House of War

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National bestselling author Judith Tarr returns to the world of her critically-acclaimed Devil’s Bargain as the sorceress Sioned and her half-brother King Richard once again face the Old Man of the Mountain, an evil sorcerer determined to destroy them...

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National bestselling author Judith Tarr returns to the world of her critically-acclaimed Devil’s Bargain as the sorceress Sioned and her half-brother King Richard once again face the Old Man of the Mountain, an evil sorcerer determined to destroy them...

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Fans of Tarr's historical fantasies will welcome this action-packed sequel to Devil's Bargain (2002). Richard the Lion-Hearted's reign is threatened by the return from the dead of Sinan, the Old Man of the Mountain. In the Holy Land, it's no-holds-barred and full magic ahead when Richard's half-sister, the druidess Sioned, confronts Sinan. After refusing to give back to Sinan the magical Seal of Solomon, which she stole from Sinan and used to kill him, Sioned steals back from Rome the supernaturally powerful sacred Ark, which the now-returned Jews employ to restore their ancient Temple while taking care not to harm the nearby Muslim Dome of the Rock. Jinns, demons and a host of other supernatural menaces enliven the proceedings. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
In this sequel to Devil's Bargain (Roc, 2002/VOYA April 2003), worlds collide as the mages of the Druids, the Jews, the Muslims, and the Christians join forces to defeat Sinan, The Old Man of the Mountain, a creature of pure evil who has returned from the dead. A decade after King Richard the Lionhearted conquered Jerusalem, the region is threatened when his queen, Berengaria, summons Sinan's spirit. Although Richard is unsurpassed in waging an earthly war, to defeat his other-worldly enemy he must join forces with his half-sister Sioned, a Druid priestess; her husband, Ahmad, a Muslim prince; and Master Judah, the Jewish physician, to return the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem. Richard has not overcome his aversion to magic, but he realizes that this time his enemy is dictating the terms. "That's what it comes to, doesn't it? I have to use the weapons he chooses—the ones I would never, of my own will, think of touching." Again Tarr seamlessly blends history and fantasy in a compelling story of family and love. The world she creates is one where Eleanor of Aquitaine and razor-toothed jinn coexist. War is waged by unleashing the "[r]aw power of the infinite, utterly divorced from mortal substance." For those who do not read fantasy on a regular basis, the many references to magical "wards and protections" might be confusing, but for the most part, the story is one that is not limited by genre and will hold the interest of all readers. VOYA Codes: 4Q 4P S A/YA (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Broad general YA appeal; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12; Adult-marketed book recommended for Young Adults). 2003, Roc, 376p., Trade pb. Ages 15 to Adult.
—Christine Sanderson
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780451529008
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/28/2003
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Judith Tarr is a World Fantasy Award nominee best known for her historical novels, such as The White Mare’s Daughter, Lord of the Two Lands, Throne of Isis, King and Goddess, and Pillar of Fire. A graduate of Yale and Cambridge Universities, she holds degrees in ancient and medieval history, and breeds Lipizzan horses at Dancing Horse Farm, her home in Vail, Arizona.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Original ,action-packed & refreshing fantasy

    On an Earth that never was but might have been, Richard the Lion-Hearted never died while battling against the infidels for control of Jerusalem. He went on to defeat Saladin and with the help of his half-sister Sioned he took away the precious Seal of Solomon from Sinan, the old man of the mountain. He was crowned king of Jerusalem and for over a decade he has reigned over the city he has come to love.<P> Although he is reluctant to leave, Richard I is ready to return to England to thwart his brother¿s plan to take the throne. However, Sinan returns more powerful than ever, eager to take his revenge on everyone who opposed him a decade ago. He kidnaps Sioned¿s daughter, captures one of Richard¿s castles, and lays siege to another. Sioned and her husband the Sultan of Egypt persuades Richard that the only weapon that could defeat their enemy is the Ark if they can find it.<P> Change the output of one pivotal event in history the way Judith Tarr has so brilliantly done and the outcome is a world that is completely different than the history books. Richard is presented as a noble warrior king willing to heed the advice of the people he trust but the star of HOUSE OF WAR is his baseborn sister Sioned, a powerful mage who has the wisdom and courage of Boudacia and Cleopatra. Fans of alternate history and fantasy will love this enthralling novel.<P> Harriet Klausner

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