Heaven's Needle (Ithelas Series #2)

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Overview

The mountain fortress of Duradh Mal was mysteriously destroyed centuries ago. And now, in its shadow, evil stirs. . . .

Unaware of the danger, two inexperienced Illuminers set out for the village of Carden Vale, at the foot of Duradh Mal, to minister to the people. The warrior Asharre, her face scarred with runes, her heart scarred by loss, is assigned to protect the young clerics. But in Carden Vale they find unspeakable horrors—the first hint...

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Heaven's Needle (Ithelas Series #2)

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Overview

The mountain fortress of Duradh Mal was mysteriously destroyed centuries ago. And now, in its shadow, evil stirs. . . .

Unaware of the danger, two inexperienced Illuminers set out for the village of Carden Vale, at the foot of Duradh Mal, to minister to the people. The warrior Asharre, her face scarred with runes, her heart scarred by loss, is assigned to protect the young clerics. But in Carden Vale they find unspeakable horrors—the first hint of a terrifying ghost story come true.

The Sun Knight Kelland has been set free by the woman he loves, the archer Bitharn, but at the cost of undertaking a mission only he can fulfill. Joined by a Thornlord steeped in the magic of pain, they too make their way to Duradh Mal. There lies the truth behind the rumors of the dead come back to life, flesh ripped from bones, and creatures destroying themselves in a violent frenzy. And if Kelland cannot contain the black magic that has been unleashed after six hundred years, an entire world will fall victim to a Mad God’s malevolent plague. . . .

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Merciel's impressive second novel of Ithelas (after 2010's The River Kings' Road) stands on its own as a page-turning high fantasy that tackles some tough questions about good and evil. In order to save her companion Kelland from the dungeons of Ang'arta, Bitharn must free the Thornlord Malentir from Heaven's Needle, Cailan's most secure prison. The task is physically easy for Bitharn, but she struggles with the knowledge that she is committing high treason. Once the deed is done, instead of making a quick, painless exchange of prisoners and going their separate ways, Bitharn, Kelland, and Malentir learn of an evil plot that they must overcome together. Major and secondary characters face numerous questions of faith and impossible choices as the plot becomes ever more layered, drawing readers deeply into an enthralling world of magic, politics, and battle. (May)
From the Publisher
"Liane Merciel's second novel set in the world of Ithelas comes factory-equipped with the deluxe High-Fantasy options package: a Manichean conflict between the virtuous priests of sunlight and the evil practitioners of blood-magic we met in the first book, The River King's Road. But Merciel tweaks the formula — and deepens her storytelling — by introducing a third element: a plague of pure chaos capable of tempting noble knight and nasty necromancer alike into despair, madness and unspeakable violence... Merciel splinters her narrative and discretely parcels out clues to the mystery so that the reader stays one step ahead of her characters — and watches in mute horror as they blunder into situations that could cost them their very souls." — NPR.com
Library Journal
The archer Bitharn and Kelland, the Sun Knight she has freed from the enemy's dungeon, travel to the ruined and cursed fortress of Duradh Mal in the company of the Thornlord Malentir, who draws his magic from pain and death. This uneasy alliance between enemy religions has as its mission the discovery of the source of horror that has swept over the land. At the same time, a pair of young priests set out with their bodyguards to tend to the people in the village of Carden Vale, not far from Duradh Mal, unaware of the dangers that await them in the once-prosperous community. This sequel to The River King's Road deepens the ancient history of the land of Ithelas and explores the complexities of individuals driven by their faith to compromise with their adversaries. VERDICT Merciel's series promises to provide epic fantasy that will appeal to fans of Terry Goodkind and Storm Constantine.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781439159163
  • Publisher: Pocket Star
  • Publication date: 4/26/2011
  • Series: Ithelas Series , #2
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 480
  • Product dimensions: 4.10 (w) x 6.70 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Liane Merciel spent most of her childhood bouncing around the world as an Army brat. She has lived in Alaska, Germany, and Korea, and has gone camping in every one of the fifty states. Her hobbies include yoga, training rats, and baking cupcakes capable of sending the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man into sugar shock with one bite. Currently she lives and practices law in Philadelphia.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 5 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 20, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    a super thriller

    In 1218 the Dome of the Sun high priest sends two Illuminer tyros to Carden Vale, at the foothills of Duradh Mal. Their mission is a simple religious ritual. Mourning the loss of her sister, Asharre the warrior with runes on her visage protects the two Blessed. However, evil from beneath the ruins of the mountain fortress has awakened.

    Kelland the Sun Knight knows his beloved Bitharn the archer freed his inner power. He accompanies the Spider's mentee Malentir the Thornlord mage of pain as they head to Duradh Mal. However, something goes wrong and Kelland is incarcerated in the Ang'arta dungeon. To rescue her loved one, Bitharn needs the help of the pain mage, Malentir, but that means the treason of liberating him from Cailan's tightest prison Heaven's Needle. None are aware that after six centuries of dormancy, the Mad God Maor is arising.

    The second Ithelas fantasy (see The River Kings' Road) is a super thriller as the key players face ethics issues that challenge their values when they must decide whether the end justifies the means. For instance Bitharn understands she commits treason but the release of darkest magic awakens the aptly named Mad God so she ponders what other choice she has. Loaded with action, fans will relish this thought provoking look at the relativity of good and evil based on what the person's beliefs, baggage and situation are. With threads still lingering readers should expect a return to the Merciel mythos.

    Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted October 10, 2011

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