It was a changed world. No longer did the black monks of the Christian Church own half of England and extend their deadly domain over their flock. No longer did the murderous Ragnarssons and their Viking hordes ravage the shires unopposed. Now, in the year 867 AD, those who wished to be Christian were free to worship without the heavy yoke of the ever-hungry Church. Those who did not could follow the Asgarth Way, the Norse religion that paid homage to the gods of Asgard: Othin, Thor, Frey…and Rig. Rig, the patron – perhaps the father? – of Shef Sigvarthsson. Whose new weapons and battle strategy had defeated both the battle-hardened Vikings and the Frankish knights of Pope Nicholas’ failed Crusade. While enemies plotted, Shef left England by ship, to avoid the wedding of his ally, Alfred of Wessex, to his childhood love, Godive. Shipwrecked on the Frisian Coast he begins a journey that will keep him away from England for months and years, and add more legends to his already myth-shrouded life. In One King’s Way Harry Harrison Continues the story of Shef Sigvarthsson, god-chosen warrior and mystic. From the Vikings of the North Sea to the scheming priests of Germany, from the frozen northern lands to the snow-covered Finnish tundra, he fights his way towards overwhelming kingship. While his supernatural allies and enemies engage in a shadowy battle for his future. This is historical fantasy of the highest order, from a giant of the genre.
An itinerant French mercenary stumbles into the Valley of the Kings; driven by thirst and crazed by the eastern sun, he crawls through a crevice in an ancient wall… The papyrus roll he found contained weird hieroglyphics, an owl, a bolted door, an eagle, an axe and, strangest of all, Xerefu and Akeru – the lions of Yesterday and Today. The scroll found its way to Paris. The year was 1798. The Terror was born. Behind the welter of blood that was revolution, older, darker, more sinister forces were at work. The Revolution was only a means to an end… only a symptom of a deadlier peril, a terror behind the Terror. Ancient Egyptian power was stronger than the guillotine…
For hundreds of years, the rulers of Avornis sought to reclaim the Scepter of Mercy, their only protection from the fallen god known as the Banished One. They all failed. Now the burden rests on the shoulders of two kings divided by pride, but united in duty… King Lanius has crafted a daring plan to recover the Scepter – a plan that must remain utterly secret lest the Banished One discover and thwart it. But the Scepter lies far to the south, in lands held by the Menteshe tribes. Lanius will need help from a military man – King Grus. King Grus answers the call. Civil war has broken out among the Menteshe, distracting them from guarding the Scepter. While King Grus fights his way to the citadel that holds the sacred talisman, Lanius puts his plan into action. But the worst nightmares of Lanius and Grus are about to come true, for the Banished One is aware of their every move…
Conan the Cimmerian: the boy-thief who became a mercenary, who fought and loved his way across fabled lands to become King of Aquilonia. Neither supernatural fiends nore demonic sorcery could oppose the barbarian warrior as he wielded his mighty sword and dispatched his enemies to a bloody doom on the battlefields of the legendary Hyborian age. Collected together in one volume for the very first time, in chronological order, are Robert E. Howard’s tales of the legendary hero, as fresh and atmospheric today as when they were first published in the pulp magazines of more than seventy years ago. Compiled by and with a foreward and afterword by award-winning writer and editor Stephen Jones.
Hidden away from the world by his mother, the powerful sorceress Heloise Oliver, Pierce has grown up working in her restaurant in Desolation Point. One day, unexpectedly, strangers pass through town on the way to the legendary capital city. Look for us, they tell Pierce, if you come to Severluna. You might find a place for yourself in King Arden s court. Lured by a future far away from the bleak northern coast, Pierce makes his choice. Heloise, bereft and furious, tells her son the truth: about his father, a knight in King Arden s court; about an older brother he never knew existed; about his father s destructive love for King Arden s queen, and Heloise s decision to raise her younger son alone. As Pierce journeys to Severluna, his path twists and turns through other lives and mysteries: an inn where ancient rites are celebrated, though no one will speak of them; a legendary local chef whose delicacies leave diners slowly withering from hunger; his mysterious wife, who steals Pierce s heart; a young woman whose need to escape is even greater than Pierce s; and finally, in Severluna, King Arden’s youngest son, who is urged by strange and lovely forces to sacrifice his father s kingdom. Things are changing in that kingdom. Oldmagic is on the rise. The immensely powerful artifact of an ancient god has come to light, and the king is gathering his knights to quest for this profound mystery, which may restore the kingdom to its former glory or destroy it…”
There’s no place like home… It was a pretty good life for a spellsinger from L.A. He’d battled demons, fought deadly Plated Folk, even met a socialist dragon and survived. Now Jon-Tom was quite happy to settle into domestic bliss with the fiery Talea, study magic, and practice spellsinging on his duar. But the magic instrument is broken when Jon-Tom protects the wizard Clothahump from thieves and he must set out across the Glittergeist Sea to find the one person who can fix it. With the irrepressible Mudge the Otter as a travelling companion, only the unexpected can happen. But cannibal muskrats, ogres, and a fierce pirate king parrot must seem ordinary indeed when Jon-Tom finds a way back to Earth – and he must choose which world is home.
One morning in 1995, Jonah Ransom, clothier, is going about his everyday business when he meets a beautiful demon in his storecupboard. At around the same time, the King of England with his entire court, vanishes abruptly before the astonished eyes of his public as he prepares to attend Mass. Even in an England where the Reformation failed, and magic has become a commonplace tool of the all-powerful Catholic Church, such events could be described as unusual. Before long, it is apparent that something very different is abroad – magic ceases to work in its accustomed way, instability and political unrest threaten to disrupt a society used to order and rigid social obedience. Eventually the Pope is sufficiently perturbed to send one of his beloved (by him) and dreaded (by the public in general) Sicarii to investigate the disturbance. Arriving late on the scene, Adam (he has no other name), Sicarii extraordinaire, sometime spy, sometime security officer, sometime assassin, discovers a mystifying, malicious power at work, a power that can twist not only souls, but his entire world inside out.
In another world, somewhere in space and time, two countries – Bellogard and Chorny – are locked in perpetual war, conducted by magic. Each of the main members of the two countries’ courts – king, queen, prince, bishop, knight and squire – has their own form of magic, and special ways of moving magically. A war may continue for centuries, until one side succeeds in killing the other side’s king, at which point the whole world vanishes, only to reappear and have the cycle begin again. . . Pedino is a young Bellogardian who becomes the queen’s squire and, as part of his training, is sent into a seedier part of the city to uncover a Chornian spy. During his adventures he meets and falls in love with a whore, Sara, who turns out to be a Chornian bishop’s squire. Pedino succeeds in killing the other Chornian bishop – a remarkable achievement for a mere squire; but in the manoeuvres which follow Chorny proves to have outwitted its rival, and Pedino’s whole world is threatened with extinction. There have been many stories modelled on chess games, but none so ingenious and enjoyable as Ian Watson’s latest novel. And, as one would expect from Watson, the story of Bellogard and Chorny is only the beginning. When Pedino and Sara manage to escape the destruction of their universe, they find themselves in a series of even more bizarre worlds operating under still stranger rules, as they seek to discover the purpose of their existence, and the meaning of their universe. Queenmagic, Kingmagic is Ian Watson in sparkling, exuberant form.