The Witch Queen strikes!
Minalan the Spellmonger has a problem: Mycin Amana, the undead consort of Korbal the Necromancer, is not only occupying one of the largest castles in the kingdom; she’s also occupying the recently-dead body of his former lover, rapist, and mother of his children, Isily of Greenflower.
As the crises in the heart of the kingdom grows, Minalan is tasked to force the so-called Witch Queen of Darkfaller from her new stronghold using any means necessary. Unfortunately, the castle belongs to his rival in the royal court and future monarch Prince Tavard, whose ideas about how to do this are archaic and doomed to failure.
Mycin Amana is a master sorceress who is more than 4,000 years old; Prince Tavard is an entirely mundane and completely self-absorbed knight in his 20s. If Darkfaller is to be retaken, Minalan knows he will have to use the cacophony of ancient memories inside his head to do it.
Alas, those memories are driving him mad as they daily impede his progress as much as they advance it. His bouts of depression, obsession, anxiety, and rage are only getting worse as he plans a daring raid to rescue the hundreds of magi that Mycin Amana plans to turn into an army of undead Nemovorti.
Even as he is producing incredible wonders from his workshop at breakneck speed, whispers flow across the kingdom about his sanity to the point where Minalan is now referred to as the Mad Mage of Sevendor. His best friends begin to conspire to murder him. His allies question his judgement. And his foes close in as they sense his weakness.
But Minalan’s challenge is clear: become the greatest wizard in history, or not only see his war against Darkfaller fail, but leave his entire world to certain doom. Threading the needle between catastrophe and salvation has never been more difficult or cost so much.
Yet as King Rard promotes him to Marshal Arcane—the official responsible for facing the magical threats to the kingdom—Minalan is forced to balance his temporal powers with his thaumaturgical ones and navigate the violent shoals of insanity.
But can he do that without losing the confidence of his friends and the trust of his allies? The hope of his people? The goodwill of the enormously powerful Sea Folk? A new title and position is helpful, but it will take courage and daring to see Minalan the Spellmonger become the Marshal Arcane!