“You cannot sculpt a piece into a Player. A Player must mold himself out of fortitude and conviction.”
So begins the fourth book in Melissa McPhail’s award-winning fantasy series, A Pattern of Shadow & Light. After the events of Cephrael’s Hand, The Dagger of Adendigaeth and Paths of Alir, the realm of Alorin remains unbalanced.
In Kandori…Prince Ean val Lorian is bound to Björn’s van Gelderan’s game and to his sister Isabel, but Ean would rather be free of both of them. Yet he fears the game won’t let him—nor will the man he used to be. Chained by guilt on one side and duty on the other, Ean chases memories through three kingdoms in an attempt to become a Player on his own terms.
In Hallovia…Tanis of Adonnai has discovered his true identity and his nature as an Adept of four strands. He’s bound himself to the Malorin’athgul Pelas and in turn bound Pelas to his uncle Björn van Gelderan’s game. But will Pelas’s ability to bend Fate to his will be enough to oppose the intentions of his brothers, Darshan and Shail? And will Pelas be able to keep Tanis safe from the immortal Warlock Sinárr, who vowed to go to any lengths to make Tanis his concubine?
At the First Lord’s sa’reyth…Prince Trell val Lorian has been rescued from the island of Darroyhan and the mor’alir Adept Taliah hal’Jaitar and is recovering at the First Lord’s sanctuary. But while Trell is enjoying an overdue reunion with his betrothed, Alyneri, he suspects he cannot long remain off the field. If the game doesn’t summon him back, his conscience will, for he owes his life to too many others. Primary among these is the Water Goddess Naiadithine. Trell can’t help but wonder what the goddess will require of him in return for Her many graces…and if it will be a price he’s willing to pay.
As Björn’s game intensifies and wars escalate, those serving the Fifth Vestal must mold themselves into more than mere Players. They must become his Kingdom Blades.
About the Author
The first two novels in Melissa's fantasy series A Pattern of Shadow and Light were finalists in ForeWord Magazine's Book of the Year contest. The third book in the series, Paths of Alir, received the IndieFab Silver Medal for Fantasy Book of the Year.
Melissa lives in the Pacific Northwest of the United States with her husband, twin daughters and four very large cats. She is known for being an engaged author on social media and welcomes your thoughts on her work, the fantasy genre, or independent publishing. Look for her on Twitter or Facebook, or via her website and blog at http://melissamcphail.com.