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The Chaos Crystal (Tide Lords Series #4)

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Overview

The magical Tide has turned and the Immortal Lords once again have their full power. The Immortal Lord Cayal welcomes this power as a means to an end--his end, preferably.  Cayal has wanted to cease his existence for longer than human history and it looks like he might finally get his wish.  Rumors swirl that the Chaos Crystal, the mysterious prism that brought the Immortals to the world, has been found. Cayal is determined to seize the gem.

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The Chaos Crystal (Tide Lords Series #4)

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Overview

The magical Tide has turned and the Immortal Lords once again have their full power. The Immortal Lord Cayal welcomes this power as a means to an end--his end, preferably.  Cayal has wanted to cease his existence for longer than human history and it looks like he might finally get his wish.  Rumors swirl that the Chaos Crystal, the mysterious prism that brought the Immortals to the world, has been found. Cayal is determined to seize the gem.

Among those who search for this long-lost object is Cayal’s former lover, the very mortal Lady Arkady.  She’s been captured by Jaxyn, a Tide Lord who is decidedly against Cayal and is seeking the Crystal for his own nefarious schemes. Arkady escapes, and is off on her desperate search…for if the gem falls into the hands of the Immortals, what will become of humanity?

The stakes are high, with mortal and immortal fighting to grasp this ultimate prize. Whoever holds the Crystal can decide the fate of the world. 

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In the previous three Tide Lords novels, protagonist Arkady Desean has sold herself into a loveless marriage in an attempt to save her father, fallen in love with the immortal prince Cayal only to find out that he's shallow and selfish, been sold into slavery, and escaped. This grim concluding volume puts Arkady in yet more peril but never manages to be as emotionally gripping as the previous installments. The immortal Tide Lords, most of whom are either bored or self-serving to the point of caricature, are once more engaged in their petty power struggles. It's left to Arkady and resistance leader Declan Hawkes to keep the world from ending up as collateral damage. An abrupt and brutal ending will shock even those fans who love Fallon's work for its unstinting darkness and cynicism. (May)
From the Publisher

“Will keep you turning pages to the end, leaving you wanting more when you reach the final page.”—RT Book Reviews (4 stars) on The Gods of Amyrnatha

“Strong characters and well-crafted storytelling make this an excellent choice for fantasy fans.”—Library Journal on The Gods of Amyrnatha

“With snappy dialogue and deft characterizations, Fallon neatly pulls the story threads together into a multihued tapestry of myth, deceit and ambition. “—Publishers Weekly  on The Immortal Prince

Library Journal
With the return of the magical Tide, the immortal Tide Lords find their powers peaking and their rivalries reaching a flash point. Rumors abound that the Chaos Crystal, an artifact brought to the world of Amyrantha by the Tide Lords when they first arrived millennia ago, has been found—and, with it, the ability to grant the quarreling lords their every wish. While one lord wishes to bring about his own death, another wants to restore the woman he has loved for centuries. But the use of the Crystal, which can open a rift to another world, may mean the destruction of Amyrantha. The conclusion of Fallon's four-volume saga (The Immortal Prince; The Gods of Amyrantha; The Palace of Impossible Dreams) resolves the various story lines in a surprising and unexpected way, leaving few loose ends and a high body count. VERDICT Series followers and fans of the author should enjoy this grand finale.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780765316851
  • Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates
  • Publication date: 5/10/2011
  • Series: Tide Lords Series , #4
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 480
  • Product dimensions: 6.50 (w) x 9.40 (h) x 1.60 (d)

Meet the Author

The Chaos Crystal is the fourth and final title in Jennifer Fallon’s mesmerizing fantasy epic about the deadly squabbles between the Immortals whose power waxes and wanes on the Tides. She is the award-winning author of The Hythrun Chronicles, and one of Australia's bestselling fantasy authors.
 

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1
 
It seemed incomprehensible to Arkady that her father was still alive. Even more incomprehensible that Stellan had known about it all this time; that he’d lied to her so blatantly and so shamelessly.
She didn’t believe it at first. It took hours after they threw her into the freezing cell in the tower of Lebec Prison before she would approach the bars dividing her cell from her father’s in order to confirm the impossible truth. And when she was finally able to bring herself to confront him, she discovered she wasn’t happy or relieved to see her father. She was angry. Blindingly, unreasonably angry.
How dare her father do this to her? How dare he let her believe all this time that he was dead? Arkady had grieved for her father. She had shed a river of tears for his loss. And all this time he was here, right under her nose, sitting in Lebec Prison. Kept here, not because of his crimes, but his misguided sense of nobility.
All he’d had to do was say nothing. His pardon was signed, sealed and only needed to be delivered. All Bary Morel had to do to save his own life was stand back and let his daughter marry a man who promised to give her wealth, a title and everything she could ever ask for. That her husband’s fall from grace had brought her to this pass wasn’t the point. That Stellan’s troubles with the new king had taken her down with him, was unimportant. What gnawed at Arkady’s gut was the stupidity of it. Her father’s noble, and utterly futile, sacrifice. And her husband’s mercilessness and willing complicity in the deception.
And then there was Declan Hawkes. Had he known of this and lied to her, too? Could the Duke of Lebec keep a prisoner confined for more than seven years without due process and the King’s Spymaster know nothing about it?
Arkady couldn’t believe Declan was a willing party to this. But then, she’d never have thought Stellan so ruthless, either. Or her father so stubborn.
“Are you planning to stay mad at me forever?”
Arkady glanced up from her bunk, shivering against the cold, her knees drawn up under her chin. “Yes.”
“You must understand, Arkady…”
“Understand what?” she said. “That you’d rather have me think you dead? That your noble refusal to accept the opportunity to be free and well cared for, in perpetuity, not to mention a ducal pardon for your crimes, was for my own good?”
Her father was standing at the bars, holding them as if touching them somehow brought them closer together. He looked old now, in a way he’d never appeared in the past. His stubbled head was grey, his skin pallid and wrinkled.
“It was for your own good, my darling. Can’t you see that? I would not have my own daughter sell herself to save me…” His voice faltered uncertainly.
“Again?” she finished for him. “Is that what you were going to say?”
He sighed. Arkady knew now that her father had learned about her deal with Fillion Rybank not long after his arrest. And he’d never said anything to her about it. Not a word; not in all the times she’d visited him in gaol. Not a single “are you all right?” Not a word about her courage, however misguided. Not even a thank-you for trying to save him.
Nobody else had been prepared to help him. Not his friends, not his colleagues, not the hundreds of people who owed him their lives, not even the Crasii slaves he’d been trying to help—the very reason for his arrest. Despite her anger, Arkady didn’t really blame the Crasii. They had their own problems. The magically blended, half-animal, half-human creatures created by the Tide Lords didn’t have time to be concerned by human troubles. The Tide was on the rise and they had no thought but pleasing their immortal masters, whom they were magically compelled to obey.
Her efforts to save her father from incarceration for six years by sleeping with the only man who could bear witness to his crimes was his failure as a parent. It had nothing, apparently, to do with Arkady.
Tides, but men are selfish creatures.
“Arkady, what that man did to you—”
“Turned out to be a complete waste of time,” she said, refusing to look at him. “Did that ever occur to you, Papa dear, while you were sitting here in your lonely cell, rotting with quiet pride at the nobility of your sacrifice? Did you not, even for a moment, wonder that I might think I’d thrown my childhood away for no good reason, because in the end, nothing I’d done could save you?”
He shook his head, as if he was denying her right to feel that way. “I was the parent, Arkady. Your father. It was my job to save you. And I failed.”
“So you decided a little penance was in order?”
His eyes misted with unshed tears. “I am sick with what you endured to protect me. Surely you can understand that when I heard of the deal you’d brokered with Desean, I couldn’t stand by and let you make the same mistake all over again?”
She spared him an irritated glance. “You could have accepted Stellan’s pardon and informed me of your disapproval in person, you know. Did that ever occur to you?”
Her father was silent for a time. Finally he said, “It sounds silly now, but to be honest, Arkady, I never thought he’d carry out the threat. Not really. I mean, even when they moved me to the cells on the lower levels, I thought the duke was just trying to frighten me into compliance. I couldn’t believe it when you stopped coming to visit me. Or when I heard of the wedding. The Stellan Desean I remembered as a boy didn’t seem the type to champion injustice to further his own interests.”
“You met him a handful of times, Papa. How could you possibly think you knew Stellan well enough to call his bluff?”
“You thought you knew him well enough to accept his proposal.”
She turned her gaze from him, wishing she could explain her reasons but knowing she was too angry to try. “Stellan gave me exactly what he promised, Papa. It was you who refused his offer.”
“It’s thanks to that man we’re both here,” he pointed out, angered by her intransigence. “How can you defend him?”
Arkady couldn’t answer that question, because her father was right. Stellan’s part in this miserable affair had been just as unconscionable as her father’s. But somehow she found it easier to forgive her husband than her father. She understood what it felt like to do whatever you must to survive, and really, that’s all Stellan had done. There would have been no other path left to him when he delivered his ultimatum to her father. By the time her father refused his pardon, Stellan had already been to the king and argued forcefully for permission to wed the common-born woman with whom he was supposedly in love. There was no backing down without causing a scandal of monumental proportions.
Stellan probably hadn’t wanted to confine her father, Arkady thought, knowing him as she did. It was just that by the time Bary Morel took it into his head to defend his daughter’s honour by refusing to stay silent, they were long past the point of no return. Stellan had his flaws, but indecisiveness wasn’t one of them.
“I’m sorry, Arkady,” her father said, pushing off the bars. “I thought I was doing the right thing. I thought you were in love with the Hawkes boy and that’s who you wanted to marry.”
Arkady smiled sourly. “You used to tell me Declan was a troublemaker who would come to no good. I distinctly remember you telling me I should stay away from him.”
“He made something of himself in the end,” her father conceded. “He had a responsible job. Did very well for himself in the king’s service, I hear.”
Ah, Papa, if only you knew what Declan has become.
“So you’re telling me you would rather I married a penniless troublemaker than a wealthy duke?”
“If you were in love with the penniless troublemaker, then yes.”
“Well, haven’t you mellowed with old age?” She didn’t mean to sound so bitter, but it was hard not to.
“I’m sorry.”
“For what?”
“About Declan. I grieved for the lad when I heard he died in that fire in Herino a few months back.”
Arkady turned her head to look at her father, as it dawned on her how little he knew of what she’d been doing this past year. How little he knew about her at all, really. When she thought about it, her father hadn’t known what she was up to since she was fourteen. He had some idealised notion of her in his head. In his world, he worried Declan might lead her astray; that she was simply a victim of a series of men wanting to take advantage of her. He had no idea how strong she was, how every hard-fought battle had toughened her spirit until little could faze her. He knew nothing of the immortals. His problems seemed so immense to him, his perspective narrowed by the confines of his cell.
Who cared about whether or not she married well when the world might be coming to an end?
Arkady pushed off the pallet and climbed to her feet. It was time to start filling her father in on the state of the world.
“Declan’s not dead, Papa,” she said, approaching the bars.
He smiled at her sadly. “I know you’d like to believe that, darling, but—”
“But, nothing,” she cut in. “I know he’s not dead because I’ve seen him. Tides, Papa, I’ve slept with him. When I was in Senestra. Right after I got through being a concubine slave for a very nice young physician who turned out to be a callous murderer.”
“Arkady…”
“You think while you sat in here, nursing your wounded pride, feeling guilty about what was done to me, that life came to a grinding halt? There’s a whole world out there you know nothing about, Papa. The Tide is on the rise; the immortals are trying to take over the world. A couple of them are trying to take the Glaeban throne. There’s a few more lining up to take over Caelum. Torlenia will be in the hands of a Tide Lord before the year is out. One of them wants to kill himself and doesn’t care who he takes with him in the process. Oh, and it turns out Declan is one of them too.”
She could see her father drawing back at her harsh tone, but she didn’t care. She was done with his self-pitying depression. “So, who would you rather I married, in hindsight? The duke who made me rich and comfortable for a while, but whose downfall saw me sold into slavery as a whore? Or the troublemaker who, last I heard, was headed to Jelidia to meet up with the rest of his immortal brethren—where they’ve just released a madman from confinement so they can find a way to kill the Immortal Prince. All of which doesn’t augur well for the rest of us, because I suspect nothing short of breaking the world in half is going to put an end to him.”
Bary Morel stared at her in shock. “You’re not making any sense, Arkady.”
“Unfortunately, I’m making a lot more sense than I’d like,” she replied. “And if you want to do something useful, instead of sitting there begging me to forgive you for being such a terrible father, why don’t you help me figure out a way out of here?”
Bary shook his head. “There is no way out of here, Arkady.”
“Not if you think like that, there isn’t,” she agreed.
“They will leave us here to rot,” he said. “I know that for certain.”
Arkady had learned the hard way that nothing was certain. “I don’t think so, Papa. They’ll come for us, sooner or later.”
“They?”
“Perhaps I should have said he’ll come for us, sooner or later. That’s why you’re here, you see. He’s planning to use you to get at me.”
Her father shook his head in confusion. “Who are you talking about?”
“The new Duke of Lebec, Papa,” Arkady said, glancing toward the entrance to the chilly tower cells, as if by naming him, she might be calling him here. Thankfully, the door remained closed, as it did every day unless it was time for their meals to be delivered. “Stellan’s former lover and the man responsible for the death of the King of Glaeba. The immortal Tide Lord, Jaxyn Aranville.”

 
Copyright © 2008 by Jennifer Fallon

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 23 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(9)

4 Star

(8)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(1)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 23 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2014

    Highly Recommend

    Actually had some twists at the end that I enjoyed. Liked the concepts being explored in the series. Would have liked more development of Arkady at end. Overall a very enjoyable book and series.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 27, 2012

    Good series; mediocre ending

    I enjoyed reading the series but the last few chapters did not feel like they belonged in this book. The ending was anticlimatic and unsatisfying. I still gave it four stars due to the overall enjoyment of the series.

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  • Posted July 13, 2012

    Recommend

    Overall the book was good in continuing the storyline. The ending was a let down because it leaves the reader hanging as to what happens next when this is supposed to be the end of the series. It would be nice if the author either comes out with another book or writes a short story to let the readers know what happens

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  • Posted July 13, 2012

    I was a little disappointed in the ending. I loved this series.

    I was a little disappointed in the ending. I loved this series. This started out great but had a strange ending that was not fulfilling. Still would recommend the series and even this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 14, 2012

    Amazing Read!!

    A great end to an epic tale. It keeps you on your toes the entire book. Even tho the last in the series it still keeps a slight opening for another book. I, at least, hope she does write a fith to the series.

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  • Posted April 9, 2012

    A muddled ending to the series

    This book started off with fairly good writing, but seemed to peter out about two-thirds of the way through. No spoilers in this review, but it did leave a feeling of Deus Ex Machina at the end of the book. It was almost as if the author did not know how to end the series, with the logic of the world she had created. It was worth reading in order to finish the series, but has no rereadability value in my opinion.

    Jennifer Fallon did leave an opening to revisit this storyline with the ending, but I will probably not read the continuation if and when she releases it.

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  • Posted March 2, 2012

    Before I go on, I have to reiterate that I did not like this ser

    Before I go on, I have to reiterate that I did not like this series AT ALL, and completed it only because I'm anal and had to finish what I'd started. The previous books received much lower ratings than this one, and the only reason this book got such a high rating was because stuff actually happened in it!

    Okay, this installment was by far the BEST of the four. We finally see some real action, even if what ultimately happens remains a bit of a mystery. The reader just kind of has to take their (the characters') word for it, which is interesting in that one can imagine how it might have ended, but not really for those who like a concrete finale. Many of the reviews talk about how the book was really great until the last 50 or so pages, and I can see why they may feel that way. It isn't so bad in my opinion. I think the author might have gotten ambitious or was feeling snarky because to me the book had two endings. The first being a complete let-down and the second was as an afterthought because she felt bad about the first one. I actually kind of liked this one, but I'm glad it's over.

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  • Posted December 19, 2011

    Not the best of the series, but the series was so enthralling, had to finish every word.

    loved books 1-3, and rhis one was good too, just not the best.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 16, 2011

    Yes

    Ggg

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 28, 2011

    Loved it!

    Great story from one of the best sci/fiction writers. Jennifer Fallon is one of my favorites.

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  • Posted October 16, 2011

    good book

    recommended for fantasy readers who love twists and turns in a novel

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  • Posted October 4, 2011

    Honestly, a little disappointed

    I so loved the first three and I was waiting rather impatiently for this one, and when I read it, I was...disappointed. I felt like I had invested so much time in it and the ending just left something to be desired.

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  • Posted July 30, 2011

    Left me feeling sadly deflated with the ending

    I gave it a single star, because of the last 50 or so pages. Up until then i would have given it as many stars as possible. As a true fantasy reader, who loathes technology and modern advances in his fantasy, this ending to a whole series, left me very disappointed. I think Jennifer Fallon is a stellar writer, love her work, but this was self indulgent of her. To spend this much time in a world that is completely original through four books, only to find myself reading about WWII London in the last pages of the final installment, left me feeling that I, as the devoted fantasy reader has been fooled.

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  • Posted April 1, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    The fourth Tide Lords fantasy a terrific extremely dark finish

    With the turn of the Tide once again complete, the Immortal Lords return with their power at its acme. Mortal Arkady Desean knows the fickleness of the Lords as she fell in love with Immortal Lord Cayal who selfishly prefers death over her adulation. Still Arkady is a strong person in spite of her trials and tribulations as she went from marital slavery to deity slavery to her sale as chattel into slavery; somehow she escapes her latest yoke.

    Rumors abound that Chaos Crystal has surfaced. This ancient arcane cystal is allegedly the gem that enabled the Immortal Lords to surface in the mortal plane. Lord Cayal believes the jewel is the means for him to finally end his worthless existence. Another of the Immortal Lords Jaxyn has other plans for when he retrieves the Chaos Crystal. He captures Arkady who he believes is the weakness of his rival Cayal, but after learning of what he plans to do to the realm with the magical gem, she gets away. She and rebel leader Declan Hawkes team up to try to prevent the use of the Chaos Crystal that could prove the end of all mortal life as a byproduct; the Lords deem the species as "Rodent".

    The fourth Tide Lords fantasy (see The Palace of Impossible Dreams, The Immortal Prince and the Gods of Amyrantha) is a terrific extremely dark (even for Jennifer Fallon) finish. Loaded with action, the exhilarating story line is driven by the characters as the audience anticipates the lead quartet meeting for a power showdown. Fans of Ms. Fallon will relish the strong saga as the entertaining Chaos Crystal may mean the end of life as the beleaguered female Job knows it.

    Harriet Klausner

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