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New York Times bestselling authors David and Leigh Eddings, creators of such grand fantasy epics as The Belgariad and The Malloreon, continue the national bestselling saga of The Dreamers with an epic new novel of gods and mortals who must defy the dark forces that would destroy them all... Flush from their narrow victory over the horrific Vlagh, Longbow and his companions are drawn to a pastoral territory in south Dhrall, confident that they will thwart the next assault by their inhuman foe. But on the border of...
New York Times bestselling authors David and Leigh Eddings, creators of such grand fantasy epics as The Belgariad and The Malloreon, continue the national bestselling saga of The Dreamers with an epic new novel of gods and mortals who must defy the dark forces that would destroy them all... Flush from their narrow victory over the horrific Vlagh, Longbow and his companions are drawn to a pastoral territory in south Dhrall, confident that they will thwart the next assault by their inhuman foe. But on the border of the Wasteland, the Vlagh is breeding a monstrous new army of venomous bat-bugs and armored spiders. These grotesque legions threaten to overwhelm the allies, who are further shocked by a prophecy delivered by the Dreamers: an invasion by a new, second army. A force of armed acolytes approaches to plunder this unspoiled land in a global holy war. Now farmers and hunters, soldiers and madmen, mortals and gods-all charge to a battle that will decide the fate of the world.
Over the endless eons I've discovered that a mountain sunrise gives me the most delicious light I've ever tasted, so whenever possible I go up to the shoulder of Mount Shrak at first light to drink in the beauty of the sunrise. No matter what happens later in the day, the taste of a mountain sunrise gives me a serenity that nothing else can provide.
It was on a day in the late spring of the year when the creatures of the Wasteland had made their futile attempt to seize sister Zelana's Domain and had been met by Eleria's flood and Yaltar's twin volcanos that I went out of my cave under Mount Shrak to greet the morning sun.
When I reached my customary feasting place, I saw that there was a cloud bank off to the east, and that always makes the sunrise even more glorious.
I looked around at the nearby mountains, and itseemed that summer was moving up into my Domain a bit more slowly than usual, and last winter's snow was still stubbornly clinging to the lower ridges. It occurred to me that this might be a sign of one of those periodic climate changes which appear much more frequently than the people who serve us seem to realize. The temperatures on the face of Father Earth are never really constant. They're subject almost entirely to the whims of Mother Sea, and if Mother's feeling chilly, Father will get a lot of snow. That can go on for centuries.
After I'd considered the possibility, though, I dismissed the notion. Zelana had tampered with the weather extensively during the past winter to delay the invasion of her Domain by the servants of the Vlagh until her hired army arrived from the land of Maag, and it might take a while for things to go back to normal.
All in all, though, things had gone rather well this past spring. The more I considered the matter, the more certain I became that my decision to rouse the younger gods from their sleep cycle prematurely and to cause them to regress to infancy in the process had, in fact, fulfilled that ancient prophecy. Eleria's flood and Yaltar's twin volcanos had forever sealed off Zelana's Domain from any more incursions by the creatures of the Wasteland.
The morning sun rose in all her splendor, painting that eastern cloudbank a glorious crimson, and I feasted on her light. I've always found early summer light to be more invigorating than the pale light of winter or the dusty light of autumn, and there was a certain bounce to my step as I walked on back down the mountain to the mouth of my cave.
My little toy sun was waiting for me at the cave-mouth, and she flickered her customary question at me.
"Just taking a look at the weather, little one," I lied. She always seems to get all pouty and sullen if she thinks that I prefer the light of the real sun to hers. Pets can be very strange sometimes. "Is Ashad still sleeping?" I asked her.
She bobbed up and down slightly in answer.
"Good," I said. "He hasn't been sleeping too well here lately. I think he was badly frightened by what happened down in Zelana's Domain. Maybe you should keep your light a bit subdued so that he can sleep longer. He needs the rest."
She bobbed her agreement, and her light dimmed. She had been just a bit sulky when I'd first brought Ashad into our cave, but that had passed, and she was now very fond of my yellow-haired little boy. She'd never fully understood Ashad's need for solid food rather than light alone, so she habitually hovered near him, spilling light down on him-just in case he happened to need some.
I went on down through the twisting passageway that led to my cave, ducking under the iciclelike stalactites hanging down from the ceiling. They were much thicker and longer than they'd been at the beginning of my current cycle, and they were starting to get in my way. They were the result of the mineral-rich water that came seeping down through Mount Shrak, and they grew perceptibly longer every century. I made a mental note to take a club to them someday when I had a little more time.
Ashad, covered with his fur robe, was still sleeping when I came out of the passageway into the large open chamber that was our home, so I thought it best not to disturb him.
I was still convinced that my decision to bring our alternates into the tag-end of our cycle had been the right one, but it was growing increasingly obvious that they'd brought some of their previous memories with them. I sat down in my chair near the table where Ashad ate his meals of what he called "real food" to consider some things I hadn't anticipated. I rather ruefully admitted to myself that I probably should have examined our alternates a bit more closely before I'd awakened them, but it was a little late now. I'd assumed that the children would respond to any dangers in the Domains of their own surrogate parents, so I'd been more than a little startled when Veltan had told me that Yaltar's dream had predicted the war in Zelana's Domain. I'd assumed that it'd be Eleria who'd warn us. Then when the real crisis arose, Yaltar had shoved prediction aside and had gone straight into action with those twin volcanos. That strongly suggested that Yaltar and Eleria had been very close during their previous cycle, a suggestion confirmed by the fact that Yaltar had occasionally referred to Eleria by her true name, "Balacenia," and Eleria in like manner had spoken of "Vash"-Yaltar's true name.
"I think there might just be a few holes in this 'grand plan' of mine," I ruefully admitted.
The more I thought about it, the more it seemed that the core of our problem lay in the fact that the Vlagh had been consciously modifying its servants over the past hundred or so eons. The modification of various life forms goes on all the time, usually in response to changes in the environment. Sometimes these modifications work, and sometimes they don't. The species that makes the right choice survives, but the wrong choice leads to extinction. In most cases, survival depends on sheer luck.
Before the arrival of the hairy predecessors of the creatures we now call men, vast numbers of creatures had arisen in the Land of Dhrall, but at some point most of them had made a wrong turn and had died out.
The Vlagh, unfortunately, had been among the survivors. Originally, the Vlagh had been little more than a somewhat exotic insect which had nested near the shore of that inland sea which in the far distant past had covered what is now the Wasteland. A gradual climate change had evaporated that sea, and the Vlagh, driven by necessity, had begun to modify its servants. The change of climate had made avoiding the broiling sunlight a matter of absolute necessity, but as closely as I've been able to determine, the Vlagh had not simply groped around in search of a solution, but had relied on observation instead. I'm almost positive that it had been at this point that "the overmind" had appeared. The ability to share information had given the servants of the Vlagh an enormous advantage over their neighbors. What any single one of them had seen, they all had seen. The Vlagh's species at that time had lived above the ground, most probably up in the trees. Several other species, however, had lived beneath the surface of the ground, and "the seekers of knowledge", spies, if you wish, had observed those neighbors and had provided very accurate descriptions of the appendages the neighbors used to burrow below the surface. Then "the overmind" had filched the design, the Vlagh had duplicated it, and the next hatch had all been burrowers.
The extensive tunnels had kept the servants of the Vlagh out of the blazing sunlight, but that had been only the first problem they had been forced to solve. As the centuries had passed, the changed climate had gradually killed all the vegetation in that previously lush region, so there was no longer sufficient food to support a growing population.
The Vlagh had continued to lay eggs, of course, but each hatch had produced fewer and fewer offspring, and the Vlagh had come face-to-face with the distinct possibility of the extinction of its species.
When the burrowing insects had reached the mountains, they'd encountered solid stone, and their progress had stopped at that point. Not long after that, however, they'd discovered the caves lying beneath those mountains, and the species which should have gone extinct lived on.
I'm of two minds about caves. I love mine, but I hate theirs.
Anyway, the servants of the Vlagh had encountered other creatures in the caves and mountains, and evidently the overmind had realized that some of those creatures had characteristics which might prove to be very useful, and it had begun to experiment, or tamper, producing peculiar and highly unnatural variations.
I rather ruefully conceded that the experiment which had produced what Sorgan Hook-Beak of the Land of Maag colorfully called "the snake-men" had been extremely successful, though I can't for the life of me understand exactly how the Vlagh had produced a creature that was part bug, part reptile, and part warm-blooded mammal that closely resembled a human being.
Biological impossibilities irritate me to no end.
I will admit, though, that had it not been for the near genius of the shaman One-Who-Heals, the creatures of the Wasteland would probably have won the war in my sister's Domain.
Ashad made a peculiar little sound, and I got up from my chair and crossed in the dim light of our cavern to the stone bench that served as his bed to make sure that he was all right. He was nestled down under his fur robe with his eyes closed, though, so I was sure that he wasn't having any problems. Our discovery that our Dreamer-children weren't able to live on light alone had made us all a little jumpy. It wasn't the sort of thing we wanted to gamble with. Then we came face-to-face with the question of breathing. Veltan's ten eons on the face of the moon had been a clear demonstration of the fact that we didn't really need to breathe. Many of our pet people were fisher-men, though, and drowning happens quite often. Even though our Dreamer-children were actually gods, their present condition strongly suggested that they needed air to breathe and food to eat, and none of us was in the mood to take any chances.
Ashad was still breathing in and out, though, so I went on back to my chair. I let my mind drift back to Ashad's first few hours here in my cave. If anybody with a cruel mind would like to see a god in a state of pure panic, I think he missed his chance. Panic had run rampant in my family that day. As soon as Ashad started screaming at me, I went all to pieces. Eventually, though, I remembered a peculiarity of the bears which share my Domain with deer, people, and wild cows. She-bears give birth to their cubs during their yearly hibernation cycle, and their cubs attend to the business of nursing all on their own. Then I remembered that a she-bear called Broken-Tooth customarily hibernated in a cave that was no more than a mile away.
Still caught up in sheer panic, I grabbed up my howling Dreamer and ran to Mama Broken-Tooth's cave. She'd already given birth to the cub Long-Claw, and he was contentedly nursing when I entered the cave. Fortunately, I didn't have to argue with him. He was nice enough to move aside just a bit, and I introduced Ashad to bear's milk.
His crying stopped immediately.
Peculiarly-or maybe not- Ashad and Long-Claw were absolutely positive that they were brothers, and after they'd both nursed their fill of Mama Broken-Tooth's milk, they began to play with each other.
I remained in the cave until Mama Broken-Tooth awakened. She sniffed briefly at her two cubs, totally ignoring the fact that one of them didn't look at all like a bear, and then she gently nestled them against her bearish bosom as if there was nothing at all peculiar taking place. Of course, bears don't really see very well, so they rely instead on their sense of smell, and after two weeks of rolling around on the dirt floor of the cave, Ashad had most definitely had a bearish fragrance about him.
Ashad slept until almost noon, but my flaxen-haired little boy still seemed exhausted when he rose, pulled on his tan leather smock, and joined me at our table. "Good morning, uncle," he greeted me as he sank wearily into his chair. Almost absently, he pulled the large bowl full of red berries he'd brought home the previous evening in front of him and began to eat them one at a time. His appetite didn't seem quite normal, for some reason.
"Is something bothering you, Ashad?" I asked him.
"I had a nightmare last night, uncle," the boy replied, absently fondling a shiny black stone that was about twice the size of an eagle's egg. "It seemed that I was standing on nothing but air, and I was way up in the sky looking down at the Domain of Vash. The country down there in the South doesn't look at all like our country up here, does it?"
There it was again. Ashad obviously knew Yaltar's true name, even as Eleria did. "The people of the South are farmers, Ashad," I explained. "They grow much of their food in the ground instead of concentrating on hunting the way our people do. They had to cut down the trees to give themselves open ground for planting, so the land down there doesn't look at all like the land up here. What else happened in your dream?"
Ashad pushed his yellow hair out of his eyes. "Well," he continued, "it seemed that there were a whole lot of those nasty things coming into the Domain of Vash, sort of like the things that crawled down into Balacenia's Domain a little while ago." The boy put the shiny black stone down on the table and ate more of the red berries.
There it was again. It was obvious now that the Dreamers were, perhaps unconsciously, stepping over the barrier I'd so carefully set up between them and their past.
"Anyway," Ashad continued, "there were outlanders there, and they were fighting the nasty things just like they did in Balacenia's Domain, but then things got very confusing. A whole lot of other outlanders came up across Mother Sea from the South, but it didn't seem like they were interested in the war very much, because they spent all their time talking to the farmers about somebody called Amar. The ones who were doing all the talking were wearing black robes, but there were some others who wore red clothes, and they were pushing the farmers around and making them listen while the ones in black talked.
Excerpted from The Treasured One by David Eddings Copyright © 2005 by David Eddings. Excerpted by permission.
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Posted June 5, 2013
Posted November 15, 2012
While Zelana was busy with the war in her domain,the Vlagh seeks to harm Veltan's domain,Jalkan also decided to go to war against Veltan and Ashad had a dream about all of this exept Zelana's war which was ValtarWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 16, 2008
I'm not one to criticize much. And I'm a huge fan of Eddings, but this book and series are disappointing. The story and plotlines are really good, but the characters sound the same--their 'voice' and mannerisms. I'm sadly disappointed.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 1, 2006
I liked it, but it was too much of repeation. We keep rereading the same story over and over. I understand he wanted to gave an insight for each character but he should have stopped at the part when they got hired and traveled to Dhrall. I do not care about the size of the book as long it keeps me interested in reading it. This book, I kept putting it down, unlike the first one. Never the less I'll read the third and the fourth when it comes out. I'm hooked on the story line itself.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 8, 2006
I thought this was an excellant book, however, I almost wish that it had been the first. It gave much more insight to characters and the entire story. After reading it I re-read the first and had a much better understanding of what exactly was going on. Also, I would like to say that this is a little different than previous Eddings books. The characters are not as well developed nor is the language or byplay between them. The story line is great though and I throughly enjoyed it.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 10, 2005
The writing in this book as well as the other two of the series is just phenomenal. You get the story from many different character's perspectives that add all of those little bits of detail that you have come to expect from Eddings' books. The time line jumps around a bit and you might want to scim through some descriptions of events that have already been told by other characters, but don't because they add one sentence here and there that if you are paying attention give you a lot of insight into other character's stories.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 24, 2005
Posted March 6, 2005
As an avid Eddings fan for 15 years I have to say that some of the dialogue is cheap but the story is classic Eddings- rich and fun. I can't wait for the next one!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 16, 2005
This series is every bit as wonderful as everything else David Eddings has come out with. Although the books start out with almost childlike simplicity, the characters and plots builds on themselves until the story is every bit as complicated and imaginative and wonderful as anyone would posibly wish. All in all, this is a fantastic and intriguing story line, and I'm eagerly awaiting the next installment.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 17, 2004
I looked forward to this book like a kid waits for Christmas. I must say that I was disappointed by it. The format jumped, the material read like a to-do list, and it seemed strained. The background wasn't nearly as developed as previous Eddings' books. It came across as a deadline novel, not a fanatsy masterpiece. I hope the next installment is back to par.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 28, 2004
Book two is a continuation of book one in the series. The Eddings seem to be at a loss for creativity and shot gunned the word count to meet their deadline on this one. Many of the chapters start with a repetition of the final paragraphs in the previous chapter. If the entire series is like this I will be VERY disappointed. I am a collector of the Eddings books and feel cheated on this one.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 25, 2004
Posted December 9, 2008
Though triumphant in the recent battle with the malevolent insectoid Vlagh (see THE ELDER GODS), none of the victors realize that the enemy is hatching a new even deadlier plot to take over Dhrall. The tired quartet of sibling Gods succeeded in the first skirmish because they awakened early their replacement Gods, the Dreamers forged a mortal army to repel the deadly Vlagh.--- While Longbow and his hooded companions seek deserved respite in the farming communities of the south, the Vlagh creates a hideous army of gigantic bat-bugs and armored spiders that is much more powerful and deadlier than their previous horde. . At the same time that the Vlagh seems ready to win, one of the original allies Jalkan falls to gold fever. He raises an army and declares a holy war against his former compatriots while the Vlagh begin their assault. In the midst of this war, an unknown being assaults the minds of everyone from insectoid, humans, and seemingly aging and youthful Gods.--- Filled with plenty of varying action that never fully explodes, the second Dreamer tale will excite fans of the Eddings though it reads like a middle book setting up the real adventure. The Elder Gods remain intriguing as their skills continue to wane while the Dreamers wonder if it is their time now albeit a bit early. The interesting Jalkan spin divides the solidarity of the allied forces, but competes for depth with the Vlagh war and other subplots. Still epic fantasy readers will enjoy the latest entry that spirals in several potentially enjoyable different directions setting up what should prove to be a spike of a third novel.--- Harriet KlausnerWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 18, 2004
'Finished it yesterday evening. What can I say - it is a spectacular, marvellous fantasy book. It is full with this special, sardonic humour we all know and love in Eddings, and it is grand, and it is epic. I must say that it is also much, much better than book 1, 'The Elder Gods'. While 'The Elder Gods' was enjoyable book with certain sense of 'magical', it was quite predictable and the characters, even if likable, were sort of undeveloped. Not the case with the sequel, 'The Treasured One'. All the characters - Narasan, Jalkan, Omago - are developed and described and the plot is full with twists, so it's impossible to predict what will happen. I must admit that I espected a very good book - I knew from the beginning that 'The Elder Gods' is just a nice introduction, but I was took by surprise. The book is bloody brilliant. Hell, I think it's as good as the 'Tamuli' books and this says a lot. A must read. You won't be disappointed. Right now I'm dying for book 3.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 10, 2010
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Posted April 25, 2009
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Posted June 27, 2011
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Posted January 6, 2010
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Posted January 25, 2011
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Posted December 9, 2013
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