Requiem for the Sun by Elizabeth Haydon | Paperback | Barnes & Noble
Requiem for the Sun (Symphony of Ages Series #4)

Requiem for the Sun (Symphony of Ages Series #4)

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by Elizabeth Haydon
     
 

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A Tale of Treachery, Love, and War

Book Four of the Symphony of Ages

Three years have passed since Rhapsody, the Lady Cymrian, helped bring peace and prosperity to the land of Roland. However, when the death of the Dowager Empress of Sorbold leaves empty the line of succession, dark clouds of war threaten the fragile Cymrian Alliance. And an old and deadly foe

Overview

A Tale of Treachery, Love, and War

Book Four of the Symphony of Ages

Three years have passed since Rhapsody, the Lady Cymrian, helped bring peace and prosperity to the land of Roland. However, when the death of the Dowager Empress of Sorbold leaves empty the line of succession, dark clouds of war threaten the fragile Cymrian Alliance. And an old and deadly foe of Rhapsody's-presumed dead for centuries-rises up to threaten her and all she holds dear.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“An epic saga worthy of Eddings, Goodkind, and Jordan.” —Romantic Times
bn.com
The Barnes & Noble Review
Although Elizabeth Haydon's Requiem for the Sun is considered a stand-alone novel, it is actually the fourth installment in her epic Symphony of Ages saga, which includes the bestselling Rhapsody trilogy (Rhapsody: Child of Blood, Prophecy: Child of Earth, and Destiny: Child of the Sky).

Like the previous novels, the story revolves around the fellowship of three characters: the beautiful singer Rhapsody; the master assassin Achmed; and Grunthor, the ferocious but kindhearted giant. Three years after the cataclysmic conclusion in Destiny, an uneasy peace has settled across the realm. Rhapsody and her part-dragon husband, Ashe, are planning on starting a family. Achmed is busy rebuilding the subterranean wonders of the Bolg, and Grunthor is happy as Achmed's Sergeant Major. But trouble is coming from several different directions. The seemingly immortal Empress of Sorbold and her son are found dead, and the throne is vacant for the first time in almost a century. A civil war is brewing. And a nightmare from Rhapsody's distant past -- long believed dead -- is very much alive and bent on bloody vengeance.

A word of warning, however. Although this novel will undoubtedly delight fans of the series, it may also leave first-time readers a little confused because of the sheer amount of past history referenced and prominent characters from earlier books that suddenly reappear in this story. Paul Goat Allen

Publishers Weekly
There's something utterly refreshing about a fantasy hero and heroine, half-human masters of the elements and rulers of a continent, whose private names for each other are Sam and Emily. With bright and tender touches like these, Haydon breathes new life into fantasy cliches in this sequel to her bestselling Rhapsody trilogy. The fierce, compassionate and exquisitely gorgeous Rhapsody and her draconian husband, Ashe along with their longtime companions, Achmed, King of the Firbolg, and the ferocious but kindhearted Sergeant-Major Grunthor once more take on an evil F'dor demon and its human host, a man Rhapsody believed long dead. The author has smoothed out many of the rough edges evident in Rhapsody (1999), Prophecy (2000) and Destiny (2001), toning down the most overt references to the series' roots in Welsh mythology and Regency bodice-rippers. At the same time, the stated history and dropped hints, as well as style and tone, remain consistent with earlier volumes. Unfortunately, the characters change little or not at all throughout the course of the story, but the rich complexities of historical subtext, unsubtle scheming of religious and political leaders and classical romantic elements are enough to keep the pages turning. Although quite readable as a stand-alone work, the many loose threads left untied promise numerous future volumes, which are certain to be devoured by Haydon's growing legions of fans. (Sept. 18) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Three years after she has helped bring peace and prosperity to the land of Navarne, Rhapsody, Lady Cymrian treasures her family and her people. When the death of the Dowager Empress at Sorbold leaves empty the line of succession, war threatens the fragile Cymrian Alliance-and an old and deadly foe of Rhapsody's rises up to threaten her and all she holds dear. This sequel to the "Rhapsody" trilogy (Rhapsody: Child of Blood; Prophecy: Child of Earth; Destiny: Child of the Sky) continues a tale of love and treachery that spans centuries and worlds. Vivid characters and a richly defined world borrowed from Norse and Celtic legends make this continuing fantasy saga a good choice for most libraries. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Sequel to Haydon’s Rhapsody Trilogy fantasy/romance, begun impressively with Rhapsody: Child of Blood (1999). In Serendair, the ex-whore and harpist Rhapsody, who has Namer magic, gets revirginated, falls in with the assassin Achmed the Snake and his jolly giant sidekick and Sergeant-Major, Grunthor. She gains a fiery sword to help her fight the F’dor, who intend to wake the Primal Wyrm from the world core and level all with fire. In Prophecy: Child of Earth (2000), they recklessly rescue the endangered Sleeping Child from the F’dor while Rhapsody at last unites with her beloved Ashe. The Island of Serendair has been lost beneath the sea for over a thousand years as new plots interweave Lirin’s Lady Cymrian (Rhapsody) and Ashe Lord Cymrian with Esten, dark Mistress of the Ravens Guild of foundry artisans, and with Achmed, whose Bolgs now rebuild Castle Canrif of Ylorc, and with Grunthor. The half-human Queen Rhapsody and her Lord Cymrian care for the Navarre orphans—Gwydion, who assumes his late father’s title, and Gwydion’s young sister Melisande. Lirin and Ylorc are loosely allied with relentlessly sunbaked Sorbold, ruled by greedy, aged Dowager Empress Leitha, famed as the Gray Assassin and mother of her poisonous Crown Prince Vyshla, though her end nears. The fate of the world depends on the Sleeping Child now in a vault under Ylorc, for her altar imprisons beneath it the F’dor children of fire set on rising to destroy the Earth. Rhapsody herself begs Ashe to impregnate her, though he fears a child will kill Rhapsody, yet when she finally is pregnant she must keep it a secret from the risen demons. The worst happens when her old enemy Michael returns from the dead, casting no shadowbut burning villages and sending her to be raped by his ship’s crew.

An opera of the four elements, moody and melodious.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780812565416
Publisher:
Tom Doherty Associates
Publication date:
05/18/2003
Series:
Symphony of Ages Series, #4
Pages:
608
Sales rank:
216,715
Product dimensions:
4.18(w) x 6.75(h) x 1.25(d)
Age Range:
14 - 18 Years

Read an Excerpt

REQUIEM FOR THE SUN


By Elizabeth Haydon

Tor Books

ISBN: 0-312-87884-2


Chapter One

Ylorc

When the mountain peak of Gurgus exploded, the vibrations coursed through the foundations of the earth.

Above ground, the debris field from the blast stretched for miles, ranging from boulder-sized rubble at the base of the peak to fragments of sand that littered the steppes more than a league away. In between, shards of colored glass from windows that had once been inlaid in the mountain's hollow summit lay like a broken rainbow, glittering in the sun beneath an intermittent layer of sparkling dust.

Below ground, a small band of Firbolg soldiers felt the concussion rumble beneath their feet, though they were some miles east of Gurgus. A few moments of stillness passed, as dust settled to the floor of the tunnel. When Krarn finally released the breath he was holding, the rest of his patrol shook off their torpor and resumed their duties. The Sergeant-Major would flay them alive if they let something as small as a tremor keep them from their appointed rounds.

A few days later, the soldiers reluctantly emerged under a cloudless sky, having reached the furthest extent of this section of their tunnel system, and the end of their patrol route.

Krarn stood on the rim of the crater-like ruins of the Moot, a meeting place from ancient times, now dark with coal ash and considered haunted. Nothing but the howl of the wind greeted him; no one lived in the rocky foothills that stretched into steppes, then out to the vast Krevensfield Plain beyond.

Having finished their sweep of the area, his men had quietly assembled behind him. Krarn was about to order them back into the tunnels when the hairs on his back-from his neck to his belt-stood on end.

It began as the faintest of rumblings in the ground. The tremors were not enough to be noticed on their own, but Krarn noted the trembling of vegetation, the slightest of changes in the incessantly dry landscape, little more than the disturbance that a strong breeze might make. He knew that it was no wind that caused this disturbance; it had come from the earth.

Silently ordering his men into a skirmish line, Krarn's eyes scanned the area, looking for any more signs. After a few minutes, the feeling passed, and the earth settled into stillness again. Nothing but wind sighed through the tall grass.

"Aftershocks," he muttered to himself.

With a shake of his head, Krarn led his men back into the tunnels.

And in so doing, missed the chance to sound a warning of what was to come.

As the days passed, the tremors grew stronger.

The surface of the Moot, baked to a waterless shell by the summer sun, began to split slightly, thin cracks spreading over the landscape like the spidery pattern on a mirror that had broken but not shattered.

Then came steam, the slightest of puffs of rancid smoke rising up ominously from the ground beneath the tiny cracks.

By day it was almost impossible to see, had eyes been in the locality to see it. By night it mixed with the hot haze coming off the ground and, caught by the wind, wafted aloft, blending with the low-hanging clouds.

Finally came the eruption.

Waves of shock rolled through the earth as if it were the sea, waves that intensified, growing stronger. The earth began to move, to rise in some places, shifting in its underground strata.

Then, with a terrifying lunge, it ripped apart.

The rumbling beneath the surface suddenly took on movement. It started outside of Ylorc but traveled quickly. It was heading north.

Unerringly, determinedly north, toward the icy land of the Hintervold.

All along the eastern rim of the mountains, then westward across the plains, a movement within the ground could be felt, a shifting so violent that it sent aftershocks through the countryside, uprooting trees and splitting crevasses into the sides of rolling hills, causing children miles away to wake in the night, shaking with fear.

Their mothers held them close, soothing them. "It's nothing, little one," they said, or uttered some similar words in whatever language they were accustomed to speaking. "The ground trembles from time to time, but it will settle and go quiet again. See? It is gone already. There is nothing to fear."

And then it was gone.

The children nestled their heads against their mother's shoulders, their eyes bright in the darkness, knowing on some level that the shivering was more than the ripples of movement in the crust of the world. Someone listening closely enough might sense, beyond the trembling passage, a deeper answer from below the ground.

Much deeper below.

As if the earth itself was listening.

Deep within her tomb of charred earth, the dragon had felt the aftershocks of the explosion of the mountain peak.

Her awareness, dormant for years, hummed with slight static, just enough to tickle the edges of her unconscious mind that had hibernated since her internment in the grave of melted stone and fire ash in the ancient Moot.

At first the sensation nauseated her and she fought it off numbly, struggling to sink back into the peaceful oblivion of deathlike sleep. Then, when oblivion refused to return, she began to grow fearful, disoriented in a body she didn't remember.

After a few moments the fear turned to dread, then deepened into terror.

As the whispers of alarm rippled over her skin it unsettled the ground around her grave, causing slight waves of shock to reverberate through the earth around and above her. She distantly sensed the presence of the coterie of Firbolg guards from Ylorc, the mountainous realm that bordered the grave, who had come to investigate the tremors, but was too disoriented to know what they were.

And then they were gone, leaving her mind even more confused.

The dragon roiled in her sepulcher of scorched earth, shifting from side to side, infinitesimally. She did not have enough control of her conscious thought to move more than she could inhale, and her breath, long stilled into the tiniest of waves, was too shallow to mark.

The earth, the element from which her kind had sprung, pressed down on her, squeezing the air from her, sending horrific scenes of suffocation through her foggy mind.

And then, after what seemed to her endless time in the clutches of horror, into this chaos of thought and confused sensation a beacon shone, the clear, pure light of her innate dragonsense. Hidden deep in the rivers of her ancient blood, old as she was old, the inner awareness that had been her weapon and her bane all of her forgotten life began to rise, clearing away the conundrum, settling the panic, cell by cell, nerve by nerve, bringing clarity in tiny moments, like pieces of an enormous puzzle coming together, or a picture that was slowly gaining focus.

And with the approaching clarity came a guarded calm.

The dragon willed herself to breathe easier, and in willing it, caused it to happen.

She still did not comprehend her form. In her sleep-tangled mind she was a woman still, of human flesh and shape, not wyrm, not beast, not serpentine, and so she was baffled by her girth, her heft, the inability of her arms and legs to function, to push against the ground as they once had. Her confusion was compounded by this disconnection between mind, body, and memory, a dark stage on which no players had yet come to appear. All she could recall in her limited consciousness was the sense of falling endlessly in fire that had struck her from above, and blazed below her as she fell.

Hot, she thought hazily. Burning. I'm burning.

But of course she was not. The blast of flame that had taken her from the sky had quenched more than three years before, had sizzled into smoky ash covering the thick coalbed that lined her tomb, baking it hard and dry in its dying.

Fighting her disorientation, the dragon waited, letting her inner sense sort through the jumble, inhaling a bit more deeply with each breath, remaining motionless, letting the days pass, marking time only by the heat she could feel through the earth when the sun was high above her tomb, and the cooling of night, which lasted only a short while before the warmth returned.

Must be summer's end, she mused, the only cognizant thought to take hold.

Until another image made its way onto the dark stage.

It was a place of stark white, a frozen land of jagged peaks and all but endless winter. In the tight containment of the tomb the memory of expansiveness returned; she recalled staring up at a night sky blanketed with cold stars, the human form she had once inhabited, and still inhabited in her mind, tiny and insignificant in the vastness of the snowy mountains all around her.

A single word formed in her mind.

Home.

With the word came the will.

As the puzzle solidified, as the picture became clearer, her dragonsense was able to ascertain direction, even beneath the ground. With each new breath the dragon turned herself by inches until, after time uncounted, she sensed she was pointed north-northwest. Across the miles she could feel it calling, her lair, her stronghold, though the details of what it was were still scattered.

It mattered not.

Once oriented in the correct direction, she set off, crawling through the earth, still believing herself to be human, dragging a body that did not respond the way she expected it to relentlessly forward, resolute in her intent, slowly gaining speed and strength, until the ground around her began to cool, signaling to her that home was near. Then, with a burst of renewed resolve, she bore through the crust of the earth, up through the blanket of permafrost, hurtling out of the ground in a shower of cracking ice and flying snow, to fall heavily onto the white layer that covered the earth like a frozen scab, breathing shallowly, rapidly, ignoring the sting of the cold.

She lay motionless for a long while beneath that endless night sky blanketed with stars, thought and reason returning with her connection to this land, this place to which she had been exiled, in which she had made her lair. The dragon inhaled the frosty wind, allowing it to slowly cleanse her blackened lungs as the dragonsense in her blood was cleansing her mind.

And along with thought and reason, something else returned as well, burning hot at the edges of her memory, unclear, but unmistakable, growing in clarity and intensity with each moment.

The fury of revenge.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from REQUIEM FOR THE SUN by Elizabeth Haydon Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author


As the daughter of an air force officer, USA Today bestselling epic fantasy author ELIZABETH HAYDON began traveling at an early age and has since traveled all over the world. She draws on the imagery of these visits in the Symphony of Ages series, and blends her love of music, anthropology, herbalism and folklore into much of her writing. Haydon is also a harpist and a madrigal singer (a singer of medieval songs). She lives with her family on the East Coast.

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