Journey into the Void (Sovereign Stone Trilogy #3)

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From acclaimed New York Times bestselling fantasists Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman comes the spellbinding conclusion to the epic adventure of wonder, courage, magic, and ambition that is the breathtaking world of the Sovereign Stone.

Over two hundred years have passed since the mystical Sovereign Stone was shattered and the world of Loerem faced its most dangerous test ever—the rise of the dark lord Dagnarus. But now Dagnarus has stirred from the Void and seeks the utter ...

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From acclaimed New York Times bestselling fantasists Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman comes the spellbinding conclusion to the epic adventure of wonder, courage, magic, and ambition that is the breathtaking world of the Sovereign Stone.

Over two hundred years have passed since the mystical Sovereign Stone was shattered and the world of Loerem faced its most dangerous test ever—the rise of the dark lord Dagnarus. But now Dagnarus has stirred from the Void and seeks the utter conquest of all Loerem. Leading a seemingly unstoppable horde of bestial, powerful minions and a host of insidious undead, Dagnarus captures mortal kingdom after mortal kingdom, until he stands before the very gates of New Vinnengael, as traitors within the city plot to yield the crown to the undead lord.

In the darkness and turmoil that follows, all heroes must first master their own fears and weaknesses before they can take up the fight to stop Dagnarus, and the company spreads across many lands to face many perils. Mortally wounded by a Blood-knife wielded by an undead Vrykyl knight, the Baron Shadamehr lies dying, and even the many skills of his beautiful, beloved Alise may not be able to save him. Others face desperate journeys through hostile lands and difficult tests of character. And, unsuspected, a deadly Vrykyl stalks the pecwae Bashae—and his precious burden, the human portion of the Sovereign Stone—through the streets of New Vinnengael.

Yet the gods have their own plans for this imperiled land, and drawn by an unknown call, the Dominion Lords head for the Portal of the Gods, the mystical, haunted site of Dagnarus’s terrible treachery two hundred years beforehand. For if all the parts of the sundered Sovereign Stone can be reunited, the Dominion Lords can stop Dagnarus’s unholy plans for domination. But one piece is still missing. . . .

As the past and present converge in a desperate race to determine the future, an unlikely hero will arise. A man who will become far more than he ever dreamed possible and who holds the fate of all Loerem in his hands. And to save Loerem he must venture into a realm of utter terror and darkness . . . into the very blackness of the Void itself.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In addition to a host of mostly likable characters and a fast-moving plot, dependable Dragonlance veterans Weis and Hickman provide plenty of neat stuff for the fantasy gamer (Blood-knives, magical jewels, agate-eyed diving sticks) in this highly satisfying conclusion to their epic trilogy. While echoing fantasy giants Tolkien, Eddings and Brooks, the authors infuse a standard quest plot (and rescue of a magical object) with their own insightful investigation into the fruits of war ("the terror within and the terror without"). Taking up where Guardians of the Lost (2001) left off, they follow the path of power-mad Dagnarus (aka Lord of the Void), who started making trouble 200 years earlier in Well of Darkness (2000). An obsessive abuser of outlawed Void Magic, Dagnarus not only summons Taan monsters from another world to do his bidding but also reanimates the dead into Vrykryls, "who maintain their unhallowed life by feeding on the souls of those they murder." Having destroyed his father's Old Vinnengael, Dagnarus takes over New Vinnengael, but what he wants most is the reunited Stone that will ensure his eternal reign on Earth. Perhaps mindful of the tender sensibilities of some younger readers, the authors don't overdo the violence. Style may not be their strong suit, but it's a testament to Weis and Hickman's storytelling skills that you can enjoy this book without having read the previous volumes. (Aug. 26) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
In The Well of Darkness (HarperCollins, 2000/VOYA April 2001), the ambitious young prince, Dagnarus, rose to power. Two hundred years later, in Guardians of the Lost (HarperCollins, 2002/VOYA April 2002), war enveloped the world of Loerem, and a long-lost part of the Sovereign Stone was recovered. Now, as The Sovereign Stone Trilogy concludes, Dagnarus, the Lord of the Void, continues to threaten Loerem, a land inhabited by elves, orks, humans, and dwarves, where magic is an everyday occurrence. The events in this book follow directly upon those in the second volume, and fans will welcome back the hobbit-like pecwae, Bashae, and the Grandmother, as well as other familiar characters such as the Trevicini knight Jessan and the wizard Alise. The hero, Baron Shademehr, could be in his thirties, but he still has a lot of growing up to do. When he accepts the responsibility that he has long avoided, the safety of the Sovereign Stone, he begins to mature. Meanwhile, three others—the elven Damra, Wolfram the dwarf, and an orken captain—carry the other parts of the Stone. Many plot lines, not to mention many characters, converge as these Dominion Lords strive to unite the Stone and vanquish Dagnarus. The books are linked to a role-playing game, so a large amount of exposition sometimes slows the narrative. When the pace quickens, the action, the fights, and the magic are sometimes enough to divert the reader's attention from the clunky, cliché-ridden prose. Only libraries that already own the first two volumes will want to purchase the third. VOYA Codes: 2Q 2P S A/YA (Better editing or work by the author might have warranted a 3Q; For the YA with a special interest in thesubject; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12; Adult-marketed book recommended for Young Adults). 2003, HarperCollins, 484p., Ages 15 to Adult.
—Rebecca Barnhouse
Kirkus Reviews
Rousing, action-heavy, well-plotted conclusion to the prolific fantasy duo’s sprawling, derivative sword-and-sorcery trilogy. For all its nods at Tolkien (wizards, humans, dwarfs, elves, orcs—spelled here with a k—and other squabbling fantasy beings must join forces to deal with powerful magic desired by an villain) and Star Wars (reluctant but resourceful heroes, sardonic derring-do, even an evil character whose hand is sliced off) and other pop-culture genre triumphs, this trilogy rises above the rest by giving its characters, human and otherwise, a spirited dignity as they bring the four fragments of the Sovereign Stone to the pseudo-Middle Earth city of New Vinnegael, where the power-mad Lord Dagnarus, a master of deadly "void" magic, and his army of beastly but occasionally charming Taan, want to put the fragments together so he can attain godlike powers. As usual, the authors open with the death of a major character and also a resurrection: Baron Shadamehr, who, in the previous installment, was stabbed with a deadly void knife, is brought back from the edge of death by the love—and sorcery—of the beautiful Alise. The Vrykyls, intelligent zombies who assume the shape of beings they kill, are the most interesting characters here, and the wily Shakur, who’s assumed the shape of Vinnegael’s regent is a conniving hoot. The others, including the awful Dagnarus and his father Tamaros, who, like any kindly fantasy character, can’t stay dead, are genre knock-offs who struggle mightily but can’t stop Dagnarus from reassembling the Stone. Good doesn’t so much triumph as does megalomania fail. Better-than-average fantasy retread that offers few surprises but tells thefamiliar quest story with a dash of wit and verve.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061020599
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 7/27/2004
  • Series: Sovereign Stone Trilogy Series, #3
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 592
  • Sales rank: 525,492
  • Product dimensions: 4.18 (w) x 6.75 (h) x 1.18 (d)

Meet the Author

Margaret Weis is a New York Times bestselling author. Her Dragonlance® series has sold over twenty million copies worldwide, and the first book in thatseries, Dragons of Autumn Twilight, is being made into an animated film by Paramount Pictures. Warrior Angel is her first venture into romance, and it has been an exciting one. She has particularly enjoyed writing with her daughter, Lizz Weis, a former novel editor.

Tracy Hickman is a bestselling fantasy author best known for his work on Dragonlance, as a game designer and coauthor with Margaret Weis, while he worked for TSR. In all, Hickman wrote more than thirty novels in collaboration with Weis. He lives with his wife, Laura, and their four children.

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First Chapter

Journey into the Void
Volume Three of the Sovereign Stone Trilogy

Chapter One

Shadowing the two pecwae was relatively easy for the Vrykyl, Jedash. The elderly grandmother and her grandson walked slowly, stopping often to gape at the wondrous sights of the city of New Vin-nengael.

A street filled with buildings as tall as giants, full three stories, one stacked atop another, astonished the diminutive, forest-dwelling pecwae. The two spent a whole quarter hour staring at this wonder alone. The gaily painted signs of the guild shops and alehouses were meant to attract attention, and they lured the pecwae with their garish colors and outlandish renditions of animals, objects, and people. The Prancing Porker, the Cocked Hattery (featuring a rooster wearing a hat), the Bishop's Miter Alehouse -- drew either a shake of the head from the knowledgeable pecwae (the pig had not been born who could prance), or a laugh.

The two pecwae had no notion they were being followed. They had eluded danger, or so they thought. The moment the Imperial guard had come in sight, bearing down on them and their companions, the instinct for self-preservation that had enabled their diminutive race to survive in a world populated by all manner of predators prompted them to flee. Their companions, including Baron Shadamehr and their Trevinici protector, Jessan, had been arrested. Having no orders regarding pecwae, the Imperial guard had not bothered with them.

Jedash had no orders regarding pecwae, either, but he had seen them arrive in company with a Trevinici. ecalling that Shakur, another Vrykyl, had been searching for a Trevinici traveling in company with pecwae, Jedash had thought this intriguing. He'd reported it to Shakur and taken it upon himself to trail after them. Jedash had been rewarded for his foresight. Shakur sent urgent word through the Blood-knife that Jedash was to capture the two pecwae and bring them to the palace, where Shakur was now residing, having murdered and taken over the body of the young king.

The question for Jedash was how to capture the two without drawing undue attention to himself. And in this, he had rivals.

The sight of pecwae wandering the streets of New Vinnengael was attracting a considerable amount of attention, some of it sinister. About four feet in height, of slender build, with wide eyes and a cheerful smile, the male pecwae had been disguised to pass for a human child, wearing a cap over his delicately pointed ears. The elderly female pecwae, however, had scorned to disguise herself. Small and gray-headed, with a face brown and wrinkled as a walnut, she peered and leered into the faces of everyone they passed; her long, colorful skirt, decorated with beads and bells, clicking and jangling around her ankles. Her walking stick was in itself a curiosity. Carved of wood, the stick was filled with knotholes and every single one of the knotholes was a polished agate, mounted in such a way that each resembled a staring eye.

Most of the citizens who stopped to stare at the pecwae and point them out were simply curious, pausing a moment to gawk at the funny-looking little people. But others were not. Some had a more material interest.

Years past, it had been the fashion among the wealthy of New Vinnengael to keep pecwae as pets. Pecwae children, stolen from their homes, were bought and sold in the marketplace. The wealthy exhibited them as curiosities or kept them as companions, dressing them up like dolls and walking them like dogs. Unused to city life, many pecwae sickened and died in captivity and eventually the Church put a stop to the practice. Dealing in pecwae was now illegal, a crime that could be punished by death.

People found ways around this law, however. Adoption was not only legal but encouraged, and wealthy families could now always "adopt" pecwae children. The Church had no quarrel with this, since introducing pecwae to civilization and the benefits of a Church education could only profit the savage race. The traffic in pecwae was severely curtailed, but a person could still obtain one, if he had the money.

Even on the black market, few pecwae were available, and those that were fetched a healthy price. In order to protect their children, the pecwae tribes had moved out of New Vinnengael and traveled west to the lands of the Trevinici, their ancient protectors. Those unscrupulous merchants who did not fear the Church had a healthy fear of the Trevinici. It was the ancient law of supply and demand.

The sight of two pecwae, alone and unprotected, calmly strolling the streets of New Vinnengael, brought gleams to the eyes of more than one black marketer.

Jedash understood the danger the pecwae were in better than the two pecwae, and he cursed his ill luck. Quite clearly, he stood a fair chance of having his prize snatched right out from under his nose. He recognized two well-known smugglers among the gawkers, smugglers said to trade in all sorts of contraband, from forbidden books of Void magic to nightshade and baneberry to orks' teeth (thought by some to be an aphrodisiac) to pecwae.

Armed with the magical power of the Void, Jedash was not afraid to fight for his prize. The only weapons he feared -- the only weapons that could slice through the Void magic that held his rotting corpse together -- were weapons that had been blessed by the gods. Jedash was reasonably confident that neither of those two would have such a weapon in their possession.

That said, Jedash was well aware that the smugglers would not lightly relinquish the chance for such a windfall. If he moved in on his quarry, the smugglers would view him as a competitor and try to stop him. There would be trouble, a commotion, screams, blood. To make matters worse, the city was on edge, the streets unusually crowded, for rumors were circulating that New Vinnengael was about to go to war ...

Journey into the Void
Volume Three of the Sovereign Stone Trilogy
. Copyright © by Margaret Weis. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 8 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2005


    Man , this is a great book. it is so captivating and ties up this awesome trilogy that Margaret Weis has written. She is especially known for her work with Dragonlance. And i have not read them yet, but this book and its trilogy are a keeper!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 29, 2003

    Best book ever!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I love this book. This series is the best! I read them over and over again. If you need a great book that will hold your interest, this is definetly the series you should own. I read it out of curiousity, but now it's one of my favorites.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Exciting epic fantasy

    Two hundred years ago King Tamoras of Vinnengael received the Sovereign Stone by the gods and was told to keep it in one piece. In his desire to see the races of humans, orks, elfs and dwarves live in peace with one another he split the stone in quarters, each species receiving one. The center of the stone was part of the Void and the King¿s youngest son Dagnarus took it into his heart and became Lord of the Void. Corrupted by his newfound powers, Dagnarus sought to overthrow his father but instead destroyed the kingdom.<P> Now Dagnarus returns from another world, bringing with him the taan, fierce warriors and workers of magic. Using them as an army, he became the new ruler of New Vinnengael. Dagnarus wants the four pieces of the sovereign stone so he can turn them into one jewel, but the four Dominion Lords who carry them have other plans. They must battle the Lord of the Void and win if they want to beat back the darkness that overwhelms the world.<P> Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman bring to a glorious conclusion The Sovereign Stone Trilogy. Readers do not have to read the first two books in the series to thoroughly enjoy and understand JOURNEY INTO THE VOID though doing so will add to the pleasure. Readers will surprise themselves by feeling pity for the antagonist who at unexpected moments shows himself to be vulnerable to his own emotions. The heroes of this fantastic epic drama, and there are many, capture the hearts of the reader with their intensity and determination to triumph over the forces of evil.<P> Harriet Klausner

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