Roger has faced down Queens, barbarians, dangerous ghostly dogs and even armies. There is one challenge left: to stand against the mysterious Soulviners and their dangerous plans to dominate the Land of the Dead. His friends held captive, his true powers still undiscovered, it’s possible only the legendary bright and terrible sword can save them now …A fast-paced, character- and story-driven tale, this tale is packed with action, emotion and danger.
Whether it’s a curse or a blessing the fact remains: whenever Roger is in enough pain he can cross over to the Land of the Dead and speak to the people there. It’s an unexpected gift – and one that, throughout Roger’s life, has been taken advantage of; by his violent uncle, by the mysterious, malign Soulviners performing their dark magic on Soulvine Moor, and even by a Queen, fighting for her queendom with every possible weapon she can find. But not anymore. The dangerous life of Queen’s Fool is behind him, young Princess Stephanie sits on the throne, and Roger is living a life of his choosing. He, Maggie and Jee have a small, out of the way, increasingly prosperous inn, supported by their hard work. It’s a simple, industrious life …and it’s about to be destroyed. The war is not over. The savage invaders are back. And they’re looking for the boy who killed their leader. They’re looking for Roger.
Roger Kilbourne has the ability to “cross over” into the land of the dead and speak with its residents. It is a startling gift, and not a pleasant one. Roger manages to escape his brutal uncle, who has exploited his talents for years; after he gets a job in the palace laundry, he thinks he will be safe. Instead, there are worse dangers. First, he falls hopelessly in love with the bewitching, willful Lady Cecilia; next, he is pulled into the midst of life-threatening court intrigue. Soon Roger is using his gift as a way to get the life he dreams of-even if it means bringing the dead back to the land of the living.
Fia, the Storygiver, had come to the backward kingdom of Veliano to practice her special art. In the mist that swirled between her hands, her mind formed tiny figures to act out simple folk tales for the entertainment of the lords and ladies. But in the court of King Rofdal and his third Queen, Leonore, the story forming in the mist became a tale of twisted passion and shocking betrayal… for waiting in Veliano was the man Fia both loved and feared. Waiting was a web of intrigue to trap her in a struggle for ultimate power – a magic linked to the dark legend of the White Pipes… the secret instrument of Fia’s fate, and the fate of all she held dear. Purchase at Amazon
A haunting green island. A stand of trees known as the Golden Grove. In the moonlit darkness, the webs gleam faintly, stirring in the warm night breeze. Arachne and the women sit at their looms around the Grove, weaving tapestries from the silk of the golden spiders, tapestries of life and time, clarity and light, the pattern of their world…
Long out of print, this novel by one of the major voices in contemporary science fiction and fantasy will enthrall you, charm you, and make you care deeply about two of the most engaging characters you’re ever likely to meet between the two covers of a book.
Smile a lot, yes, and then weep a little, and hold your breath, and wonder at the wisdom and the whimsy of it …depending on how much you bring to it, the book is metaphor, it is fable; it makes a statement, has a moral, looks back at you, from time to time, like a mirror.’ — Theodore Sturgeon, TWILIGHT ZONE
‘A lively and entertaining fairy tale.’–PUBLISHER’S WEEKLY’The bittersweet climax not only surprised me, it choked me up a little.’–Peter Stampfel, THE VILLAGE VOICE
‘Anyone who has ever doubted the psychological link between fantasy and life will be quickly corrected by this insightful and highly recommended novel.’–Roger C. Schlobin, FANTASY NEWSLETTER
‘A depth and freshness of observation that is uncommonly astute and poignant.’–Anne McCaffrey’Nancy Kress has the true storyteller’s Gift–the ability to make her characters and what happens to them so vital that the reader’s heart aches.’–Stephen R. Donaldson
‘Sprightly and moving.’--John Clute, THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF FANTASY