Where the moon washed the deck, something sat, its huge head raised, more like the visage of a bear than a wolf, yet long-snouted, the jaws open. Cold eyes that had no soul in them mirrored the moon…
After the killing of his brutal father, golden and handsome Daniel Vehmund has sought refuge in an exotic faraway land. But his contentment is shattered when a fabulous diamond is pressed on him by a sinister graverobber. From that first fatal contact, Daniel is doomed each night of the fill moon to become something else…something dark and powerful and savage. And nothing that originates on this earth can destroy him.
Laura, a beautiful redhaired farm-girl, lives with her two awful sisters and her selfish grasping parents in the remote English countryside. Apparently condemned to a life of drudgery, all is transformed when she is wooed and wed by a wealthy local squire. But this gilded existence is threatened when a travelling magician persuades her besotted husband to buy from her a very unusual diamond. For this gem is “The Wolf”, the diamond that had transformed Daniel Vehmund’s destiny. And when he himself returns at last to England, his fate and Laura’s are devastatingly intertwined…
Meanwhile some dark, malignant presence continues to prowl the woodlands and hedgerows…and seemingly nothing can curb its unquenchable bloodlust.
In this sequel to At the Earth’s Core, return to the world of Pellucidar – an exotic, savage land at the centre of our Earth, an untamed wilderness where time stands still. When American explorer David Innes first discovered Pellucidar, he fell under the spell of the strange world, earning the respect of many, the undying hatred of a few, and the love of the beautiful Dian. Torn from the arms of Dian by trickery, Innes vows revenge and returns to the Inner World in his most exciting adventure to date. But David Innes appears in Pellucidar far from the land of his beloved and is forced to cross a fierce, unyielding world to reach her. Inne’s epic journey through the many strange lands of Pellucidar, including the brilliantly conceived pendant moon and Land of Awful Shadow, and his heart-pounding encounters with prehistoric beasts and strange peoples ranks as one of the best adventures ever penned by Edgar Rice Burroughs.
A powerful fantasy novel in its own right, set in an expansive and complex fantasy universe, The Price of Blood and Honor brings to a grand climax the tale, begun in The Well-Favored Man and A Sorcerer and a Gentleman, of the kingdoms of Landuc, Noroison, and Phesaotois. The bitter, centuries-old feud between Emperor Avril and his wizardly brother, Prospero, has broken into open warfare, and events and armies are unstoppably on the move. In the midst of all this, Prospero’s two grown children – staunch, unworldly Freia, and her urbanely sorcerous half-brother, Dewar – find themselves thrust into the very heart of the action.
The Price of Blood and Honor is a rich, complex, and splendidly high-handed work, full of epic tragedies and comedies of manners, wars and romances, primal acts of creation, gritty military details, intricate espionage capers, talking animals, mythic beasts, ducks, and a great deal more besides, in the story that is the climax and completion of this series.
The grand conflict for control of the continent of Derlavai rages on, in a battle with all the drama and terror of the Second World War-only the bullets are beams of magical fire, the tanks and submarines are great lumbering beasts, and the fighters and bombers are dragons raining fire upon their targets.
Yet hope may be dawning at last. The terrible onslaught of the conquering forces of Algarve-who power their battle magics with the life energy of their murdered victims-begins to founder as it runs into Habbakuk: a sorcerous ship of ice used by embattled nations of Lagoas and Kuusamo to ferry their deadly dragons across the seas to strike at the very heart of Algarvian power.
But though the tide has begun to turn, the conflict is far from over. The widely disdained Kaunians still struggle desperately to escape as the Algarvians kill them by the thousands-for life energy, but also simply for the crime of being Kaunian. And as the deaths of innocent civilians on both sides continue to feed the flames of war, those who have struggled to survive and preserve their freedom have only their passions to see them through. . . .
Once there was only the land of Phesaotois, with a cold and baleful Stone at its magical heart. Much later came the land of Pheyarcet, younger and hotter, with its Well of Fire inextricably bound up with its ruler, the great Panurgus.
Then Panurgus died, touching off a bitter struggle between his sons that ended with Avril on the throne and Prospero, mightiest of the sorcerers, in permanent exile.
All that was an age ago. Now Prospero, grown ancient and subtle, has found a new, third land: bright Argylle, with its primal Spring of clear water. Argylle is a fair realm in its own right; but the children of Panurgus never forgive and never forget.
And so Prospero decides it is an auspicious time to seize the throne of Phesaotois from Avril – thereby setting in motion a vast tale of romance and espionage, of talking animals and mythic beasts, of metaphysics and primal creation, of mannerly drama and gritty military detail: an epic that can only end in a conflagration of blood and honor.
When his wallet is lifted from a one-night stand with an exotic young woman, who may be either the girl of his dreams or just a common third-world grifter and thief, this world-weary traveller decides to go against his own better judgement and that of the local authorities and pursue this alluring thief up-country into the darkest jungles of Papua New Guinea.
Here is a land where headhunters still roam, and where the natural obstacles of poisonous insects and reptiles, savage and deadly beasts, and the mortally demanding jungle itself are the least of his worries. The forces of good and evil and law and anarchy play by entire different rules in this shadowed world.
Driven by delusions of romance and the need to restore his honour, Bohannon moves in hot pursuit farther and farther up-country, into a heart of darkness almost untouched by modern civilization. And once he attains his immediate goal, he is drawn into the darkness of his own soul, as a hunt for gold proves that greed, more than love or lust, is the primal instinct. For men or women, black or white, civilized or savage, in the darkness of the jungle all shadows are primal.
Patricia A. McKillip is the author of a number of hugely acclaimed fantasies, including The Riddle-Master of Hed and its sequels, which have been compared to Gene Wolfe’s epic Book of the New Sun, and The Forgotten Beasts of Eld and Ombria in Shadow, both of which won the World Fantasy Award for best novel. She has won the Mythopoeic Award three times and in 2008 was given the World Fantasy Award for lifetime achievement. This omnibus collects three of her later works: In the Forests of Serre, Alphabet of Thorn and The Bell at Sealey Head.
IN THE FORESTS OF SERRE: In the tales of World Fantasy Award-winning author Patricia McKillip, nothing is ever as it seems. A mirror is never just a mirror; a forest is never just a forest. Here, it is a place where a witch can hide in her house of bones and a prince can bargain with his heart…where good and evil entwine and wear each others’ faces…and where a bird with feathers of fire can quench the fiercest longing…
ALPHABET OF THORN: One of the most spectacular fantasists of our time, Patricia A. McKillip creates fairy tale worlds of wonder and magic. Now, she opens the page on a time and place where an orphan girl is haunted by thorns…a reluctant queen rules between sea and sky… and epics never end…
THE BELL AT SEALEY HEAD: Sealey Head is a small town on the edge of the ocean, a sleepy place where everyone hears the ringing of a bell no one can see. On the outskirts of town is an impressive estate, Aislinn House, where the aged Lady Eglantyne lies dying, and where the doors sometimes open not to its own dusty rooms, but to the wild majesty of a castle full of knights and princesses.