Bridge of Souls

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Overview

General Wyl Thirsk of Morgravia has died many times . . .

But thanks to the miraculous gift bestowed upon him by the slain witch Myrren, Wyl lives on—though greatly altered and unrecognizable. Only by assuming Morgravia's throne will he be freed from the dark spell that has both cursed and sustained him.

But Wyl's time is running out. His beloved Queen Valentyna will soon be wed to his most hated enemy, the savage despot King Celimus—and ...

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Bridge of Souls

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Overview

General Wyl Thirsk of Morgravia has died many times . . .

But thanks to the miraculous gift bestowed upon him by the slain witch Myrren, Wyl lives on—though greatly altered and unrecognizable. Only by assuming Morgravia's throne will he be freed from the dark spell that has both cursed and sustained him.

But Wyl's time is running out. His beloved Queen Valentyna will soon be wed to his most hated enemy, the savage despot King Celimus—and despite the impending nuptials, war between their nations looms ominously, while the dire threat from the Mountain Kingdom grows stronger by the day. Trapped in a body that is not his own, Wyl must walk his most dangerous path yet—straight into the brutal clutches of his sadistic foe‚ in a last, desperate attempt to save his land, his love, his life . . . and his soul.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In McIntosh's enjoyable conclusion to her Quickening fantasy trilogy (after Myrren's Gift and Blood and Memory), Wyl Thirsk continues to bravely labor under the "gift" bestowed on him by the witch Myrren at her death, a spell that forces his spirit to inhabit the body of anyone who murders him. Wyl, though hobbled by occupying the body of his dear sister, Ylena, doggedly pursues his quest to kill Celimus, the despotic king of Morgravia, as well as to foil the marriage plans Celimus has for Queen Valentyna of Briavel. Meanwhile, Elysius, Myrren's father, has charged the boy Fynch, "so humble and yet so wise," with destroying the evil magician Rashlyn. Despite a few rough spots where common sense doesn't prevail, McIntosh has taken the notion of body snatching, given it a fresh twist and come up with a winner. (Mar.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
As Wyl Thirsk, former general of Morgravia, races against time to prevent a political and loveless marriage between Valentyna, the queen of Briavel, and Celimus, the tyrannical king of Morgravia, the mercenary Aramys plays a dangerous game as a "guest" of Cailech, the unpredictable king of The Razors. Featuring surprising plot turns and an ending that leaves room for later books, this conclusion to McIntosh's fantasy series (Myrren's Gift; Blood and Memory) has her heroes directly confronting their enemies. The author's skill at creating believable characters and her fluid storytelling style make this a good addition, along with its predecessors, to most fantasy collections. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Vibrant and engaging concluding volume of the Australian high fantasy trilogy, following Blood and Memory (2005). Former general Wyl Thirsk is the recipient of "Myrren's Gift," a magical force that allows his soul to live on after death by taking over and inhabiting another's body. Now in the body of his sister Ylena (his third body after his death), he's all but helpless to prevent his love, Queen Valentyna of Briavel, from marrying the evil tyrant King Celimus of Morgravia. Meanwhile, Wyl's friend, the mercenary Aremys Farrow, is a prisoner of Caliech, the Mountain King, but manages to win the king's trust, and attempts to broker a peace agreement between Caliech and Celimus, Aremys's former employer. Thanks to this possible accord, along with the pending marriage of Celimus and Valentyna, multiple kingdoms are headed for an age of peace the likes of which they have never seen; but Celimus cannot be trusted, and Myrren's Gift intends for Wyl to become the sovereign of Morgravia, so in order to fulfill his destiny, more blood will have to be shed. Amid a sea of bland high-fantasy novels, this is a good one, an intricately plotted tale of love and politics, set against the backdrop of a rich fantasy realm with interesting magic, and peopled with characters whom the reader grows to care about. A fast-paced and enchanting page-turner. Agent: Chris Lotts/Ralph M. Vicinanza Ltd.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780732278687
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Australia
  • Publication date: 11/24/2004
  • Pages: 640
  • Product dimensions: 7.17 (w) x 4.49 (h) x 1.65 (d)

Meet the Author

Born in 1960 and raised in southern England, Fiona McIntosh spent an early childhood in the gold-mining camp of Bibiani in Ghana, where her father was working. She studied in Brighton before starting a career in PR and marketing in London. She made Australia her home in 1980, continuing in a travel-marketing career with an ad agency, a tourism authority, and an international airline. Fiona married her magazine-publisher husband, Ian, and they now live in Adelaide with their teenage twin sons, Will and Jack.

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Read an Excerpt

Bridge of Souls

The Quickening Book Three
By Fiona McIntosh

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2006 Fiona McIntosh
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0060747609

Chapter One

The vineyard sprawled before them, the land suddenly sloping down in the distance to a small shingle beach and the channel of sea. The tang of salt in the air was invigorating and the bright day with its cloudless sky and sharp light reminded Aremys of how much he had missed the north all these years. He inhaled the air now and smiled. It felt good to be alive, despite the new and sudden complexities in his life.

With his memory now blessedly returned, Aremys felt much better equipped to accept the King's invitation to "walk the rows" of vines at Racklaryon. The mercenary learned that it was one of Cailech's great pleasures to see his vineyard bursting with new life each spring, showing the spectacular results of the savage pruning his vignerons insisted upon.

King and mercenary looked out now across the neat rows and Aremys could almost taste the wine this field would produce at summer's end. Bright green leaves, like the protective wings of a mother hen, shaded their yet-to-mature babies, bunches of fruit that hung like tiny green jewels, fattening and ripening daily as the plants sent out fresh tendrils to weave and curl their way along the special lines that supported the vines. The Mountain People had pioneered this method of support. In the south, the vines were left to themselves, to grow tall at first, stooping over when heavy with fruit. It made for a ragged, untidy vineyard but, in truth, did not affect the quality of the wine. In the north, however, vine support lines had been developed to air the fruit, as some months were humid and damp. It also looked more spectacular.

Cailech's people took pride in the ordered appearance of their vineyards. Not only were the rows straight but each vine was sung to as it was planted -- a small prayer to Haldor that each new beginning might yield life of its own. At each row's end, the Mountain People planted a flower called a trineal. It was beautiful but fragile, very susceptible to lack of water or other natural attacks. Cailech's vignerons maintained that if the trineal foundered, they would have but a few weeks to find the solution to prevent the vines from following suit. It was an ancient tradition but one still faithfully adhered to. The bright rainbow colors of the trineal bushes were an attractive feature in this, Cailech's favorite vineyard, and they stood proud, colorful, and healthy at the heads of the rows. It would be a bountiful harvest, the men murmured.

The King was rarely alone; today he was flanked by Myrt and Byl. Aremys had come to know these particular fellows well since his curious arrival in the Razors. He felt comfortable in their presence and over the past few days had started to view them as companions as much as captors. Nevertheless, he had chosen not to reveal that his memory was fully restored. It suited him that these Mountain Dwellers knew only as much as he was prepared to share, until he could learn more about their intentions for him.

The small company had ridden to the vineyard beyond the lake and Aremys was sorry to see that the King had not chosen to bring the intriguing black horse that had caused him such fright on their previous ride. He mentioned his disappointment to Cailech.

"Ah yes, Galapek," the King replied softly, and Aremys felt the weight of the green gaze upon him. "I had the impression that he disturbed you somehow the last time we rode together."

It was said without accusation but Aremys felt the scrutiny couched within. Wyl Thirsk's warning burned in his mind: Only a fool took any comment by Cailech at face value. Everything he says has a purpose, Wyl had impressed upon Aremys during their journey together from Felrawthy. He misses nothing.

The mercenary thought back to the moment of disturbance the King spoke of. It had occurred only a few days ago. Aremys had initially admired the King's mount but, on casually touching the horse's strong neck, had felt a blast of dark, tainted magic surge through his hands. It had been an intense shock for Aremys -- not only that the creature was alive with magic, but also that he could sense it -- and he had jerked back in distress. Worse, he had been unable to regain his composure and had been forced to excuse himself from the party of riders. The entire scene had been embarrassing to Aremys, but, more important, no doubt had also appeared suspicious to his keepers at a time when he was striving to convince them that he was not a Morgravian spy or a threat to any of the Mountain Dwellers.

The only positive outcome was that the shock seemed to have caused his amnesia to dissipate and he had been able to piece together what he was doing in the Razors. He remembered following Wyl Thirsk, who now walked in the guise of his sister, Ylena, courtesy of the powerful gift, the Quickening. Together they had entered the mysterious region in the far northeast known as the Thicket. Aremys recalled Wyl asking him to whistle so they would not lose each other among the tangle of this dense landmark. He had obliged, could even remember the tune he had chosen, but then all had gone black and he had woken, disoriented and without his memory, on the frozen rocks of the northern mountain range. Cailech's men had discovered him there, and aided by his genuine confusion, he had managed to muddle his way through those early and dangerous stages. He felt convinced now that he had carefully won not only the trust of the Mountain warriors but that of their king as well. Wyl had warned Aremys that the Mountain King was changeable, capricious even, and had recounted the terrible night of the feast when Cailech had threatened to roast alive the Morgravian prisoners . . .

Continues...


Excerpted from Bridge of Souls by Fiona McIntosh Copyright © 2006 by Fiona McIntosh. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 9 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 10 of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 8, 2007

    Life and Times of Wyl Thirsk...

    Simply outstanding. I could never put it down. Being deployed overseas, its hard to find a good read. The character development was simply amazing, I found myself drawn into each character, Fiona can embue so much detail in just a few words. The book continously surpises you at every turn.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2006

    One of the Best!!

    I have been reading fantasy for over 40 years and this series is among my top 10 of all time. Rarely do you find an author that appears to have it all and Fiona McIntosh appears to be one of the few. A true word smith with great chatacterization and description without being too lengthy in the process. I was moved from tears of sorrow to almost uncontrollable anger too tears of joy and back again with such care and fluidity, that I literaly could not put these books down. Do yourself a huge favor and wrap your eyes around these jeweles and you will never, ever regret it.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    fabulous epic fantasy

    Though he wishes he could go back to before when he was a general in the Morgravian army, Wyl Thirsk courageously continues to live with his ¿gift¿ of life granted to him by the now late Myrren the witch. Myrren¿s ¿gift¿ is a spell that propels his spirit to occupy the body of anyone who murders him. --- Currently Wyl resides in the body of his sister Ylena while he continues his quest to kill King Celimus of Morgravia with a secondary objective to thwart the monarch¿s intention to marry Queen Valentyna of neighboring Briavel. Meanwhile Myrren¿s late father Elysius before turning to dust ¿assigned¿ young Fynch ¿mentored¿ by Knave the dog to annihilate the malevolent magician Rashlyn. These two quests will soon link up leaving a depressed Wyl and unconfident Fynch in mortal danger from two evil abominations, but failure leaves their countrymen at risk. --- BRIDGE OF SOULS, the final bodysnatching tale in the Quickening trilogy (see MYRREN'S GIFT and BLOOD AND MEMORY) is a fabulous epic fantasy that grips fans of Fiona McIntosh from the moment the boy magician Fynch and Knave communicate. The story line never slows until the final confrontation between good and evil. Though it is better to have read the previous tales to understand how things progressed to the bridge of no return, epic fantasy readers will appreciate the action-packed climax as Wyl tries to save the people of his nation and those of the neighboring country as well as the woman he loves in a desperate final gamut. --- Harriet Klausner

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