The dazzling epic of The Banned and the Banished has established James Clemens as an exciting new voice in fantasy fiction. Now his remarkable skills reach their peak with Wit’ch Gate, as one girl remains her realm’s only hope against the forces of darkness . . .
In a spectacular feat of daring and magic, Elena and her army of outlaws and rebels have defeated evil’s minions and released the mystic secrets of the Blood Diary. But the malevolent Dark Lord has unleashed the Weirgates–black wells of ferocious energy that are his greatest source of power. Now Elena’s bravest allies are sent to find and destroy the Gates, as windships carry the fight north to the frigid woodlands, south to the burning desert sands, and east to the blasted regions of dread Gul’gotha.
Along the way, they will face their own personal demons as well. The twin brothers Mogweed and Fardale race against time to break the curse that has stolen their shapechanging birthright, and Elena’s brother Joach must evade the desert sandsharks if he is to master his own elemental power. The trail will lead them even to the fabulous el’vin homeland of Stormhaven. None of the rebels will come back unscathed, some never returning at all . . .
And Elena herself must journey to Gulgotha. Daring the enemy’s own lair, she must emerge victorious if she is to reveal the secret of the Dark Lord’s frightening identity–and the shocking nature of his vast powers.
D'warves, el'ves, og'res as well as various un-apostrophized mythical beasts populate this strangely compelling fourth installment in Clemens's saga (Wit'ch War, etc.). The overseer of this menagerie is Elena, a wit'ch with the gift of wit'chfire and coldfire, a type of magick that's accessed by bloodletting. Elena and her cohorts must eradicate an evil blight brought on by the Dark Lord and his minions, finding the weirgates that are sucking elemental magick from the land. The Dark Lord has been temporarily pushed back, but the four weirgates in the shape of a basilisk, a manticore, a wyvern and a griffin must be destroyed in order for our heroes to continue their fight against the forces of darkness. Elena's companions break into three groups, each journeying in a different cardinal direction to take on an individual weirgate (yes, only three directions the fourth is where the Dark Lord lives and they can't tackle him yet). Each group possesses some form of elemental magick with which to surmount hazards. The book runs true to often predictable fantasy series form (one group receives help from a Gollum-like creature straight out of Tolkien), but the author supplies enough plot twists to keep the reader guessing what will happen next. Clemens fans will be left eager for the sequel. FYI:Under the name James Rollins, Clemens has published the novelsSubterranean,Excavation andDeep Fathom.