Wind in the Stone

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Overview

Once the Wind united the Valley with the Forest, enveloping them in the strongest of magics which protected the land and banished the threatening Darkness. And there was peace for many centuries...Until the Dark returned.

A mage, seeking to enslave the Valley and destroy the Forest, has brutally sundered a family. A mother has fled into the woods with her infant girl-child, while the depraved sorcerer holds the babe's twin—a boy—captive in a black tower. The mother dies but the ...

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Overview

Once the Wind united the Valley with the Forest, enveloping them in the strongest of magics which protected the land and banished the threatening Darkness. And there was peace for many centuries...Until the Dark returned.

A mage, seeking to enslave the Valley and destroy the Forest, has brutally sundered a family. A mother has fled into the woods with her infant girl-child, while the depraved sorcerer holds the babe's twin—a boy—captive in a black tower. The mother dies but the girl survives. Adopted by the strange denizens of the Forest—safe from the mage's malevolent influence—she grows to young womanhood, cultivating a cherished skill that has been denied the others of her kind: the ability to truly hear the sounds of her world. But her future will be fraught with trial and terror, for only she can smash the chains that shackle the Balley and its inhabitants. It is her destiny to confront sorcerer and demon minions, and to oppose the one she must conquer and free: the magician's protege and her most powerful adversary. Her bane and blood. Her brother.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
A renegade wizard seizes control of the Valley and its people, thus breaking the long-standing Covenant that prevented the Wind from unleashing its full fury against the evil forces of the Dark. The balance between good and evil rests with a pair of twins, one raised by the wizard to do his bidding, the other sheltered by the strange denizens of the nearby Forest and taught to serve the captive Wind. The latest novel by the grandame of sf features well-delineated characters, including an intriguing nonhuman race of forest dwellers. Norton's storytelling mastery and her ability to create complete worlds with a few simple words continues unabated. A good choice for fantasy collections. Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
New, multigenerational fantasy from the grand dame of the genre (Scent of Magic, 1998, etc.). The evil and ambitious young wizard Irasmus fools his teachers at the Place of Learning into thinking him ignorant and harmless. Then he steals some books of magic, summons a squad of gobbes—horrid demons—and takes up residence in the Tower in Styrmer. Long ago a battle between the Dark and the Light was fought here, resulting in the Covenant that binds all magical forces, including the Wind and its manifestation, the Forest Lady, to noninterference. Irasmus enslaves the people and arranges for young Sulema to give birth to a magic-capable son whom he aims to control. Before she dies, though, Sulema delivers Fogar—who is grabbed by Irasmus—and then, unknown to Irasmus, a daughter. Falice is sent into the forest to be fostered by the nonhuman Sasqua and the Wind. But, with some subtle and judicious interventions by Irasmus's erstwhile teachers, the Mages, Fogar is able to resist his master's attempts to enslave him. So, while Irasmus prepares to summon Vastor, a hideous Great One, hoping for an alliance, the Mages, Fogar, Fogar's magic-touched cousin Cerlyn, and Falice conspire with the Wind to oppose him. Standard fare, with lots of appeal to Norton's appreciative audience.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780380795567
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 12/28/2000
  • Pages: 352

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Amoung these high and narrow mountain valleys, the past, winter had been a cruel one. Supplies carefully harvested and gathered during the short summer had shrunk. There were tightly pulled in belts and children who sometimes whimpered in their sleep, sucking with cracked lips on the edge of thin blankets during frost-filled nights. Even the carefully selected breeding stock for the next season had been twice more culled and slaughtered. It seemed as if the world was passing into a punishing grip of cold.

Now there was sluggish stirring suggesting the belated coming of spring. The first trader's caravan of the season had set out, though other merchants had shaken their heads at such recklessness.

Not only the traders ventured so: a handful of other travelers always joined such trains, either paying a few coins or offering to help with the animals. No one wanted to risk the early spring trails alone-all too often, deadly rockfalls occurred.

So it was with the young man who had drifted slowly to the end of the train of pack ponies. He was mounted on a horse so bony that its joints seemed to crack with every step it took. Now he edged himself and that sorry steed into the shadow of a rock spur as the others plodded by. Though it was still only mid-morning, men and beasts alike looked as if they'd been on the trail for hours.

The rider did not turn his head to view the trail back, but his attitude was that of one listening; and he was muttering almost at a whisper — a gabble of sounds that bore little resemblance to human speech. He pulled his riding cloak tighter against the probing finger of a sharp breeze, though hehad lived long enough in the heart of the heights to accept the dreary cold.

Of course, he had been well housed. His thin lips curved in a smile that was half sneer, for, behind him there still showed the towers and walls of Valarian, the Place of Learning, where he had been a novice-whether or no in good standing-until a day ago.

That sprawl of buildings, which had been added to until it choked a valley and the mountains refused it any expansion, was so old that its core might have been wrought from the very bones of the earth. Among all the scholars, who blinked in their study cubicles like distempered, disturbed owls, there was probably not one who was interested enough in the past so lost in time-the era when the first stones of the first wall had been fitted together.

In years agone, the Place of Learning had housed many more seekers of knowledge than the shrunken number who used the nearly deserted halls today. There were names out of legend connected with it; but nowadays those gathered there were like the froth floating on a jack of ale-bubbles that never sank below the surface.

Each scholar had long since settled into a chosen area of study. His or her learning might be deep and authoritative, yet the subject would be nearly meaningless to a neighbor. Had anything really useful come out of there, even in the generation immediately past?

The rider's head snapped to the left as he caught a faint sound from the rocks. His lips pursed, and he loosed a chitter that sounded much like the complaint of a rockrat finding its home territory invaded. Listening, he waited; however, there was no movement in the brush, no misshapen shadow flitting from one rock cover to the next. Irasmus, fourth son of a border warden by his third wife, smiled again. He dug his heel into the mount's tough hide, and the horse shambled on.

He had come this way-how many years ago? Season ran into season in the Place of Learning; they spoke there of eons rather than days, months, or years. His mother who had sent him to Valarian after seeing him engaged in one of his secretive games in their neglected garden. He had expected punishment; but instead, when he had followed her obediently to her bower, his real life had begun.

Mind talents were largely a matter for bards and ballad makers now; once, however, those fortunate enough to have such had ruled without putting hand to sword hilt. On that long-past afternoon, the shy youth had been encouraged to try things that had never occurred to him.

Irasmus's mother had been a scrawny, gaunt-faced female very sparing of words, yet one who could, with a single glance, set a servant-or a child-quaking. He never remembered her showing any approbation of his efforts to please her; and his failures were made doubly sour by her set face, just as the weapon trials with his brothers in the arms yard had gained nothing but jeers from them and his father. Still, he had known he possessed innate skills; and some of the trials his mother had set him did end in triumph. In that hour, Irasmus had also understood that such gifts were a private thing, not to be discussed openly. He was not to astound his brothers by performing some of the odd tricks that appeared to come naturally to him, nor let his bear-strong father guess he had any more talents than the woefully few he had shown so far.

Being the youngest, the slightest of body, and — apparently — the least-competent member of a fighting clan, the boy had early learned to efface himself as much as possible. He had approached happiness for the first time in his life when his mother had informed him that he was to go into exile from his unloved and unloving home. Then the future had been up to him, to make his way in the outer world.

These days, there were few students applying to the Place of Learning. If children were born with the right mind power they were not encouraged to enhance a native gift by any manner of study. Irasmus owed a great deal to his mother-she had sent him to Valarian...

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2013

    Welcome all cats to StoneClan!

    I am the leader, Mossystar! The camp is an alcove in the rock with large holes to use as dens. There is a river, and a layout similar to that of the SkyClan camp(for those of you that have read Firestar's Quest or SkyClan's Destiny). Warrior den is res 2, Med den is res 3, Apprentice den is res 4, Nursery and Elder's den is res 5, and Leader's den is res 6.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2004

    Very descriptive and easily visualized.

    This book is written with the imagination of a child. Andre Norton keeps you enthralled with the story the entire way through. She uses just the right amount of mystery and if you do not completely give it your attention you will miss something.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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