THE DEMON AWAKENS
THE DEMON SPIRIT
THE DEMON APOSTLE
A great evil has awakened in the land of Corona: a demon determined to spread death and misery. His goblin armies and fearsome giants ravage the settlements of the frontier, and in the small village of Dundalis their merciless attack leaves behind two shattered orphans: Pony and her lifelong friend Elbryan. Taken in by elves, Elbryan is raised to become a formidable ranger—a fateful role that will lead him into harrowing confrontation.
Meanwhile, on a far-off island, a shower of gemstones falls onto the black sand shores. These heaven-sent stones carry within them an incredible power—the key to all that is good and all that is evil in the world. Now it’s up to one young monk to liberate them from the corrupt monastery that harvests them. Pray that they don’t fall into the wrong, clawed hands.
Praise for the DemonWars Saga
“An enthralling epic adventure story, it introduces memorable characters and an intricate scheme of magic the readers won’t soon forget.”—Terry Brooks, on The Demon Awakens
“A new classic! Wonderfully told! Fans will love it!”—Troy Denning, New York Times bestselling author of Star Wars: Crucible, on The Demon Awakens
“Absorbing . . . one of the finest books yet in Salvatore’s prolific career.”—Publishers Weekly, on The Demon Spirit
“Unforgettable . . . another rousing and masterful DemonWars adventure . . . a must-read for all fans of Salvatore’s work.”—Realms of Fantasy, on The Demon Apostle
About the Author
Date of Birth:January 20, 1959
Place of Birth:Leominster, MA
Read an Excerpt
Elbryan Wyndon collected his wooden chair and his precious mirror and
moved to the mouth of the small cave. He blinked as he pulled the blanket
aside, surprised to see that the dawn was long past. Climbing out of the
hole seemed no easy task for a man of Elbryan's size, with his
six-foot-three-inch muscular frame, but with the agility given him in
years of training with the lithe elves of Caer'alfar, he had little
trouble navigating the course.
He found his companion Jilseponie, Pony, awake and about, gathering up
their bedrolls and utensils. Not so far away, the great horse Symphony
nickered and stomped at sight of Elbryan, and that image of the stallion
would have given most men pause. Symphony was tall, but not the least bit
lanky, with a powerful, muscled chest, a coat so black and smooth over
those rippling muscles that it glistened in the slightest light, and eyes
that projected profound intelligence. A white diamond-shaped patch showed
on the horse's head, above the intelligent eyes, but other than that and a
bit of white on the forelegs, the only thing that marred the perfect black
coat was a turquoise gemstone, the link between Symphony and Elbryan,
magically set in the middle of the horse's chest.
For all the splendor, though, the ranger hardly paid Symphony any
heed, for, as was so often the case, his gaze was locked on Pony. She was
a few months younger than Elbryan, his childhood friend, his adult wife.
Her hair, thick and golden, was just below her shoulders now, longer than
Elbryan's own light brown mop for the first time in years. The day was
lightly overcast, the sky gray, but that did little to dim the shine of
Pony's huge blue eyes. She was his strength, the ranger knew, the bright
spot in a dark world. Her energy seemed limitless, as did her ability to
smile. No odds frightened her, no sight daunted her; she pressed on
"Do we look for the camp north of End-o'-the-World?" she asked, the
question shattering Elbryan's contemplation.
He considered the thought. They had discerned that there were
satellite camps in the region, clusters of goblins, mostly, supplied by
the larger encampments set up in what used to be the three towns of
Dundalis, Weedy Meadow, and End-o'-the-World. Because the towns were each
separated by a day's walk, Dundalis west to Weedy Meadow, and Weedy Meadow
west to End-o'-the-World, these smaller outposts would be key to regaining
the region--if ever an army from Honce-the-Bear made its way to the
borders of the Wilderlands. If Elbryan and Pony could clear the monsters
from the dense woods, there would remain little contact between the three
"It seems as good a place as any to start," the ranger replied.
"Start?" Pony asked incredulously, to which Elbryan could only shrug.
Indeed, both were weary of battle now, though both knew that many, many
more fights lay before them.
"Did you speak with Uncle Mather?" Pony asked, nodding toward the
mirror. Elbryan had explained Oracle to her, that mysterious elven
ceremony in which someone might converse with the dead.
"I spoke at him," the ranger replied, his olive-green eyes flashing as
a shiver coursed his spine--as always happened when he considered the
ghost of the great man who had gone before him.
"Does he ever answer?"
Elbryan snorted, trying to figure out how he might better explain
Oracle. "I answer myself," he started. "Uncle Mather guides my thoughts, I
believe, but in truth, he does not give me the answers."
Pony's nod showed that she understood perfectly what the young man was
trying to say to her. Elbryan had not known his uncle Mather in life; the
man had been lost to the family at a young age, before Olwan
Wyndon--Mather's brother, Elbryan's father--had taken his wife and
children to the wild Timberlands. But Mather, like Elbryan, had been taken
in and trained by the Touel'alfar, the elves, to be a ranger. Now, in
Oracle, Elbryan conjured his image of the man, an image of a perfect
ranger, and when speaking to that image, Elbryan was forcing himself to
uphold his own highest ideals.
"If I taught you Oracle, perhaps you could speak with Avelyn," the
ranger said, and it wasn't the first time he had suggested as much. He had
been hinting that Pony might try to contact their lost friend for several
days now, ever since he himself tried, and failed, to reach Avelyn's
spirit at Oracle two days after they had started south from the blasted
"I do not need it," Pony said softly, turning away, and for the first
time Elbryan realized how disheveled she appeared.
"You do not believe in the ceremony," he started to say, more to
prompt than to accuse.
"Oh, but I do," was her quick and sharp retort, but she lost momentum
just as abruptly, as if fearing the turn in the conversation. "I ... I
might be experiencing much the same thing."
Elbryan stared at her calmly, giving her the time to sort out her
As the seconds passed into minutes, he prompted, "You have learned
"No," she answered, turning to look at the man. "Not quite the same as
your own. I do not seek it. Rather, it seeks me."
"It is Avelyn," Pony said with conviction. "He is with me, I feel,
somehow a part of me, guiding me and strengthening me."
"As I feel about my father," Elbryan reasoned. "And you about yours. I
do not doubt that Olwan is watching over ..." His voice trailed away as he
looked at her, for Pony was shaking her head before he finished.
"Stronger than that," she explained. "When Avelyn first taught me to
use the stones, he was badly injured. We joined, spirit to spirit, through
use of the hematite, the soul stone. The result was so enlightening, for
both of us, that Avelyn continued that joining over the weeks, as he
showed me the secrets of the gemstones. In a mere month my understanding
and capabilities with the stones progressed far beyond what a monk at
St.-Mere-Abelle might learn in five years of training."
"And you believe that he is still connecting with you in that
spiritual manner?" Elbryan asked, and there was no skepticism in the
question. The young ranger had seen too much, both enchanting and
diabolical, to doubt such a possibility--or any possibility.
"He is," Pony replied. "And every morning, I wake up to find that I
know a bit more about the stones. Perhaps I dream about them, and in those
dreams see new uses for any given stone, or new combinations between them."
"Then it is not Avelyn, but Pony," the ranger reasoned.
"It is Avelyn," she said firmly. "He is with me, in me, a part of who
I have become."
She went quiet, and Elbryan did not respond, the two of them standing
in silence, digesting the revelation--one that Pony had not made even to
herself until this very moment. Then a smile spread across Elbryan's face,
and Pony gradually joined him, both taking comfort that their friend, the
Mad Friar, the runaway monk from St.-Mere-Abelle, might still be with them.
"If your insight is true, then our business becomes easier," Elbryan
reasoned. He held his smile and offered a wink, then turned, moving to
pack Symphony's saddlebags.
Pony didn't reply, just methodically went about closing down the
campsite. They never stayed in a place more than a single night--often not
more than half the night if Elbryan determined there were goblin patrols
in the area. The ranger finished his task first, and with a look to the
woman, to which she responded with an assenting nod, he took his sword
belt and wandered away.
Pony hurriedly finished her task, then silently stalked after him. She
knew his destination to be a clearing they had passed right before they
set camp, and knew, too, that she would find ample cover in the thick
blueberry bushes on its northeastern end. Stalking quietly, as Elbryan had
taught her, she finally settled into place.
The ranger was well into the dance by then. He was naked, except for a
green armband set about his left biceps, and was holding his great sword
Tempest, which had been given by the Touel'alfar to his uncle, Mather
Wyndon. Gracefully, Elbryan went through the precise movements, muscles
flowing in perfect harmony, legs turning, body shifting, keeping him
always in balance.
Pony watched, mesmerized by the sheer beauty of the dance, which the
elves called bi'nelle dasada, and her love's perfection of form. As always
when she spied on Elbryan's dance--no, not Elbryan, for in this fighting
form he was the one the elves had named Nightbird, and not Elbryan
Wyndon--Pony had pangs of guilt, feeling quite the voyeur. But there was
nothing sexual or prurient here, just appreciation of the art and beauty
of the interplay between her love's powerful muscles. More than anything,
she wanted to learn that dance, to weave her own sword in graceful
circles, to feel her bare feet become so attuned to the moist grass below
them that they could feel every blade and every contour in the ground.
Pony was no minor warrior herself, having served with distinction in
the Coastpoint Guards. She had battled many goblins and powries, even
giants, and few could outfight her. But in looking at Elbryan, the
Nightbird, she felt herself to be a mere amateur.
That dance, bi'nelle dasada, was perfection of the art form, and her
lover was perfection of bi'nelle dasada. The ranger continued his
slashing, weaving maneuvers, feet turning, stepping to the side, front,
back, body going down low and then rising in graceful sequences. This was
the traditional fighting style of the day, the slashing routines of the
heavy, edged swords.