Beyond Ragnarok (Renshai Chronicles Series #1)

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Overview

They've survived the end of their universe....

But now, nearly three hundred years after the time of Ragnarok—the death battle of the gods—humankind faces a new and potentially fatal trial. The balance between Law and Chaos has long been maintained by the rulers of Bearn, but with the current king dying, a new keeper of neutrality must be found among his heirs. And with an unknown enemy bent on destroying all who stand in line to the throne, King Kohleran has no choice but to ...

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Overview

They've survived the end of their universe....

But now, nearly three hundred years after the time of Ragnarok—the death battle of the gods—humankind faces a new and potentially fatal trial. The balance between Law and Chaos has long been maintained by the rulers of Bearn, but with the current king dying, a new keeper of neutrality must be found among his heirs. And with an unknown enemy bent on destroying all who stand in line to the throne, King Kohleran has no choice but to decree that anyone with a claim to the crown must take the Test of the Staves.

What the testing reveals, however, is the need to carry the search beyond Bearn. But all the king's envoys disappear without a trace, and deciding that desperate times call for desperate actions, a small band forms in secret to seek out the last possible heir. But can the king's granddaughter, a knight in training, an appretice bard, a young and untested Renshai warrior, and thief who may as easily prove their betrayer as their friend survive the perils of the wild, and enemies equipped with magical powers in a world long bereft of spell casters? And if any of them actually reach their goal, can they bring the one remaining untested heir back to Bearn alive?

It is an age when the elves who survived Ragnarok are determined to claim revenge on humankind. It is also a crucial moment in the world of men, because the Bearnian king is slowly dying, and unless an heir who follows neutrality can be found, the balance between Law and Chaos may be dangerously disrupted.

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Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Bonnie Kunzel
This first volume of The Renshai Chronicles is 676 pages long, just perfect for fantasy quest fans to lose themselves in. A continuation of the author's The Last of the Renshai trilogy (last volume Child of Thunder, DAW, 1993/VOYAAugust 1993), this is nevertheless a work that can be read and enjoyed on its own, since the author provides the necessary background in an extensive prologue. Basically, The Last of the Renshai tackles Norse mythology, showing the gods and goddesses in their headlong plunge toward Ragnarok, the final clash between Law and Chaos. Humanity is saved from destruction when Colbey Calistinsson, the Son of Thor and the last true survivor of the warrior race known as the Renshai, stands up to the god and manages to turn the tide of battle so that mankind and a few elves survive. When Beyond Ragnarok opens, three hundred years have passed and the Renshai descendants of Colbey are faced with a serious problem. Magic is loose in the land again, and the balance between Law and Chaos, long protected by the rulers of Bearn, is in danger. The King of Bearn is dying, and the Prime Minister urges early testing of his heirs, so that the next ruler can assume the throne immediately. Unfortunately, the Test of Staves reveals that not a single heir is worthy. However, one remains untested, a grandson of the king. His father, the king's youngest son, had been banished from the kingdom years ago and is now dead. But Giff is alive and could be the rightful heir. Yet he has no knowledge of his royal birth, and the messengers sent to bring him back to Bearn are being attacked and killed by the forces of dark magic. Hence the quest. The participants are the King's favorite granddaughter; her life-long companion, who also is the son of the Royal Bard; the young female Renshai warrior assigned to protect the princess; a Knight-in-Training; and a young thief who overhears their plans and makes himself a part of the search. The result is a delightful fantasy, featuring sympathetic characters, magical battles galore, edge-of-seat suspense, and truly impressive world building. Complex, intricate, by turns challenging and rewarding, this is ultimately quite a satisfying fantasy reading experience. Cover art by Jody A. Lee is striking and should attract readers, who will find that the book delivers what it promises. VOYA Codes: 4Q 3P S (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses, Will appeal with pushing, Senior High-defined as grades 10 to 12).
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780886777012
  • Publisher: DAW
  • Publication date: 7/28/1996
  • Series: Renshai Chronicles Series , #1
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 744
  • Sales rank: 836,415
  • Age range: 18 years
  • Product dimensions: 4.22 (w) x 6.86 (h) x 1.66 (d)

Meet the Author

Mickey Zucker Reichert is a pediatrician, parent, animal lover, and author of twenty-some novels including Renshai, Nightfall, Barakhai, and Bifrost series, one illustrated novella, and fifty-plus short stories. She can be found at mickeyzuckerreichert.com.

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