Wit'ch War

Wit'ch War

4.4 67
by James Clemens
     
 

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In her hands, the young wit’ch Elena holds the awesome energies of blood magick, and the destiny of Alasea. For the fate of that fabulous kingdom hinges on her recovery of the Blood Diary. Only by mastering the secrets recorded in its pages can Elena defeat the evil magicks of the Dark Lord. But the Diary lies hidden in A’loa Glen–the fabled city

Overview

In her hands, the young wit’ch Elena holds the awesome energies of blood magick, and the destiny of Alasea. For the fate of that fabulous kingdom hinges on her recovery of the Blood Diary. Only by mastering the secrets recorded in its pages can Elena defeat the evil magicks of the Dark Lord. But the Diary lies hidden in A’loa Glen–the fabled city that belongs to Shorkan, chief lieutenant of the Dark Lord, and his fearsome army.

With the help of her allies, including the ocean-dwelling Sy-wen and her great dragon, Elena prepares a desperate invasion of A’loa Glen. At her side stands the one-armed warrior Er’ril, who knows how to unlock the wards that surround the Blood Diary. But unknown to Elena, Er’ril is the brother of the dreaded Shorkan. Will he continue to act as her protector, or will he choose to betray her?

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Clemens has constructed a world of magic that’s never been seen before, with a cast of beings who are so engaging and entrancing that you never want the story to end.”
–JOHN SAUL

“FRESH IN THE DETAIL AND LIVELY IN THE TELLING.”
–Kirkus Reviews

“[A] CAREFULLY CONSTRUCTED EPIC FANTASY ADVENTURE.”
–Publishers Weekly

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This third, stout volume recounts the dramatic climax of the quest for the Blood Diary, which holds the secret magic of the evil Black Heart. Three groups of do-gooding warriors are trying to track down the diary: Elena, the wit'ch, and her one-armed companion, Er'ril; Elena's Aunt Mycelle (a reformed shape-changer) and her motley crew; and the pirate Kast the Bloodrider and his beloved Sy-wen. Clemens tediously details each group's long journey, which concludes in a final confrontation on the island of A'loa Glen. There, the adventurers must confront the evil mage Shorkan (who happens to be Er'ril's brother). No tyro, Clemens does intelligent things with Elena and her brother, Joach, as they fight not only their enemies but also the dangers of their magical powers. He writes suggestively about shape-changing, and the final battle is so well constructed that it demands to be read at one sitting. But Clemens's decision to reveal only toward the end that the Blood Diary does not in fact hold the real key to the power of the Black Heart (thereby invalidating the purpose of the quest) produces terrific disappointment. (It does, however, suggest that he'll write at least one more novel in this series.) Although the scenario revolves around strong women and an abundantly detailed world, such a plot is hardly a novelty in contemporary fantasy fiction. Weakly executed, this book won't compel the attention of more discriminating readers. (July) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
Library Journal
Gifted with the long-lost power of blood magic, the wit ch Elena travels to the ancient city of A loa Glen to retrieve the Blood Diary, a tome whose power will enable her to save her land from the evils of the sorcerer known as Black Heart. Clemens s epic fantasy features a strong heroine along with a memorable cast of supporting characters marked by their loyalty to one another and to the young woman whose cause they serve. Libraries owning Wit ch Fire (LJ 6/15/98) and Wit ch Storm (LJ 5/15/99) should purchase this companion volume. Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Third entry in Clemens's fantasy saga (Wit'ch Storm, 1999, etc.) set in the kingdom of Alasea, where young blood magick-powered wit'ch Elena and the usual array of helpers must recover the lost Blood Diary in order to defeat the world-threatening Dark Lord and his customary evil lieutenant. Ho-hum, though fresh in the detail and lively in the telling. The other piece of news: Clemens has succumbed to Doorstopper Syndrome, wherein plain things ("magic") become pompous ("magick"), each succeeding volume grows larger (448 pp. to 496 pp. to 560 pp.), and the author, abetted by delinquent editors, heaves literary judgment out the window.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780345417107
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
07/31/2001
Series:
Banned and the Banished Series , #3
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
560
Sales rank:
521,092
Product dimensions:
4.17(w) x 6.90(h) x 1.21(d)

Read an Excerpt

With only the crash of waves for company, Elena stood by the cliff's edge and stared out across the blue seas. At the horizon, the sun was just dawning, crowning the distant islands of the Archipelago with rosy halos of mist. Closer to the coast, a single-masted fishing trawler fought the tide to ply its trade among the many isles and reefs. Over its sails, gulls and terns argued while hunting the same generous waters.
Nearer still, at the base of the steep bluff, the rocky shore was already occupied by the lounging bodies of camping sea lions. The scolding barks of mothers to their pups and the occasional huffing roar of a territorial bull echoed up to her.

Sighing, Elena turned her back on the sight. Since the seadragons of the mer'ai had left fifteen days ago, the routines of the coastline were already returning to normal. Such was the resiliency of nature.

As if to remind her further of the natural world's strength, a stiff morning breeze tugged at her hair, blowing it into her eyes. Irritated,
she pushed back the waving strands with gloved fingers and attempted to trap the stray locks behind her ears, but the winds fought her efforts. It had been over two moons since Er'ril had last cropped her hair, and the length had grown to be a nuisance—too short to fix with ribbons and pins,
yet too long to easily manage, especially with her hair beginning to show its curl again. Still, she kept her complaints to herself, fearing Er'ril might take the shears to her once again.

She frowned at the thought. She was tired of looking like a boy.
Though she had readily accepted the necessity of the disguise while traveling the lands of Alasea, out here in the lonely wilds of the
Blisterberry bluffs, there were no eyes to spy upon her and no need to continue the ruse as Er'ril's son—or so she kept telling herself. Yet she was not so sure her guardian held these same assumptions.

As a caution, Elena had gone to wearing caps and hats when around Er'ril,
hoping he wouldn't notice the growing length of her locks or the fading black dye that had camouflaged her hair. The deep fire of her natural color was finally beginning to reappear at the roots.

She pulled out her cap from her belt and corralled her hair under it before hiking back up the coastal trail to the cottage. Why the appearance of her hair should matter so much to her she could not put into words. It was not mere vanity, though she could not deny that a pinch of pride did play a small role in her subterfuge with Er'ril. She was a young woman,
after all, and why wouldn't she balk at appearing as a boy?

But there was more to it than that. And the true reason was marching down the path toward her with a deep frown. Dressed in a wool sweater against the morning's chill, her brother wore his fiery red hair pulled back from his face with a black leather strap. Reminded of her family by Joach's presence, Elena was ashamed to hide her own heritage under dyes any longer. It was like denying her own parents.

As Joach closed the distance between them, Elena recognized the character of the young man's exasperated grimace and his pained green eyes. She had seen it often enough on her father's face.

"Aunt My has been looking all over for you," he said as greeting.

"My lessons!" Elena darted forward, closing the distance with her brother.

"I'd almost forgotten."

"Almost?" he teased as she joined him.

She scowled at her brother but could not argue against his accusation. In fact, she had completely forgotten about this morning's lesson. It was to be her last instruction on the art of swordplay before Aunt Mycelle left for Port Rawl to rendezvous with the other half of their party. Kral,
Tol'chuk, Mogweed, and Meric were due to meet with Mycelle there in two days' time. Elena wondered for the hundredth time how they had fared in
Shadowbrook. She prayed they were all well.

As she and her brother marched back up the trail toward the cottage, Joach mumbled, "El, your head's always in the clouds."

She turned in irritation, then saw her brother's quirked smile. Those were the same words her father had used so often to scold Elena when time had slipped away from her. She took her brother's hand in her own. Here was all that was left of her family now.

Joach squeezed her gloved hand, and they walked in silence through the fringe forest of wind-whipped cypress and pine. As Flint's cottage appeared on the bluffs ahead, Joach cleared his throat. "El, there's something I've been meaning to ask you."

"Hmm?"

"When you go to the island . . ." he started.

Elena inwardly groaned. She did not want to think of the last leg of their journey to retrieve the Blood Diary from the island of A'loa
Glen—especially given Joach's own accounting of the horrors that lay in wait.

"I'd like to go back with you. To the island."

Elena stumbled a step. "You know that's not possible. You heard Er'ril's plan, Joach."

"Yes, but a word from you—"

"No," she said. "There's no reason for you to go."

With a touch on her arm, Joach pulled her to a stop. "El, I know you want to keep me from further danger, but I have to go back."

Shaking free of his hand, she stared him in the eye. "Why? Why do you think you need to go? To protect me?"

"No, I'm no fool." Joach stared at his feet. He still would not meet her gaze. "But I had a dream," he whispered. "A dream that has repeated twice over the past half moon since you arrived from the swamps."

She stared at her brother. "You think it's one of your weavings?"

"I think so." He finally raised his eyes to hers, a slight blush on his cheeks. Joach had discovered he shared their family's heritage of elemental magicks. His skill was dreamweaving, a lost art preserved by only a select few of the Brotherhood. It was the ability to glimpse snatches of future events in the dream plane. Brother Flint and Brother
Moris had been working with Joach on testing the level of his magick.

Joach nodded toward the cottage ahead. "I haven't told anyone else."
"Maybe it's just an ordinary dream," Elena offered. But the part of her that was a wit'ch stirred with her brother's words. Magick. Even the mere mention of it fired her blood. With both her fists fresh to the Rose, the magick all but sang in her heart. Swallowing hard, she closed her spirit against the call of the wit'ch. "What made you think it was a weaving?"

Joach scrunched up his face. "I . . . I get this feeling when I'm in a weaving. It's like a thrill in my veins, like my very being is afire with an inner storm. I felt it during this dream."

An inner storm, Elena thought. She knew that sensation when she touched her own wild magick—a raging tempest trapped in her heart screaming with pent-up energy. She found her two hands wringing together with just the remembrance of past flows of raw magick. She forced her hands apart. "Tell me about your dream."

Joach bit his lower lip, suddenly reluctant.

"Go on," Elena persisted.

His voice lowered. "I saw you at the top of a tall spire in A'loa Glen. A
black winged beast circled the parapets nearby—"

Meet the Author

James Clemens was born in Chicago, Illinois, in 1961. With his three brothers and three sisters, he was raised in the Midwest and rural Canada. He attended the University of Missouri and graduated with a doctorate in veterinary medicine in 1985. The lure of ocean, sun, and new horizons eventually drew him to the West Coast, where he established his veterinary practice in Sacramento, California. He is the author of Wit’ch Fire and Wit’ch Storm. Under the name James Rollins, he is also the author of the national bestseller Subterranean.

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Wit'ch War 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 67 reviews.
MarnieM More than 1 year ago
I absolutely love this author. My lifelong dream is to have HBO pick it up as the next series now that Game of Thrones has done so well. A hidden gem I was glad to find
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Good story, entertaining
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