The adventure continues... Ordained by an ancient goddess of mercy and light, former knight Allystaire Coldbourne has become a paladin, a hero out of legend. But evil stalks him, angry gods align against him, and greedy warlords want him dead. With the help of his friends, each blessed with extraordinary powers by the Goddess, Allystaire must escape the clutches of sorcerers and wicked rulers who will stop at nothing to destroy him as he continues his dangerous quest to bring peace and unity to the fractured and war-torn Baronies. With the Longest Night of mid-winter approaching, the Goddess weakens and armies march—armies determined to bring destruction and horror to the paladin and all who follow him. Allystaire is soon left with only his powers, his handful of friends, and his mission to be a beacon of hope, still and bright, in the encroaching darkness.
The gripping second installment of Ford's smart, swashbuckling Paladin heroic fantasy trilogy (after Ordination) raises the stakes as five determined people continue their fight to bring peace to their region by reestablishing an ancient goddess's worship in a dangerous land of warring baronies and complicit religions. Paladin Allystaire Coldbourne and his fellow Ordained have established a temple to the Goddess and a town for her new followers, but putting a stop to the endless fighting among barons will not be easy. The Goddess's final Ordained is a young sorcerer whose powers are frighteningly strong, drawing the attention of enemies. With winter moving in, an army headed their way, treachery from rival religions, and an old enemy of Allystaire's who will do anything to defeat him, the Ordained find their link to the Goddess weakening just as they need her the most. With a brisk plot, believable characters who balance wit with grit, and a complex world rife with intrigue and moral quandaries, Ford completely banishes all thoughts of middle-book sag. This is heroic fantasy far above the usual hack-and-slash, raising compelling questions about morality and belief in a tale full of excitement and high-stakes action.