The City of Qushmarrah is uneasy under the rule of the Herodians —short, balding men whose armies would never have conquered the city had not the great and evil wizard Narkar been killed and sealed in his citadel; had not the savage nomad Datars turned coat and sided with the invaders; had not some traitor opened the fortress to them.
Not many would welcome the return of the old religion, the bloody return of wizardry... but there are some patriots who would accept the return of the devil they know, if it meant the return of independence.
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Cook, author of military science fiction paperbacks, makes his hardcover debut here. The Tower of Fear is the last temple of Gorloch, the ancient and bloodthirsty god of the city of Qushmarrah, now supplanted by a gentler god, Aram. Gorloch's high priest, the wizard Nakar, was killed by the wizard Ala-eh-din Beyh, an ally of the invading Herodians. Nakar's wife, ``the Witch,'' froze the two combatants at the moment the fatal blow was struck. Now, after six years of Herodian occupation, an uneasy peace has returned to Qushmarrah, but the threat of Nakar's resurrection hangs over the city as his wife searches for his soul. The story seethes with the conflicts and intrigues within and between the occupying Herodians, their desert allies the Dartars, and Qushmarrah's organized resistance, ``the Living.'' Adding to his sword-and-sorcery adventure a touch of The Arabian Nights , Cook adroitly weaves a complex tale, tying all its threads in a satisfying resolution.