Set in an alternate Europe where bloody conflicts rage, the first book of the Crown of Stars epic fantasy series chronicles a world-shaking conflict for the survival of humanity
It begins with civil war....
For though King Henry still holds the crown of Wendar, his reign has long been contested by his sister Sabella. There are many eager to flock to her banner, and there are ways to make even the most unwilling lord into a weapon pointed at the heart of Henry’s realm.
Torn by internal strife, Wendar also faces deadly raids from the north by an inhuman race, the Eika. And now terrifying portents are being seen; old ruins restored to life under the light of the full moon and peopled by the long-vanished Lost Ones; dark spirits walking the land in broad daylight.
And suddenly two innocents are about to be thrust into the middle of the conflict.
Liath, who has spent her early years fleeing from unknown enemies, is a young woman with the power to change the course of history if she can only learn to master her fear and seize what is rightfully hers.
While Alain, a young man who may find his future in a vision granted by the Lady of Battles, must first unravel the mystery of who he is—whether the bastard son of a noble father, the half-breed child of an elfin lord, the unwanted get of a whore, or the heir to a proud and ancient lineage. For only when he discovers the truth can he accept the destiny for which he was born.
Liath and Alain, each trapped in a personal struggle for survival, both helplessly being drawn into a far greater battle, a war in which sorcery not swords will determine the final outcome, and the land itself may be irrevocably reshaped by the forces unleashed....
Hard on the heels of her intriguing collaboration with Melanie Rawn and Jennifer Roberson, The Golden Key (Forecasts, Aug. 19), comes the first volume of Elliott's new high fantasy trilogy--and it proves an entirely captivating affair. Elliott works staple fantasy elements of battle, quest and loss into a resounding narrative revolving around three appealing protagonists. Alain is an adopted youth of unknown parentage, gentle with men and beasts, now intended for the monastery. He experiences a vision from the Lady of Battles, drawing him into the civil war between Wendar's King Henry and the king's sister Sabella, who claims the throne. Meanwhile, Liath is left an orphan incapable of realizing her considerable magical powers when the Aoi, enigmatic beings from a shadowy Otherworld, murder her father. She must escape from her eerily magnetic but sadistic human captor to join King Henry's messenger Eagles, witnessing savage battles against the nonhuman Eika fearfully ravaging Wendar's northern coasts. Dominating the novel, though, is a shining hero to haunt one's dreams--Sanglant, captain of the Dragons, Henry's elite heavy cavalry, and Henry's son by an Aoi woman who stole the king's heart when she vanished from human sight. Elliott models her world from a thorough understanding of medieval European history, leavened with imaginative twists of perspective, such as a monolithic church that recognizes a Lady as well as a Lord of Creation and is dominated by a female hierarchy. She skews language, too, just enough to make it both satisfyingly familiar and tangily other--an indispensable technique in conjuring convincing fictional worlds that never were, but that we, whether young or young in heart, wish could be.
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A Fantasy Europe I did Not Expect
This is a tapestry of historical and fantasy threads with which I am comfortably familiar made exciting and delightful by new colors and textures from both our world and elsewhere.
The writing is well paced and well formed, the characters engaging in both their human and alien aspects.
This first volume is burdened with the introduction of the huge cast and setting of the series, as well as the predominance of very young characters learning very harsh truths.
What never ceases is the sense that this is a world worth our time visiting it, characters worth knowing more of and ideas worth considering.
They should totally make it a movie.
A VERY good read!