Lord John Aversin—with the help of his mageborn wife, Jenny Waynest—has fought and defeated two dragons, earning the title of Dragonsbane. But there are creatures more terrifying than dragons. Demonspawn from a dark dimension have learned to drink the magic—and the souls—of mages and dragons alike, turning their victims into empty vessels. And now they've stolen John and Jenny's mageborn son, twelve-year-old Ian.
In desperation, John seeks the help of the eldest and strongest dragon: Morkeleb the Black. But the demons have allies, too: a vast army poised to plunge the Realm into civil war. In the coming struggle, Morkeleb will sacrifice what he values most. Jenny will question everything she trusts and believes in. And John will embark on a perilous quest for the only things capable of defeating such powerful demons—even more powerful demons . . .
Relying more on strongly delineated, complex characters than on outlandish wizardry or heroism, this first-rate high fantasy is the follow up to Dragonsbane (1987), one of the prolific and protean Hambly's (Fever Season, etc.) earliest novels. Mageborn Jenny Waynest returns, along with her husband, Lord John Aversin, who long ago earned the title "Dragonsbane" for defeating two dragons. Now the couple must save the Winterlands from the menace of yet another dragon--but the real threat turns out to be worse. Demons from another plane of existence, who prey on the magic and souls of both wizards and dragons, take Jenny and John's mageborn son, 12-year-old Ian, captive. John must turn for help to the powerful Morkeleb, a dragon who loved Jenny and once gave her a dragon's body, magic and immortality--though he later returned her to mortal form when she chose to be with John. All three suffer and sacrifice as they make dark bargains to defeat their formidable foes. With its resourceful, 45-year-old heroine who must make difficult choices, face both emotional and demonic challenges and deal with the pain of her past, Hambly's novel should appeal to mature readers who seek more than flashing swords and simple sorcery. Elegant, intelligent and entertaining, this novel excels as a sequel but readers new to the story won't miss a beat.