymous note, stating that an Other has revealed the full truth about their kind to a human, and intends to convert the human in an Other. The note has also been sent to the Day Watch, and to the Inquisition – but only the very highest-level Others know the addresses. So the Inquisition orders the cooperation of Night and Day Watch in an effort to unmask the culprit…
“The battle scenes have the breathless urgency of firsthand experience, and the . . . evil laced into the forces of good, the dangers latent in any promised salvation, the sense of the unavoidable onslaught of unpredictable events bear the marks of American national experience during the last three decades, just as the experience of the First World War and its aftermath gave its imprint to J. R. R. Tolkien’s work.”--_The New York Times_ on The Wheel of Time®
The Last Battle has started. The seals on the Dark One’s prison are crumbling. The Pattern itself is unraveling, and the armies of the Shadow have begun to boil out of the Blight.
The sun has begun to set upon the Third Age.
Perrin Aybara is now hunted by specters from his past: Whitecloaks, a slayer of wolves, and the responsibilities of leadership. All the while, an unseen foe is slowly pulling a noose tight around his neck. To prevail, he must seek answers in Tel’aran’rhiod and find a way--at long last--to master the wolf within him or lose himself to it forever.
Meanwhile, Matrim Cauthon prepares for the most difficult challenge of his life. The creatures beyond the stone gateways--the Aelfinn and the Eelfinn--have confused him, taunted him, and left him hanged, his memory stuffed with bits and pieces of other men’s lives. He had hoped that his last confrontation with them would be the end of it, but the Wheel weaves as the Wheel wills. The time is coming when he will again have to dance with the Snakes and the Foxes, playing a game that cannot be won. The Tower of Ghenjei awaits, and its secrets will reveal the fate of a friend long lost.
This penultimate novel of Robert Jordan’s #1 New York Times bestselling series--the second of three based on materials he left behind when he died in 2007--brings dramatic and compelling developments to many threads in the Pattern. The end draws near.
Dovie’andi se tovya sagain. It’s time to toss the dice.
**The masterpiece that started *The New York Times* bestselling epic Sword of Truth**In the aftermath of the brutal murder of his father, a mysterious woman, Kahlan Amnell, appears in Richard Cypher's forest sanctuary seeking help . . . and more. His world, his very beliefs, are shattered when ancient debts come due with thundering violence.In a dark age it takes courage to live, and more than mere courage to challenge those who hold dominion, Richard and Kahlan must take up that challenge or become the next victims. Beyond awaits a bewitching land where even the best of their hearts could betray them. Yet, Richard fears nothing so much as what secrets his sword might reveal about his own soul. Falling in love would destroy them--for reasons Richard can't imagine and Kahlan dare not say.In their darkest hour, hunted relentlessly, tormented by treachery and loss, Kahlan calls upon Richard to reach beyond his sword--to invoke within himself something more noble. Neither knows that the rules of battle have just changed . . . or that their time has run out.This is the beginning. One book. One Rule. Witness the birth of a legend.
Poetry's magic--real magic--draws Matthew, Lord Wizard of Merovence, deeper into trouble in this sequel to Her Majesty's Wizard . In his alternative world, where words become truth and magic spells are created by verse, Matt's thoughtless declaration that (in order to be a worthy suitor to Alisande, the queen of Merovence) he would unthrone Gordogrosso, evil sorcerer-king of neighboring Ibile, lands him in the middle of that unhappy kingdom. He's joined by Narlh, a discontented dracogriff with an inferiority complex; Fadecourt, a cyclops with an unsavory reputation in Ibile; and the beautiful and noble Yverne, fleeing the attentions of the king's hoodlums. As the ill-assorted band moves in on Gordogrosso, Queen Alisande marshals her knights to save the beloved commoner whom she cannot wed (even though he is a wizard), and Matt's magic produces unusual results, including the addition of Robin Hood and his band to his forces. Stasheff's fantasy romp has a strong theological underpinning: God is serious about his creatures and about their taking responsibility for themselves, their actions and their words. Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
Prevented by his lack of royal blood from marrying the woman he loves, former college student Matt Mantrell--now Court Wizard to Queen Alisande--swears an oath to overthrow a neighboring tyrant and finds himself bound to carry out his promise. Aided by a group of companions, including a neurotic griffin, a cultured cyclops, and minions from heaven and faerie, Matt enters a land of darkness and evil to fight the good--and seemingly impossible--fight. Fans of pure fantasy will enjoy this sequel to Her Majesty's Wizard ( LJ 10/15/86). Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
This is the latest enjoyable installment in the escapades of Matt Mantrell and Saul ("Wizard of Sarcasm") Bremener, former graduate students now living happily in an alternate world where verse has magical powers. When the evil King Maledicto of Latruria ("Italy by any other name") is killed, his grandson Prince Boncorro, having determined to be loyal to neither Good nor Evil, introduces supply-side economics to his goods-based kingdom. Matt, now Lord Wizard of neighboring Merovence, investigates the changes Boncorro has wrought. His "incognito" expedition is a curious one, impeded by occasional contretemps and the specious reasoning and obtuseness of several characters (Queen Alisande, Matt's wife, is particularly ill-served by multiple scenes apparently intended to show that pregnancy can make a woman moody). Readers older than Stasheff's usual audience may be bemused by the presences of Chancellor Rebezo and a friendly ghost called Spiro. Fans of the series' previous volumes should find this one, though a progression for neither author nor reader, as pleasant a distraction as those. Science Fiction Book Club alternate. Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
The fourth book in Stasheff's Wizard in Rhyme series stands quite well on its own. Young King Boncorro is turning the land of Latruria into an earthly paradise, and the malcontents of neighboring Merovence are muttering that Boncorro's rule would be good for their own realm. But there are suspicions about what Boncorro is really up to, and Lord Wizard Matt Mantrell has to assume his minstrel disguise and go investigating. He finds a good many surprises, including the ease with which he is unmasked by Boncorro's chancellor, and barely escapes with both life and knowledge. Stasheff's series continues to be distinguished by intelligence, literacy, and wit, so put this volume confidently alongside its predecessors on your fantasy shelves. Roland Green
Nightwalkers dwell in the shadows; they live in a world where every night holds secrets. Hunted by magic, beset by evil, the Nightwalkers face their darkest hour yet. When the unthinkable happens, only one legendary male has the power and the will to save them: Adam. From their first tantalising touch, Jasmine knows Adam is different. What other lover could unlock her tight control, and flood vampire senses jaded by a lifetime of decadent self indulgence? Centuries ago, when he disappeared without a trace, she had given up hope of ever fulfilling the promise of incomparable passion. But here he is, against the very laws of nature, ready to bring down their most vicious enemy, ready to bring her blood to the boiling point . . . if she will only let him.
...and the gates of hell remain closed. Lenk and his five companions set sail to bring the accursed relic away from the demonic reach of Ulbecetonth, the Kraken Queen. But after weeks at sea, tensions amidst the adventurers are rising. Their troubles are only beginning when their ship crashes upon an island made of the bones left behind from a war long dead.
And it appears that bloodthirsty alien warrior women, fanatical beasts from the deep, and heretic-hunting wizards are the least of their concerns. Haunted by their pasts, plagued by their gods, tormented by their own people, and gripped by madness personal and peculiar, their greatest foes may yet be themselves.
The reach of Ulbecetonth is longer than hell can hold.
In her new role as protector of the Siyee, Auraya investigates sightings of a landwalker stranger in their land. She meets a mysterious woman claiming to be a friend of Mirar's: a woman who makes an offer Auraya is unable to refuse, but which she must conceal or risk the wrath of the gods. In the south, Mirar enjoys acceptance and respect as he reclaims his place among his people, but that freedom will come at a cost. Meanwhile, Emerahl is at last able to join the Thinkers in their search for the Scroll of the Gods, but the truth may not be revealed in the form she expects. And the Pentadrians, frustrated by their defeat at the hands of the Circlians, plot and scheme to bring down their enemies by means other than direct conflict. As the promise of peace dies, and two peoples are once more drawn inexorably into war, Auraya is unable to avoid being caught up the conflict. The key to everything, though, may lie with the Wilds, who embark upon a quest for secrets buried long ago. Secrets that could change the world.
Welcome to the world of Arcana Universalis, a strange universe filled with fabled creatures, vile demons, and starships driven by mystical energies. It's a time of fantastic powers that defy belief and vicious bloodshed that spans the stars... most of which belong to the Imperium, an oppressive feudal society ruled by a millennium-old dictator.
Enter Caleb Gedley, a bright but neurotic apprentice fresh from the academy who has a beautiful fiancee and a lifetime of mind-numbing research waiting for him back home. The only obstacle left between Caleb and this cozy future is a six-month externship aboard the Imperial Dragonslayer Ashkalon, an ancient and powerful military starship patrolling the lesser spiral arm.
It was supposed to be a routine tour, just a few months of hard labor in exchange for a land-grant and entrance into noble society, but things in Caleb's life never work out like they're supposed to. When the Ashkalon is sent to investigate the disappearance of a prospector ship, Caleb and his best friend, a young warrior named Bibbs, find themselves on the surface of a mysterious planet, and that's when everything begins to go terribly, horribly wrong...
Terminus is the first segment of the upcoming fantasy novel, Arcana Universalis: The Hanged Man's Revelation, due out in late 2011. This novella-length release is the first of five planned episodes that will together form the final novel.
For more information about this release, please visit our website at: http://oktopods.wordpress.com/
In the glittering Advanced Dungeons & Dragons firmament, the star power of Ed Greenwood twinkles somewhere between the bright glow of E. Gary Gygax and the somewhat dimmer shine of Zeb Cook. As creator and Dungeon Master-in-chief of the enormously popular Forgotten Realms setting, Greenwood has secured his status as a legend of gaming--doubly so by inventing the Realms' most illustrious citizen (well, except for Drizzt Do'Urden, of course), Elminster of Shadowdale.
With Kingless Land, Greenwood breaks free of the Realms with a mainstream fantasy novel, the first title in his Band of Four series. But faster than you can say "melee round," you'll suss out that Greenwood's Band looks a heck of a lot like your classic dungeon-faring party: a thief (Craer, the "procurer"), a fighter (Hawkril, a "thick-headed sword-swinger" by Craer's estimation), a wizard (a hot babe whose baron-dad wants to turn her into a castle--neat!), and a cleric (the healer Sarasper, who also gets to be a shapeshifter, presumably to make up for the fact that clerics suck). So, predictably, Kingless Land doesn't cover much more ground than Greenwood's AD&D novels, which were always hit (Cormyr, with Jeff Grubb) or miss (Spellfire--ouch!) at best. But if you can get past the indulgently italicized fantasy bluster ("Sargh and bebolt it!"), Kingless Land certainly proves equal to the best of Greenwood's previous genre work, not unlike a night spent listening to the effortless spin of an expert DM. --Paul Hughes
From Library Journal
A ruthless baron rules the kingless land of Aglirta, protected by his sorcerers' spells and his cruel armies. The baron's daughter, herself a wizard doomed by her father to become bound into his castle's defenses, flees for her life in the company of a trio of adventurers marked by destiny to search for the Sleeping King. The creator of TSR's Forgotten Realms novels and role-playing scenarios now turns his talents to a new world of magic and bold deeds, crafting a graceful tale of high fantasy. For most fantasy collections. Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Forgotten Realms creator Greenwood's fourth Band of Four book (after 2002's A Dragon's Ascension), with its gory and repetitive battle scenes, will please the faithful, many of them role-playing gamers, but fans of gentler fantasy had best stay away. Now in the position of Overdukes, sorceress Embra Silvertree, warrior Hawkril Anharu, thief Craer Delnbone, sorceress Tshamarra Talasorn and ex-regent Ezendor Blackgult must battle the priests and sundry servants of the Serpent, the wizard Ambelter and various barons in an effort to bring peace to the realm of Aglirta and keep the king on the throne. The scheming of the priests centers on a wine-induced blood plague, which compels people to spontaneously kill others before dying or to change into mythical beasts that remain under the priests' control. The action is fast and furious as the Band of Four, wielding the Dwaer (stones that amplify magical power and intensify spell-casting), contend with their double-crossing enemies as well as spontaneous attacks of the blood plague. Given the many new characters and others from previous volumes, the Dramatis Personae section at the back is particularly useful, but only if discovered beforehand. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Maia, eldest daughter in a poor fisherman's family, grows up in a remote corner of the Belkan Empire. She leads a quiet, sheltered life until...impossible for her to have imagined, and entirely through the duplicitous act of another...she is sold into bondage as a concubine.
Thrust into a wicked and depraved world, Maia survives. She inspires confidence and gathers power. At a time of great crisis within the Empire, Maia stands alone as the one who can prevent its destruction. She gains national fame...yet remains caught up in danger and despair.
"MAIA is Richard Adams' most remarkable creation. . .a heroine to love, in a book that enthralls." (Publisher's Source)