An ambitious tale of magic, war, and parallel worlds that pushes the boundaries of epic fantasy—from a two-time Hugo Award winner
On the eve of a recurring catastrophic event known to extinguish nations and reshape continents, a troubled orphan evades death and slavery to uncover her own bloody past . . . while a world goes to war with itself.
In the frozen kingdom of Saiduan, invaders from another realm are decimating whole cities, leaving behind nothing but ash and ruin. At the heart of this war lie the pacifistic Dhai people, once enslaved by the Saiduan and now courted by their former masters to provide aid against the encroaching enemy.
As the dark star of the cataclysm rises, an illegitimate ruler is tasked with holding together a country fractured by civil war; a precocious young fighter is asked to betray his family to save his skin; and a half-Dhai general must choose between the eradication of her father's people or loyalty to her alien Empress. Through tense alliances and devastating betrayal, the Dhai and their allies attempt to hold against a seemingly unstoppable force as enemy nations prepare for a coming together of worlds as old as the universe itself. In the end, one world will rise—and many will perish.
Stretching from desolate tundra to steamy, semi-tropical climes seething with sentient plant life, this is an epic tale of blood mages and mercenaries, emperors and priestly assassins, who must unite to save a world on the brink of ruin.
File Under: Fantasy [ Orphaned Child | World at War | Blood Magic | The Fluidity of Gender]
Across the realms of the Dhai and beyond, people's lives are ruled by the changing stars; those whose star is ascendant gain grand powers and prosper, while those whose stars are in decline are consigned to more humble roles. When the star Oma returns to the sky after two millennia, it brings calamity, death, and the fall of civilizations. As baleful Oma rises, raiders search for forgotten knowledge, assassins strike down rulers, and entire cultures are coldly targeted for genocide in the name of realpolitik. Young Lilia, orphan of a slain blood witch, makes the disquieting discovery that the attackers and victims are reflections of each other, seen through a glass darkly. Hurley (Rapture) reuses old tropes to excellent effect, interweaving them with original elements to create a world that will fascinate and delight her established fans and appeal to newcomers. Readers will blaze through this opening installment and eagerly await the promised sequel.