Harshini: Book Three of the Demon Child Trilogy (Hythrun Chronicles Series #3)

Overview

Medalon has surrendered to foreign invaders, Tarja is once more an outcast, the Defenders have scattered… and their only hope is Damin Wolfblade.

But Damin has his own problems—the High Prince is dead, so Damin must lift the siege on the Hythrun capital and defeat an usurper before he can come to Medalon's aid.

For R'shiel, time is running out. She must find a way to bring peace to the divided southern nations, to free Medalon from Karien ...

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Overview

Medalon has surrendered to foreign invaders, Tarja is once more an outcast, the Defenders have scattered… and their only hope is Damin Wolfblade.

But Damin has his own problems—the High Prince is dead, so Damin must lift the siege on the Hythrun capital and defeat an usurper before he can come to Medalon's aid.

For R'shiel, time is running out. She must find a way to bring peace to the divided southern nations, to free Medalon from Karien occupation, and to find the strength to put an end to Loclon. And she has finally accepted her destiny as the Demon Child, which means she must be the one to defeat Xaphista—soon, before the Harshini are destroyed.

But how can she kill a god?

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Credit Fallon for exploring themes like dirty politics and religious tolerance [in] the Hythrun Chronicles series, a bestseller in her native Australia . . . an intriguing soap opera of espionage and family revelations." —Entertainment Weekly

"A gripping tale of warring ambitions, politics, and real people. The characters (and even the gods!) spring to vivid, believable life, making Medalon a great read. More, please!" —Ed Greenwood

"A well-executed fantasy with complex characters and entertaining style." —Kirkus Reviews on Treason Keep

"Intrigues, rivalries and romance provide an entertaining tangle in the second book in Australian fantasy author Fallon's Hythrun Chronicles (after Medalon). Accompanied by a large cast of compelling characters . . . new readers will be well rewarded; fans arriving straight from book one can dive right in." —Publishers Weekly on Treason Keep

Publishers Weekly
Australian author Fallon's rousing final entry in her Demon Child trilogy (after 2004's Treason Keep) relies less on standard high fantasy tropes than its predecessors. Half-Harshini/half-human R'shiel is now comfortable with her destiny as the demon child, but she's still clueless about how to accomplish her mission. Nor does she completely understand her powers or how to use them. Intent on saving the gods and the demigodlike Harshini by defeating the austere god Xaphista, whose minions control the land of Medalon, R'shiel must also act as a marriage counselor to Princess Adrina of Fardohnya and Damin Wolfblade, Warlord of Krakandar, whose union she has forced for political purposes. Guided by the half-Harshini Brak, R'shiel has little time to accomplish her many tasks, since the Harshini king grows ever weaker. Once past the initial requisite pr cis of the past, readers will find that the pace moves briskly to the dramatic conclusion. Agent, Larry Sternig at the Jack Byrne Literary Agency. (July 19) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
The Australian Woman's Weekly
Prepare yourself for non-stop adventure and romance. A good getaway read.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780765348685
  • Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates
  • Publication date: 4/4/2006
  • Series: Hythrun Chronicles Series , #3
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 512
  • Product dimensions: 4.16 (w) x 6.77 (h) x 1.11 (d)

Meet the Author

Jennifer Fallon was born in Melbourne, Australia, the ninth child in a family of thirteen girls. She is a national bestseller in Australia, and was shortlisted for the 2000 Aurealis Award for the best fantasy novel of the year. She lives in Alice Springs, Australia.

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Read an Excerpt

Harshini

PART ONE

RETREAT INTO DANGER

CHAPTER 1

Korandellan té Ortyn, the last King of the Harshini, waited until the end of the concert before he left the natural amphitheater in the center of Sanctuary to return to his apartment. But first, he congratulated the performers. He admired the clever scenery they had devised, which used a mixture of magic and everyday objects, and graciously thanked them for their efforts. He moved among them, smiling and waving, as the glimmering twilight, which was as close to night as it came in this magical place, descended over the valley. Sanctuary's tall, elegant white spires towered over the hidden city, touched with silver as evening closed in. The people were trying so desperately hard to be happy. He did his best to seem happy for them in return.

There was a brittle edge to the serenity of Sanctuary these days. An edge that Korandellan, more than any other Harshini, could feel. The happiness here was fragile; the cheerfulness an illusion. The Harshini were running out of time. Quite literally. Only Korandellan knew how close they were to the end.

Perhaps Shananara suspected. She fell in beside him, dressed in the long loose robes that most of the Harshini favored, which surprised him a little. Shananara had been in and out of Sanctuary a great deal of late, and he was more used to seeing her in Dragon Rider's leathers. His sister had always been more interested in the comings and goings of the human population than he. With the demon child abroad, and the whole world affected by her presence, Shananara was anxious to know what was happening. Slipping her arm companionably through his, she walked withhim back to his quarters, waiting until the doors swung silently shut behind them before she spoke.

"Let me help, Koran."

The king sighed, letting his shoulders slump and his façade of vitality crumble in her presence. He looked haggard.

"No. You cannot help, Shanan," he told her, lowering his tall frame into a delicately carved chair near the open doors that led to the balcony. The tinkling sound of the waterfall drifted through the open windows. The evening, as usual, was balmy and clear. "I need your strength for other matters."

"There won't be any other matters if you falter," she warned. "Let me carry some of the load. Or do you enjoy being a martyr?"

He smiled at her wearily. She had been out visiting the humans again. Her manner of speech always reflected her journeys among the mortals. "No, I do not enjoy being a martyr, sister. But if I fail, our people will need you to guide them. If you help me now, you will certainly ease my burden, but it will weaken you at a time when one of us needs to be strong. Only the demon child can lift the burden from my shoulders completely."

Shananara flung herself into one of the chairs opposite the window. "The demon child? That unreliable, spoilt, half-human atheist brat? If that's who you're relying on to save us, brother, we are doomed."

"You shouldn't speak of her so harshly, my dear. R'shiel will do what she must."

"She will do what suits her, Koran, and not a damned thing more. I doubt if even the gods know if it will be what she was destined for."

"Yet it is on her we must rely."

"Then let me bring her back."

"Here? To Sanctuary? For what purpose?"

"If you won't let me ease your burden, then let R'shiel do it. The gods know she's strong enough. Let me bring her back, Koran. Let her carry the load for a time, enough to let you recover, at least. Then you can take up the burden again and R'shiel can do what she has to."

The king shook his head. "Events unfold as they should, Shananara. We cannot interfere."

"What events?" she scoffed. "Where is it written that you should destroy yourself holding Sanctuary out of time, while the demon child sits on her hands trying to decide if she even believes we exist or not?"

"You did not speak to R'shiel before she left us. She has learned much."

"She doesn't know a fraction of what she needs to know. And who is there to teach her? Brak?"

"I thought you were fond of him."

"I am, but he's hardly the one I would have chosen as the demon child's mentor. He doesn't even like her. And he certainly doesn't trust her."

"She will learn what she needs to know in Hythria."

"But does R'shiel know that? She's just as liable to head in the other direction."

"You worry too much, Shanan. These things have a way of working themselves out. R'shiel will come to accept her destiny and will learn what she needs in due course."

"Before or after the Harshini are destroyed, brother?" Leaning forward, she studied him intently, as if she could see through his skin and into his soul. "Xaphista's minions have control of Medalon. The Defenders have surrendered to Karien. Hythria is on the brink of civil war and Fardohnya is arming for invasion. And you are beginning to weaken. I can see it in your eyes. You tremble constantly and cannot control it. Your eyes burn. Your aura is streaked with black. A flicker, a slight wavering in your hold on the spell that holds Sanctuary out of time, and Xaphista's priests will know where we are. Once that happens, you will be able to count the days on the fingers of one hand before the Kariens are standing at our gates."

"R'shiel will deal with Xaphista before that happens," he assured her.

"I wish I shared your faith in her. But how long do we have, Koran? How long can you keep draining yourself?"

"As long as I need to."

She leaned back with a defeated sigh. "Then I can only pray to the gods that it will be long enough."

"The demon child will do what she must."

Shananara did not look convinced. "You place far too much faith in that uncontrollable halfbreed."

The Harshini king nodded tiredly. "I'm aware of that, Shananara, but unfortunately that uncontrollable halfbreed is our only hope."

Copyright © 2001 by Jennifer Fallon

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Table of Contents

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First Chapter

Chapter One

Korandellan té Ortyn, the last King of the Harshini, waited until the end of the concert before he left the natural amphitheatre in the centre of Sanctuary to return to his apartment. But first, he congratulated the performers. He admired the clever scenery they had devised, which used a mixture of magic and everyday objects, and graciously thanked them for their efforts. He moved among them, smiling and waving, as the glimmering twilight, that was as close to night as it came in this magical place, descended over the valley. Sanctuary's tall, elegant white spires towered over the hidden city, touched with silver as evening closed in. The people were trying so desperately hard to be happy. He did his best to seem happy for them in return.

There was a brittle edge to the serenity of Sanctuary these days. An edge that Korandellan, more than any other Harshini, could feel. The happiness here was fragile; the cheerfulness an illusion. The Harshini were running out of time. Quite literally. Only Korandellan knew how close they were to the end.

Perhaps Shananara suspected. She fell in beside him, dressed in the long loose robes that most of the Harshini favoured, which surprised him a little. Shananara had been in and out of Sanctuary a great deal of late, and he was more used to seeing her in Dragon Rider's leathers. His sister had always been more interested in the comings and goings of the human population than he. With the demon child abroad, and the whole world affected by her presence, Shananara was anxious to know what was happening. Slipping her arm companionably through his, she walked with him back to his quarters, waitinguntil the doors swung silently shut behind them before she spoke.

“Let me help, Koran.”

The King sighed, letting his shoulders slump and his façade of vitality crumble in her presence. He looked haggard.

“No. You cannot help, Shanan,” he told her, lowering his tall frame into a delicately carved chair near the open doors that led to the balcony. The tinkling sound of the waterfall drifted through the open windows. The evening, as usual, was balmy and clear. “I need your strength for other matters.”

“There won't be any other matters if you falter,” she warned. “Let me carry some of the load. Or do you enjoy being a martyr?”

He smiled at her wearily. She had been out visiting the humans again. Her manner of speech always reflected her journeys among the mortals. “No, I do not enjoy being a martyr, sister. But if I fail, our people will need you to guide them. If you help me now, you will certainly ease my burden, but it will weaken you at a time when one of us needs to be strong. Only the demon child can lift the burden from my shoulders completely.”

Shananara flung herself into one of the chairs opposite the window. “The demon child? That unreliable, spoilt, half-human atheist brat? If that's who you're relying on to save us, brother, we are doomed.”

“You shouldn't speak of her so harshly, my dear. R'shiel will do what she must.”

“She will do what suits her, Koran, and not a damned thing more. I doubt if even the gods know if it will be what she was destined for.”

“Yet it is on her we must rely.”

“Then let me bring her back.”

“Here? To Sanctuary? For what purpose?”

“If you won't let me ease your burden, then let R'shiel do it. The gods know she's strong enough. Let me bring her back, Koran. Let her carry the load fora time, enough to let you recover, at least. Then you can take up the burden again and R'shiel can do what she has to.”

The King shook his head. “Events unfold as they should, Shananara. We cannot interfere.”

“What events?” she scoffed. “Where is it written that you should destroy yourself holding Sanctuary out of time, while the demon child sits on her handstrying to decide if she even believes that we exist or not?”

“You did not speak to R'shiel before she left us. She has learnt much.”

“She doesn't know a fraction of what she needs to know. And who is there to teach her? Brak?”

“I thought you were fond of him.”

“I am, but he's hardly the one I would have chosen as the demon child's mentor. He doesn't even like her. And he certainly doesn't trust her.”

“She will learn what she needs to know in Hythria.”

“But does R'shiel know that? She's just as liable to head in the other direction.”

“You worry too much, Shanan. These things have a way of working themselves out. R'shiel will come to accept her destiny and will learn what she needs indue course.”

“Before or after the Harshini are destroyed, brother?” Leaning forward, she studied him intently, as if she could see through his skin and into his soul.

“Xaphista's minions have control of Medalon. The Defenders have surrendered to Karien. Hythria is on the brink of civil war and Fardohnya is arming for invasion. And you are beginning to weaken. I can see it in your eyes. You tremble constantly and cannot control it. Your eyes burn. Your aura is streaked with black. A flicker, a slight wavering in your hold on the spell that holds Sanctuary out of time, and Xaphista's priests will know where we are. Once thathappens, you will be able to count the days on the fingers of one hand before the Kariens are standing at our gates.”

“R'shiel will deal with Xaphista before that happens,” he assured her.

“I wish I shared your faith in her. But how long do we have, Koran? How long can you keep draining yourself?”

“As long as I need to.”

She leaned back with a defeated sigh. “Then I can only pray to the gods that it will be long enough.”

“The demon child will do what she must.”

Shananara did not look convinced. “You place far too much faith in that uncontrollable half-breed.” The Harshini King nodded tiredly. “I'm aware of that, Shananara, but unfortunately that uncontrollable half-breed is our only hope.”

Harshini. Copyright © by Jennifer Fallon. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 15 of 16 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 2, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Great book to curl up with...for the thrills

    I just recently began reading Jennifer Fallon. I can't wait for her next book - I found them imaginative. They kept my attention and I always wanted to know what's next. Good read.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2005

    Unpredectable ending

    Rashiel now accepts what she is destined to do. She also finds some answers. The romance between Damin and Adrina never cools. What I love about this book is the unexpected conclusions, development and fulfillment of strong characters and the action that never stops. I surreally couldn't put it down.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    fabulous fantasy

    In Sanctuary, the last King of the Harshini Korandellan believes the war is over with the recent surrender of the Defenders of Medalon to its neighbor Karien. Many of the Defenders fled to the wilderness as outlaws. The only hope for Medalon resides with another neighbor Hythria, but its Krakandar Province Warlord Damien Wolfblade has internal problems while struggling to replace the recently deceased High Prince as the country¿s leader as a rival wants the throne. The only hope for the Harshini is half-Harshini-half-human R'shiel, the demon child, who must confront Xaphista, leader of the triumphant Kariens. --- R'shiel strengthens Damien¿s position by arranging a marriage between the beleaguered Hythria leader and Princess Adrina of the fourth neighboring realm Fardohnya as a further buffer to halt the Karien assault from destroying the remaining two countries. Still with the help of half-Harshini Brak, R'shiel knows the time for her confrontation must happen soon before the Harshini become too weak to survive.--- In spite of a recap (that will irritate readers of the first two novels), fantasy readers will find it better to read the first two novels (see TREASON KEEP and MEDALON) to gain a better understanding of the complex relationships; it is worth the time and money. The story line contains several subplots that smoothly converge for a fantastic climax. The saga provides an intriguing look at political necessities to rule while centering on R¿shiel learning on the job yet knowing the confrontation that awaits her in which failure means the end for the Harshini and the devastation of three of the four countries. Book Three of the Hythrun Chronicles is a fitting heroic end to the Demon Child¿s epic saga.--- Harriet Klausner

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