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Guardians of the Lost: Volume Two of the Sovereign Stone Trilogy

Guardians of the Lost: Volume Two of the Sovereign Stone Trilogy

4.3 11
by Margaret Weis, Tracy Hickman

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For two centuries the portion of the great Sovereign Stone belonging to the humans of Loerem was lost from sight and memory. But there are those who dare never forget ...

A magical relic has been miraculously recovered -- and the battle for the future of Loerem begins. It is a nightmare conflict that will ensnare dwarf, human, elf, and orken beings,


For two centuries the portion of the great Sovereign Stone belonging to the humans of Loerem was lost from sight and memory. But there are those who dare never forget ...

A magical relic has been miraculously recovered -- and the battle for the future of Loerem begins. It is a nightmare conflict that will ensnare dwarf, human, elf, and orken beings, as the immortal dark lord Dagnarus launches terrible war from the blackest depths of the Void. And now heros must emerge from the most unlikely corners of the world to deny Dagnarus the awesome power of the Stone -- or suffer the hideous damnation of his hellish reign.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Bestsellers Weis and Hickman (Dragonlance series, etc.) deliver a solid tale peopled by familiar figures (some of whom are Not What They Seem) in the second volume of their latest fantasy trilogy. Two hundred years after the action in Well of Darkness, the world of Loerem (conceived by fantasy artist Larry Elmore, who provides the stunning jacket art work) is plunged into war. Old hatreds and new combine with the struggle to recover all the pieces of the Sovereign Stone to uproot the characters, sending them running across lands turned hostile. While much of the work fits the classic fantasy quest tradition, the authors do manage to impart some subtle differences, such as basing cultural traits and the magic used by each race (human, elf, dwarf, ork) upon an unusual associated element. (Orks are the water race and rule the seas, while the fire-using dwarves are master horse riders.) Dagnarus, Lord of the Void, is also not the quintessential outsider that most evil overlords tend to be. Instead, he's a Mordred figure, struggling to claim what he believes is his inheritance. In places the narrative turns expository, in order to aid readers wishing to role-play in the setting. Elsewhere, the collaboration reveals its seams, as when the same object is repeatedly given two names (blood knife/bone knife) or when a long-separated elven wife and husband immediately separate after embracing, "for elves consider public displays of affection to be boorish and intrusive." The target audience, college-age readers and their teenage kin, should be well satisfied. (Nov. 20) Forecast: As with the authors' Dragonlance books, the associated role-playing game is sure to swell sales for the novel and viceversa. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Two hundred years after The Well of Darkness (EOS/HarperCollins, 2000/VOYA April 2001), Dagnarus still schemes to retrieve the lost portion of the Sovereign Stone to control the world of Loerem. Gustav, a Dominion Lord, finds the stone hidden in a burial mound, only to be wounded fatally during a fight with a Vrykyl (a dead person animated by Void Magic) working to steal the stone for Dagnarus. Before dying, Gustav passes his sacred burden on to a young pecwae, Bashae, and his friend, Jessan, who along with Bashae's grandmother, try valiantly to get the stone to safety. Dagnarus's forces, however, already have infiltrated much of Loerem. The shield of the Divine has been deceived into turning over an elven portal to Dagnarus's men, rulers are being poisoned one after another, and the Vrykyl have assumed the identities of key individuals. Bashae arrives at New Vinnengael carrying the stone only to discover that the Council of Dominion Lords has been dissolved, the king has been murdered, and his eight-year-old heir is really a Vrykyl in disguise. There is plenty of action and violence in this fantasy quest. The band of travelers carrying the hope or doom of their world is reminiscent of Tolkien's Fellowship of the Rings. The writing is not always of consistent quality, perhaps because the collaboration and long descriptive passages and rehashes of the first book put action on hold occasionally. The ending, however, certainly will leave fans panting for the next installment. VOYA CODES: 4Q 4P S A/YA (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Broad general YA appeal; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12; Adult and Young Adult). 2001, EOS/HarperCollins, 500p, Wallace
Library Journal
When Sir Gustav recovers a portion of the long-lost Sovereign Stone, he hopes that its reunion with its companion stones will bring humans, elves, dwarves, and orken together to battle the forces of the Void. A group of unlikely individuals, including a young barbarian and his traveling companion, one of the diminutive race of pecwae, undertakes the quest to bring the magical treasure to its rightful place as vicious monsters pursue them across the landscape. In this sequel to Well of Darkness, best-selling fantasy authors Weis and Hickman again demonstrate their uncanny ability to create meticulously detailed imaginary worlds peopled with complex and vital characters. For most fantasy collections. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

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HarperCollins Publishers
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Sovereign Stone Series , #2
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Chapter One

Gustav knew he was being watched.

He had no proof, nothing more solid than a feeling, an instinct.

Instinct had kept Gustav the Whoreson Knight alive for seventy years. He knew better than to ignore it.

He had first experienced the sensation of being watched three days ago, on his arrival in this godforsaken part of the wilderness. He had been following an old trail that ran along the Deverel river. The trail was probably made by animals, although the humans who had once lived in this area might have borrowed it. If they had, they had long since returned the trail to the deer and the wolves, for theirs were the only tracks Gustav saw.

Knowing it likely that he was the only person to have set foot in this region for the past hundred years, Gustav was understandably disquieted to awaken his first morning in camp to the distinct impression that he wasn't alone.

He had no proof that someone was watching him. His nights, spent in a tent in the wilderness, were quiet, peaceful. He sometimes woke, thinking he heard stealthy footfalls outside, but he found he was mistaken. His well-trained war horse, who would have alerted him had there been anyone lurking nearby, remained placid and calm, undisturbed, except by flies.

During the day, while he proceeded with his investigation, Gustav tried every trick in the book — a book he could have written — to catch sight of the person who was dogging his steps. He watched for the glint that might have been sunlight reflecting off metal, but saw nothing. He madeabrupt stops, trying to hear footfalls that continued on after his ceased. He searched for signs that someone else was in the vicinity — foot-prints on the muddy river bank where he performed his daily ablutions, fish heads from the stalker's supper, broken sticks or bent branches.

Nothing. Gustav heard nothing. He saw nothing. Instinctively, he felt everything, felt the stalker's eyes watching him, felt those eyes to be hostile.

Gustav was not one to be deterred from his quest by an unsettling feeling, however. He had come here on a search he had begun forty years ago and he had no intention of departing until he had concluded that search. He had been exploring for three days and had found nothing yet.

He was not even certain he was searching in the right location. His only guide was a brief description taken from the mummified body of one of the monks of Dragon Mountain. Having quested for years, only to come to one dead end after another, Sir Gustav had returned to the Temple one final time.

The monks of Dragon Mountain were the repository of history in Loerem. The monks and their agents traveled the continent, seeing history as it was made and recording it on their own bodies. Preserved after death by the sacred tea the monks drank while they were alive, their bodies and all the knowledge that was recorded thereon were housed in the vaults of Dragon Mountain. Anyone on Loerem could travel to the mountain in search of knowledge of the past and find it among the slumbering dead.

Gustav had studied the historical records dealing with every race on Loerem specific to the time period in which he was interested. He had found innumerable possible sites where the object of his quest might be located. He had visited all those sites and a hundred more and had come up empty-handed. Was there a fragment of information he might have missed? Anything at all which might provide him with a clue? Had the monks truly studied all the records?

An acolyte listened to the elderly knight with intense interest and, by permission of the monks, took Gustav to the sacred vault. The two of them examined the mummified remains of the historians who lay there, each with their tattooed histories entwined around the composed limbs. Gustav recognized every corpse. After long years of association, he and these corpses had become friends.

"You say you have read them all," the acolyte stated. "But did you think to include this one?"

The monk paused beside a body of a human female who lay at the very end of the long row. Gustav looked at the body and could not recall that he had ever seen her before.

"Ah, likely not." The acolyte nodded. "Her area of expertise was the study of the pecwae race. Your earlier guides probably felt that the pecwae could have no possible connection to the Sovereign Stone."

Gustav considered this. "I cannot think that they would, but I have exhausted all other possibilities."

"Have you?" the acolyte questioned gently. "Have you considered the possibility that the portion of the Sovereign Stone for which you seek was destroyed in the blast that leveled the city two hundred years ago?"

"I have considered that, but I refuse to believe it," Gustav replied calmly. "The gods gave us our portion of the Stone, as they gave a portion to the other races. Ours is mislaid, that is all. Let us see what this chronicler of pecwae has to tell us."

The acolyte perused the tattoos on the body, murmuring to himself and shaking his head. The tattoos were magical. The historian transfered his or her thoughts onto the flesh by means of tattoos that would later transfer those thoughts to the monks trained in the magic. By placing his hand on the tattoo and activating the spell (the magic is a carefully guarded secret among the monks), the acolyte received into his mind all the images and words and thoughts of the monk detailing this portion of history.

Gustav watched the acolyte's face, watched the information pass over it like wind over a still lake. The ripples of thought cleared. The acolyte's eyes brightened.

"I have something," he said cautiously. "Do not build up your hopes too much. It is nothing more..."

Guardians of the Lost. Copyright © by Margaret Weis. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Meet the Author

Margaret Weis is a New York Times bestselling author. Her Dragonlance® series has sold over twenty million copies worldwide, and the first book in thatseries, Dragons of Autumn Twilight, is being made into an animated film by Paramount Pictures. Warrior Angel is her first venture into romance, and it has been an exciting one. She has particularly enjoyed writing with her daughter, Lizz Weis, a former novel editor.

Tracy Hickman is a bestselling fantasy author best known for his work on Dragonlance, as a game designer and coauthor with Margaret Weis, while he worked for TSR. In all, Hickman wrote more than thirty novels in collaboration with Weis. He lives with his wife, Laura, and their four children.

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Guardians of the Lost 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Wonderful. A must read for any Dragonlance fan. COntinues that type of story line type genre in a different world and with many different characters.
harstan More than 1 year ago
On Loerem, Gustav the knight feels the danger as he enters the magic field of a burial mound. There he sees the dying Dominion Lord surrounded by ¿guardians¿. The bakh-Lord has the Sovereign Stone, a magical stone everyone wants to possess, but it was lost for a couple of centuries. Gustav manages to work his way past each guardian until he reaches the Dominion Lord. Gustav takes the magical artifact, but leaves behind a non-magical ring that contains the love he shares with his beloved.

Gustav is knocked unconscious in battle and consequently his segment of the Sovereign Stone has resurfaced. The news leads to war among the varying races. Every person in power or wannabees whether they are magical or royal want to gain possession of the powerful artifact or at least the part that Gustav found. Alliances are broken and old hatreds and bias enflame the world with little hope for peace.

GUARDIANS OF THE LOST, volume two of the Sovereign Stone trilogy, is an exciting epic fantasy adventure. The story line is fast paced and the charcaters fully developed since the readers can easily delineate the different species due to reasonable distinct traits. Fans of role-playing games will especially relish this novel that mirrors the game it comes from, but other readers might object to sidebars that embellish playing rather than perusing. Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman have written an engaging tale that the role-playing crowd will find most enlightening.

Harriet Klausner

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