Feist's competent but uninventive second installment to his Darkwar Saga (after 2006's Flight of the Nighthawks) follows Pug the wizard and his grandsons—Jommy, Tad and Zane, now of military age—on their various magic-enhanced and bloody military quests to defy evil. Pug's search for the renegade sorcerer Leso Varen takes him from the land of Midkemia into the realm of the bloodthirsty Dasati, who are planning a war on behalf of their Dark God. Feist's narrative also follows the coming-of-age of the young Dasati warrior Valko, whose eventual enlightenment makes him an ally for Pug. Meanwhile, Pug's grandsons go to the University of Roldem, take commissions in its embattled army and prove themselves formidable soldiers. The author's depictions of battles, torture and the Social Darwinism of the ruthless Dasati society may not be suited to fantasy readers of all ages, but Feist's fans will look forward to the saga's final episode. (Apr.)Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Into a Dark Realm (Darkwar Saga Series #2)by Raymond E. Feist
The Conclave of Shadows has smashed the Nighthawks' dread plot to destroy the Empire of Great Kesh through civil war, putting an end to the murderous brotherhood's reign of terror. But there is no time for the victors to celebrate, for the mad sorcerer, Leso Varen, has taken refuge with the Magicians of the Assembly on the world of Kelewan, and is lost among the… See more details below
The Conclave of Shadows has smashed the Nighthawks' dread plot to destroy the Empire of Great Kesh through civil war, putting an end to the murderous brotherhood's reign of terror. But there is no time for the victors to celebrate, for the mad sorcerer, Leso Varen, has taken refuge with the Magicians of the Assembly on the world of Kelewan, and is lost among the most powerful men and women of that empire. And a devastating new threat looms on the horizon: hordes of the Dasati—the most vicious warriors in the known universe—are massing to overrun both Kelewan and Midkemia.
The great sorcerer Pug knows of no power that will vanquish the invaders. And he realizes he must now enter another realm of reality if his world is to survive—and make his way to the poisonous heart of the Dasati Empire to find the answers he needs to defeat the fearsome enemy. Joining him on his quest into the dark unknown will be the brave Magnus and Nakor . . . and a disturbing young stranger named Bek, whose terrifying bloodlust and uncanny strength attest to a host of sinister secrets waiting to be revealed. But the champions of Midkemia will need every ally they can muster if their mission is to succeed in the most terrible place they have ever ventured—as they and all Midkemians prepare for battle against the encroaching doom that would swallow their world.
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Into a Dark RealmBook Two of the Darkwar Saga
By Raymond E. Feist
EosCopyright © 2007 Raymond E. Feist
All right reserved.
Chapter OneTwo and a half years later
"There you are, Aunt Sophie!- Entering the drawing room of the Society for the Enrichment and Learning of Females, Tess Linowes, Lady Golding, smiled.
Lady Braxton looked up from the tome lying open on the desk before her. Her dove gray eyes were filled with delight. "Tess! What a pleasant surprise. How are you?-
"I went to your house and your butler directed me here,-Tess explained, setting a kiss on her aunt's cheek.
"I find my house a bit too quiet for comfort these days.- Aunt Sophie's moon-pale face was melancholy as she set her place with a band and closed the book. She'd lost her husband of twenty-five years to a lung ailment last summer, and Tess could hardly imagine her grief. Her aunt's already graying hair had completely turned slate, as if washed in a cloud of her sorrow.
"I like it here.- Aunt Sophie sighed. "The Society for the Enrichment and Learning of Females has been a salvation for me. I wonder that you don't utilize your membership at the society more frequently, since there is such a premium placed on books and learning.-
Tess busied herself with her gloves, unable to explain that if she associated much with the society's members, she'd be duty bound to spy on them for her supervisor at the Foreign Office, Mr. Tristram Wheaton, atask she'd been putting off for months. Wheaton had insisted that Tess join the society since he was worried that it was a potential vessel for discord.
Tess had joined, but had quickly concluded that the members represented what was best about English society and were simply seeking a refuge to study and enjoy each other's company. She could hardly imagine the founding members, Lady Janelle Blankett, Lady Edwina Devane, and Lady Genevieve Ensley, being traitorous in any way. Thus far, Tess had seen no reason to impose on their privacy, and she prayed that it remained so.
Adjusting her cambric blue gown, Aunt Sophie stood. "Shall I call for tea?-
"That would be wonderful.-
After speaking to the footman, Aunt Sophie reclined into one of the armchairs by the low-burning hearth, and Tess dropped into the seat facing her. Aunt Sophie's eyes seemed sad and her lips were pinched.
Tess reached over and squeezed her aunt's hand. "Are you having a difficult day?-
"This is about the time when I would start planning the festivities.- Staring into the fire, her smile was bitter-sweet. "Chocolate layered cake. A pheasant. Fine brandy ... -
"I think ... -Tess bit her lip.-"that we should still have the party.-
Aunt Sophie's brow furrowed. "You do?-
"Uncle Jack liked nothing better than a good party. What better way to celebrate his wonderful life?-
Aunt Sophie's eyes grew shiny with unshed tears. "A party for Jack.- After a long moment, she nodded. "He would like that.-
"Although we must make it smaller. No Uncle Hayden. Or Cousin Christopher. He's a sweetheart but he always has the most atrocious flatulence.-
Aunt Sophie's lips lifted. "You're dreadful, Tess.-
She smiled, glad to see the light in her aunt's gaze.
"True or not?-
"And he doesn't seem embarrassed by it in the least.-
"True again.- Aunt Sophie sighed. "Thank you, Tess. I think it's a brilliant idea. I'll start planning right away. Will you help me?-
"Of course. Though I am dearly looking forward to that chocolate cake and brandy, I don't give a fig about the rest.-
As she tilted her head, Aunt Sophie's gaze was admiring. "You're always so-oh, I don't know-industrious. You always have a plan or an idea. I'm so envious of your ability to strike out with such confidence, Tess.-
Tess thought about her nightmares, the sleepless nights, the days when her insides felt so twisted with anxiety that she feared being too far afield from a chamber pot. She stared into the fire. "I have my moments, just like everyone else.-
"From the way you act, one would never know it. You have this air of resiliency, of-Aunt Sophie shrugged-"I don't know ... perseverance about you. And you're always so cool. I remember when Jack died and my world was falling apart, you were like an anchor steadying me. I knew that if you were around I would be taken care of.-
Tess lifted a shoulder, uneasy with the praise. "I'm glad that I was able to help.-
"But it's not supposed to be like that. I'm older. Your mother's sister. I'm the one supposed to be helping you.- "You do help me.- Aunt Sophie's look was disbelieving. "I can't recall the last time you allowed someone to help you. And I have no idea where this independence comes from, certainly not my side of the family.- "Talking to you is an inordinate help to me. It keeps me sane when I'm feeling less than rational. Aunt, niece, it doesn't matter, what I like about our relationship is that it transcends assumptions. The best of family.- "Indeed we're family, yet somehow I don't feel toward any of my other nieces or nephews the way I feel about you. Perhaps it's because none is nearly as nice to me as you are.- Tess had nothing to say in her family members' defense; often she understood them as well as she understood the whims of "fashion- that called for new colors and new lines every season. As if everyone had extra gold lying around just waiting to be spent on a new wardrobe.
Aunt Sophie's lips pursed and her eyes were amused. "You've courted favor with the wrong aunt, Tess. Aunt Matilda is the one with the large bank account, not me. As your sister Vivian has made inordinately clear.-
Tess had some choice words for her opportunistic sister, but didn't see the point in giving them air. "Vivian doesn't mean to be so ...-
Excerpted from Into a Dark Realm by Raymond E. Feist Copyright © 2007 by Raymond E. Feist. Excerpted by permission.
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