In this sequel to the bestselling INTO THE DARKNESS, the country of Algarve is successful in its blitzkrieg tactics, but becomes bogged down in the desolate winter of Unkerlant, its main enemy.
Algarve’s king decides to undertake blood magic, which amounts to genocide, in order to break the deadlock; when it is seen to work, its use elsewhere cannot be long coming. On a small island, a theoretical sorcerer may hold the only answer to this horror . . .
Harry Turtledove has taken events similar to those from Earth’s wars and transplanted them to a wonderfully imagined fantasy world.
In his previous ‘Darkness’ books – Into the Darkness, Darkness Descending, and Through the Darkness – bestselling author Harry Turtledove has been telling an epic tale of a world at war; a dark mirror of the terrible wars of our own twentieth century, set in a world where battles are fought with magic rather than technology.
Imagine the drama and terror of the Second World War in such a place. The death, the destruction, the sheer scale of the horror is the same – but the bullets are beams of eldritch fire, the tanks are great horned and taloned beasts, and fighters and bombers are dragons raining fire upon their targets. This is the world of the Derlavaian continent, a world that is slowly but surely being conquered, mile after bloody mile, by the forces of the Algarvian Empire… forces whose most terrible battle magics are powered by the slaughter of innocent people.
In this, the forth volume of the series, following on from Through the Darkness, the war for the future of Derlavai builds towards its crescendo as the mages of Kuusamo, aided by their former rivals from Lagoas, work desperately to create a newer form of magic. Magic of unprecedented destructive power. Magic that will change the course of the future.
The years since first he gained the Starburst Crown have been difficult ones for Coronal Lord Prestimion and the vast, unfathomable realm he rules. But finally peace has been restored to Majipoor. And now it is time for Prestimion to name the able Prince Dekkeret as his succeeding Coronal and to descend to the Labyrinth as Pontifex. But a power from a dark past that both men believed was dead is stirring once again – an evil more potent and devastating than either leader dares to remember.
Kellory — the last of the Black Wolves, sole descendant of the Lost Kings of Illyrion. His fighting arm maimed, his homeland stolen, his tribe mercilessly slaughtered by the dread Thungoda Horde, he seeks revenge with the only weapon left to him — sorcery. But the secret arts of witchcraft are not easily surrendered by the Brotherhood of Darkness… Across the Sea of Sand, with its plethora of terrifying spells and whispering spirits of the night, Kellory seeks the Grimoire of Yaohim — the Book of Shadows — for only within its enigmatic pages will he find the sacred magic that will vanquish his enemies, if he can decipher its mystery before it’s too late.
Orthe – half-civilized, half-barbaric, home to human-like beings who live and die by the code of the sword. Earth envoy Lynne Christie has been sent here to establish contact and to determine whether this is a world worth developing. But first Christie must come to understand that human-like is not and never can be human, and that not even Orthe’s leaders can stop the spread of rumors about her, dark whisperings that could cost Christie her life.And on a goodwill tour to the outlying provinces, these evil rumors turn to deadly accusations. Christie is no offworlder, Church officials charge: she is a treacherous and cunning descendant of Orthe’s legendary Golden Witchbreed – the cruel, ruthless race that once enslaved the whole planet. Suddenly, Christie finds herself a hunted fugitive on an alien world, where friend and foe alike may prove her executioners. And her only chance of survival lies in saving Orthe from a menace older than time…