Mercedes Lackey, author of the bestselling Heralds of Valdemar and Bardic Voices series, began life as a child and has been attempting to rectify that error ever since. Named for actress Mercedes McCambridge, she has been trying with no success to get the Benz automobile authorities to recognize the natural link between her name and theirs, and offer her the use of an M100 or some variety of high-end sports car for gratis. This, too, has had a distinct lack of success. Other than writing she can be found at various times prying the talons of the birds of prey she is attempting to nurse back to health out of her hands, endangering her vision by creating various forms of Art Beadwork, and cross-stitching dragons, gryphons, and other semi-mythological fauna. At the moment, her hair is red, her favorite color is green, and she is covered by various members of her flock of pet parrots, cockatoos and macaws, all of which are trying to help her type8shgalal-akejbejks9ife.
Much Fall of Blood (Heirs of Alexandria Series #3)by Mercedes Lackey, Eric Flint, Dave Freer
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Prince Manfred and his mentor and bodyguard, the deadly warrior Erik, survived dangers and enemies both natural and supernatural, and if they thought that their new mission was going to be anything but more of the same, they soon gave up on that hope. Returning from Jerusalem, they and their escort of knights of the Holy Trinity are escorting an envoy of II Khan Mongol to the lands of the Golden Horde-between the Black Sea and the Carpathians, which happen to be eastern bastion against their old enemies, the demon Chernobog and his possessed puppet, the Jangellion.
Unfortunately, what began as a diplomatic mission leads to Manfred and his knights being caught up in an inter-clan civil war, rescuing a fugitive woman and her injured brother, and becoming involved in the problems of Prince Vlad, Duke of Valahia, who has been held as a hostage by King Emeric of Hungary until freed by Countess Elizabeth Batholdy to use as bait to capture a group of nonhumans. Instead, the wolflike nonhumans, who masquerade as gypsies, free Prince Vlad, and help him to return to his homeland to raise revolt against Hungary and to renew age-old magics.
Manfred and Erik are forced into an alliance of convenience between the Golden Horde and the ancient magical forces of Valahia, as directed by the troubled Vlad. The magic calls for blood and Vlad is deathly afraid of it—and at the same time, is irresistibly drawn toward it . . .
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This one starts out a bit slow with the familiar characters we've met in the previous 3 books of this series. It moves into new territory as some of the characters go east into the mongol lands. The last half of the book is awesome and very hard to put down. The authors really make you care for their characters and I found myself really concerned which of the main characters would survive the terrible situations they found themselves in. THere are some graphic scenes of torture which may not be suitable for some young readers, these scenes show the horrible nature of the enemy and have you on the edge of your seat waiting for the good guys to save the day. Even though there are some horribly scary situations in this book there are also great moments of humor and even romance. Check this one out it's worth every penny in my honest opinion. The next story can't get to me soon enough, anyone know when that will be??
The Byzantine Empire shuts down the trading route between the Mediterranean and the east by closing the Dardanelles. Golden Horde leader Jagiellon invites the western states to use a Roman land route. Accepting the invitation, Prince Manfred with his bodyguard Eric of Iceland leads diplomats from the Holy Roman Empire and the Venetian city-state to meet the Golden Horde leader. On the trip they encounter exiled Khan Mongol and his warrior sister Bortai. Countess Elizabeth Bathody pretends to befriend Prince Vlad of Valhalia after liberating him from his incarceration by King Emeric of Hungary. However, when the opportunity is right, she plans to use his blood to enhance her already vigorous demonic power and as bait to capture the inhuman beasts lurking nearby. Instead these werewolves enable Vlad to escape from the malevolent female who he rejects as evil. Vlad and his dragoons unite with Manfred and his Knights of the Holy Trinity, and Bortai and her Mongol horde to fight Jagiellon and his Golden Horde; while immoral Hungarian King Emeric and his magical forces wait to take out the winner. The demon god Chernobog encourages deadly chaos with the only hope for Manfred and his allies rests with blood magic that Vlad fears though is enticed. The third Heirs of Alexandria alternate historical fantasy (see The Shadow of the Lion and This Rough Magic) is a terrific entry as humor and romance enhance the magic and military prime themes. The story line is fast-paced with multiple subplots that deftly come together over the course of the tale although to much good luck happenchance on the hero's side as the continent seems very small detracts from an overall fine entry in a wonderful saga. Harriet Klausner