Piro, the Viscount of Adrilankha, has succeeded in delivering the Phoenix Heir to Deathgate Falls, where she retrieved a magical artifact known as the Orb. Now Piro and his companions continue on their journey through the Dzur Mountains to help reestablish the former empire. Brust's sequel to The Paths of the Dead follows the fortunes of a young noble as he plays his part in history, adventure, warfare, and romance. Fans of swashbuckling fantasy with a 19th-century feel will enjoy this addition to a popular series by the author of the "Vlad Taltos" novels. For most fantasy collections. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Second installment in Brust's current series (The Paths of the Dead, 2002) about a power struggle over who inherits the Dragaeran Empire. Zerika, the Phoenix heir, having survived the Paths of the Dead, has reclaimed the Orb, a magical artifact whose capabilities are only slowly being revealed. But Zerika's rule is being challenged by the Duke of Kâna, a Dragon who has declared himself Emperor and assembled a huge army to enforce his will. Most of the gods support Zerika-they're obligated to maintain the current Phoenix cycle and must keep the mysterious and hostile Jenoine at bay. Also assisting Zerika will be old friends Khaavren, Aerich, Pel and Tazendra; the young warriors Piro, Kytraan, Röaana, and Ibronka; and young Lord Morrolan who, coming to claim his ancestral lands and build himself a castle, gradually becomes involved in the war against Kâna. On a visit with Sethra Lavode, the Enchantress of Dzur Mountain, Sethra gives him a magical black sword that devours the souls of those it slays and renders its possessor all but invincible in battle. Backing Kâna are his cousin Habil, a devious and subtle strategist, the evil sorceress Grita, various vengeful conspirators, and, so Morrolan hopes, at least one of the gods. And, once the hurly-burly is done, Piro and Ibronka find themselves in love, though forbidden by their parents to marry because they are of different races. Perforce, they become outlaws. Huge, persuasive plot, witty and ironic dialogue, and long-lived characters who actually talk and act as though they had thousands of years at their disposal: another captivating effort from the reliable Brust.