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Darknesses (Corean Chronicles Series #2)

Darknesses (Corean Chronicles Series #2)

4.4 23
by L. E. Modesitt Jr.

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L. E. Modesitt, Jr., author of the bestselling Saga of Recluce fantasy series, opens the door into a marvelous new world.

Millennia ago, a magical disaster caused the fall of a great worldwide civilization, the end of a golden age. New civilizations have fought their way up from the ancient destruction and chaos, knowing little of the lost world that


L. E. Modesitt, Jr., author of the bestselling Saga of Recluce fantasy series, opens the door into a marvelous new world.

Millennia ago, a magical disaster caused the fall of a great worldwide civilization, the end of a golden age. New civilizations have fought their way up from the ancient destruction and chaos, knowing little of the lost world that preceded them or the details of its fall. Corus today is a world of contending countries, of humans, but also of strange animals and supernatural creatures. It is a place of magical powers, and of a few people who are talented enough to use them.

Alusius, a captain of the Twenty-first Company, faces new challenges, both military and magical. A would-be conqueror has somehow revived sorcerous creatures of legend to assist in his crusade to reunite the continent under his rule. Neither the officers above him nor the men under him know it, but Alusius's Talent is their only hope for victory, or even survival.

The Corean Chronicles
Alector’s Choice
Cadmian’s Choice
Soarer’s Choice
The Lord-Protector’s Daughter

Other series by this author:
The Saga of Recluce
Imager Portfolio
The Spellsong Cycle
The Ghost Books
The Ecolitan Matter

Editorial Reviews

The Barnes & Noble Review
Darknesses, the sequel to L. E. Modesitt Jr.'s Legacies, continues the adventures of his epic fantasy series the Corean Chronicles. Reminiscent of Modesitt's popular Recluse saga in scope and ambiance, this sequence also deals with the themes of order and chaos as well as the dualities that exist in nature and humankind.

In a supernatural realm of feuding countries where magic exists in an elite few, those with Talent are highly prized pawns in a ruthless game of world domination. Alucius is a simple sheep herder -- with a powerful, virtually untapped Talent -- serving his time in the military. Try as he might to stay out of danger until he can return home to his wife, Wendra, he winds up being used by the Lord-Protector of Lanachrona in an attempt to try and squash a powerful nomad war leader named Aellyan Edyss. Edyss has managed to open an ancient vault with magical weapons and legendary beasts from a time long before the Cataclysm, and with the arsenal all he wants to do is unify and rule the entire realm of Corus. Alucius is put in a no-win situation. If he defeats the powerful warlord, he will have to draw unwanted attention to his Talent, if the warlord triumphs, Alucius dies.

Modesitt has succeeded in creating a unique, complex world with fascinating supernatural creatures and mysterious histories, prophecies, and folklore. With compelling characters like Alucius, Wendra, and the Lord-Protector, it will be interesting to see where the author takes this story in future installments. Paul Goat Allen

Publishers Weekly
The prolific Modesitt (The Saga of Recluce; The Spellsong Cycle) delivers a solid, well-paced sequel to Legacies (2002), set in the fantasy world of Corus, home to humans and a variety of odd creatures. After a slow opening that may perplex new readers, the action soon picks up. The soldier Alucius, one of the few to possess the magical Talent, is trying to keep himself and his men of the Iron Valley Militia alive until he's discharged and can return to the wife he loves. The Council, however, sells them out to the Protector of Lanachrona, whom they must serve as the Northern Guard. Sent by the Protector to help the Landarch of Deforya fight the grassland nomads, Alucius must call on all his Talent powers and military skill to combat Pteridons, mythical flying beasts, summoned by the nomads' leader, Aellyan Edyss. Later, after an audience with the Protector, Alucius learns that he must battle the greatest evil where he least expects to find it. Convincing dialogue, exciting military action and a neat conclusion that leaves the door open for subsequent adventures will find fans satisfied. (Sept. 3) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher
"Convincing dialogue, exciting military action and a neat conclusion that leaves the door open for subsequent adventures will find fans satisfied." ---Publishers Weekly

Product Details

Tom Doherty Associates
Publication date:
Corean Chronicles Series , #2
Edition description:
First Edition
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.54(h) x 1.65(d)

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Read an Excerpt


The Second Book of the Corean Chronicles
By Modesitt, L. E.

Tor Fantasy

Copyright © 2004 Modesitt, L. E.
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780765346339

Tempre, Lanachrona
Five men sat around a circular table. The tabletop was of rose marble, the carved and elaborate pedestal legs of oiled and carved lorken so dark that it could have passed for ebony. Three of the men wore the blue-and-cream uniforms of the Southern Guard. The fourth wore the silver vestments of the Recorder of Deeds. The last was the Lord-Protector, who wore a tunic of violet blue, trimmed in cream, similar in cut and style to those of the officers.
The cold silver light of a winter sun flowed through the tall and narrow windows on the south side of the room, windows whose lorken casements were framed by rose marble columns. Under a white-plastered vaulted ceiling, rose damask covered the walls between the pillars framing the windows, but failed to impart warmth to the conference room.
"You have all heard and understood what the Recorder of Deeds has said, have you not? You know the limitations of the Table?" asked the Lord-Protector.
"It cannot show what will happen, and it can display only what is happening or what has occurred recently. Is that not so?" Marshal Wyerl paused and cleared his throat, then brushed back a short lock of light brown hair. Despite the lines radiating from his eyes, his clean-shaven face conveyed boyish charm. As almost an afterthought, he asked, "Howrecently?"
"Two or three days past are most clear," replied the older man in the silver vestments. "Most happenings can be recalled for a week. If an event has great impact on what will be, then it can be discerned for perhaps a month, even a year, but it is impossible to predict what events the Table will regard as having great impacts." The Recorder added, "It will usually not show anyone possessing great Talent, and even the results of their actions will show in silver shadows only for a few glasses or a day at most. Of course, by what is not shown, one can at times deduce the use of Talent by one's enemies."
The younger blond man, also wearing the uniform and insignia of a marshal in the Southern Guard, asked, frowning slightly, "Why does it not show those with Talent?"
"The Tables were designed and created at the height of the Duarchy by those with Talent. I would rather imagine that they did not wish it used against themselves." A dryness infused the Recorder's words.
"Do we face anyone with such Talent?" Marshal Wyerl inquired.
The Recorder of Deeds smiled faintly. "There are always those with Talent in Corus, but they are few indeed. The Matrial was the only one that the Table could not focus upon directly. Others may arise, but for the moment, all those with some vestige of Talent who oppose us can be discerned in the Table."
"Such as Aellyan Edyss?"
"The nomad warleader appears clearly in the Table," the Recorder affirmed.
The Lord-Protector cleared his throat and looked pointedly at Wyerl. "You were about to report, Marshal?"
"Yes, Lord-Protector." Wyerl squared his shoulders. "The Regent of the Matrial has fortified Dimor as well as the high road approaches on the south side of the South Branch of the River Lud and placed at least ten regular horse companies there. There are five foot companies, and possibly as many as another ten Auxiliary companies. They retain the terrible crystal spear-thrower." The marshal inclined his head toward the younger marshal. "Marshal Alyniat can provide more detail on the situation in Zalt and Southgate."
The Lord-Protector--the youngest man at the table by at least a decade--nodded.
"Lord-Protector," began Alyniat, "in one respect, we were most fortunate. Because the Recorder of Deeds discovered the crystal spear-thrower, we could alter our tactics. The siege of the fort at Zalt was effective in forcing the Matrites to retreat, but the Matrites were careful to use the spear-thrower to cover that withdrawal. We now hold Zalt, and it is largely intact, as is the fort there, which we have enlarged and reinforced. However...all those in Zalt have settled in Dimor and put their energies to strengthening it. With those forces, and the crystal spear-thrower remaining there, it is most unlikely we will be able to take Dimor in the next several years without an extraordinary commitment of troopers and supplies, and..." Alyniat paused, as if he knew his next words would not be well received. "I would strongly recommend against any such effort."
The Lord-Protector laughed. "You have delivered Zalt and Southgate when those before you failed. I accept your recommendation." His next words were slow and deliberate. "So long as we continue to hold Southgate." A brief smile followed. "Now, what of the seltyrs there? The ones who remained?"
"Seltyr Benjir vanished in the final attack on Southgate. None have seen him or his sons in the year since. The new advisory council to the Lord-Protector remains under the control of Seltyr Sinyen. They have accepted the rule of Lanachrona, and the change in tariffs. As you know, we had to execute several of the seltyrs and some of their families before they grasped the concept that bribing tariff collectors was no longer acceptable. Those who have accepted the rule of law, as opposed to the rule of coin, are prospering, and they will soon control most of the commerce of Southgate. We have been most careful to spare the women and to insist that they receive the same treatment as women do in Lanachrona." The blond Alyniat shrugged. "That also required some executions, but the women are most kind to our troopers and merchants, and, over time, we will have a most loyal province."
"My lady, and indeed, most of the women in Lanachrona, will find that pleasing," the Lord-Protector replied, before turning to the sole submarshal, a thin-faced older man with graying hair. "What of the shipyards and commerce?"
"We captured the shipyards without great damage, and to date we have completed three deep-ocean trading vessels. Two were already under construction. The first warship will be ready within the season, and we can build five more in the next year, if the coins are available."
"How many will be required to take Dramur?" asked the Lord-Protector.
"More than we can build in ten years," replied Submarshal Frynkel. "We will also have to develop a school or a system for training officers and crews for sea war."
The Lord-Protector frowned. "The problem of Dramur will not vanish, but we must also consider the growing strength of Aellyan Edyss. Already, we are receiving protests about the tariffs he is levying on trade along the Lost Highway. He is also beginning to take over sections of Ongelya with his new Myrmidons."
"That will take years," Frynkel pointed out. "Ongelya stretches over a thousand vingts from the northwest to its southeast border. His Myrmidons can only travel so fast on horseback."
"He has conquered all of Illegea in but a handful of years," replied the Lord-Protector.
"He now holds the northern third of Ongelya, and I would not doubt he will hold all of it within a year, if he so desires. There is little of worth in the south, not compared to, say, Deforya."
"Yet we hear of his depredations in the south," offered Frynkel.
"He may be spreading such reports to lull us into believing that, while he moves elsewhere," suggested Marshal Wyerl. "Most likely into Deforya. Why else would the Landarch have consented to sell his note from the Iron Valleys Council to the Lord-Protector?"
The Lord-Protector frowned.
Ignoring the expression, Wyerl continued. "Edyss already controls the Lost Highway. If he moves into Deforya and takes Dereka, he will gain control of the Northern Pass high road--"
"And all land trade with Lustrea." The Lord-Protector nodded. "By tariffing both high roads, he can expand his coffers and purchase arms...But who would sell him arms? Certainly not the Praetor of Lustrea. We would not."
"Ah...Lord-Protector," interjected the Recorder of Deeds, "like the Iron Valleys, the Landarch of Deforya has iron mines. Unlike the Iron Valleys, the Landarchs have always maintained a foundry and an arms manufactory. Their weapons are excellent."
"But the Deforyans do not fight so well as the Iron Valleys Militia," added Marshal Alyniat.
"What would you four suggest, then?" The Lord-Protector's voice contained equal measures of amusement and exasperation.
"Just a message of support to the Landarch," replied Wyerl, "one perhaps hinting that the Lord-Protector stands by his friends, and that is why you relieved him of a nonproducing note with hard golds. But wait for Aellyan Edyss to act first. All view us with suspicion. If we act or press ourselves upon the Landarch, he may turn to Edyss as the lesser of evils. Also, his forces and the mountains that surround Deforya may defeat the nomad warrior. If so, then you are free to address whatever enemy is the most pressing. If not, and the Landarch requires support, send enough forces to be meaningful, but not so many as to look as if you plan to turn them against him."
"What of the Iron Valleys?"
"All the traders of Dekhron wish is the freedom to trade and gather golds. All the herders of their north wish is to herd and to be left in peace," said Wyerl slowly. "Surely, there must be a way in which those needs could be met honestly and fairly. Since you hold their note for, what, six thousand golds plus interest, you might even forgive most of it if they agreed to become a Lanachronan province."
"You think our Traders' Guild would accept them as equals?"
"One trader is like another. Our lands speak close to the same tongue, and neither their traders nor ours wish higher tariffs to support a war." Wyerl smiled. "You might even suggest that an additional tariff of but one part in twenty--or fifty--is a small price for both sets of traders to pay for avoiding a war, and that you will pledge that the same laws that apply in Tempre and Borlan will apply in Dekhron, and, further, that no Southern Guards will be placed anywhere in the Iron Valleys, save upon the request of the Traders' Council of Dekhron."
"And what do we gain by such?"
"More tariffs, Lord-Protector, and the ability to move many of the Southern Guard companies to the eastern borders. You also avoid the cost of a war with the Iron Valleys, and that cost could be most high, as the late Matrial discovered."
"And what if they reject such?"
Wyerl smiled. "Then perhaps someone else should attack them, and you will offer condolences...and wait. You might also suggest that few will want to trade with them if they do not honor their debts."
The Lord-Protector laughed-explosively. "Bring me a plan, Marshal, and we shall see."
"As you request, Lord Protector."
The faintest trace of a sad smile played around the mouth of the Recorder of Deeds as the Lord-Protector stood to end the meeting.
Copyright 2003 by L. E. Modesitt, Jr.


Excerpted from Darknesses by Modesitt, L. E. Copyright © 2004 by Modesitt, L. E.. 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.

Meet the Author

L. E. Modesitt, Jr., is the bestselling author of over forty novels, including the Imager Portfolio series and the Saga of Recluce series, as well as several other novels in the science fiction genre. He has also published technical studies and articles, columns, poetry, and a number of science fiction stories.

Kyle McCarley, a graduate of the University of Southern California, is a voice-over actor and AudioFile Earphones Award-winning narrator. His credits include audiobooks, video games, TV pilots, Web cartoons and commercials, radio and TV commercials, radio dramas, and podcasts.

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Darknesses (Corean Chronicles Series #2) 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 23 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
On Corus, sheepherder Alucius possesses a powerful, untapped Talent that he tries to hide while serving his mandatory military time. Alucius just wants to go home to his wife Wendra so though he is a captain in the 21st Company he avoids trouble as much as possible in order to avoid becoming noticed.

Warlord Aellyan Edyss finds and opens an ancient vault containing magical weapons and legendary beasts from a time long before the Cataclysm. Aellyan plans to use his weaponry to conquer and then rule Corus. Alucius realizes his dilemma once he understands the threat posed by Aellyan. If he displays his prowess and succeeds in defeating the warlord and his magical army and arsenal Alucius will become visible to his superiors and a pawn of individuals like the Lord-Protector of Lanachrona. If he hides his Talent by doing nothing, he will probably die.

DARKNESSES, the second book of the Corean Chronicles (see LEGACIES), is a superb fantasy due to the abilities of L.E. Modesitt, Jr. to make a world of magic and mystical beasts seem real. The story line combines plenty of action with strong characters and even a sense of history. Alucius is a delightful reluctant hero and his opponent is more than just a vile villain as he is a complete character too. The support cast such as Wendra and the magically created beasts add depth to a strong epic fantasy that will have the audience wondering where the author will take them next.

Harriet Klausner

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Chocolattez More than 1 year ago
i enjoyed the whole series - well done, readable, interesting.
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Ms. Browndduk's house.