Three Top Writers Continue the Epic Fantasy Adventure Begun in the Best-Seller The Shadow of the Lion.
Prince Manfred and his mentor and bodyguard, the deadly warrior Erik, survived dangers and enemies both natural and supernmatural, and if they thought that their new mission was going to be anything but more of the same, they soon gave up on that hope. Returning from Jerusalem, they and their escort of knights of the Holy Trinity are escorting an envoy of II Khan Mongol to the lands of the Golden Horde-between the Black Sea and the Carpathians, which happen to be eastern bastion against their old enemies, the demon Chernobog and his possessed puppet, the Jangellion.
Unfortunately, what began as a diplomatic mission leads to Manfred and his knights being caught up in an inter-clan civil war, rescuingh a fugitive woman and her injured brother, and becoming involved in the problems of Prince Vlad, Duke of Valahia, who has been held as a hostage by King Emeric og Hungary until freed by Countess Elizabeth Batholdy to use as bait to capture a gropu pf nonhumans. Instead, the wolflike nonhumans, who masquerade as gypsies, free Prince Vlad, and help him to return to his homeland to raise revolt against Hungary and to renew age-old magics.
Manfred and Erik are forced into an alliance of convenience between the Golden Horde and the ancient magical forces of Valahia, as directed by the troubled Vlad. The magic calls for blood and Vlad is deathly afraid of it-and at the same time, is irresistibly drawn toward it...
About the Author
Mercedes Lackey is the New York Times best-selling author of the Bardic Voices series and the SERRted Edge series (both baen), The Heralds of Valdemar series (DAW,) and many more. She was one of the first writers to have an online newsgroup devoted to her writing. Among her populat Baen titles are The Fire Rose, The Lark and the Wren, and The Shadow of the Lion (with Eric Flint and Dave Freer). She lives in Oklahoma.
Eric Flint is the author/creator of the New York Times best-selling Ring of Fire series. With David Drake he has written six popular novels in the Belisarius series, including the new novel The Dance of Time, and with David Weber collaborated on 1633, and 1634: The Baltic War, two novels in the Ring of Fire series, and on Crown of Slaves, a best of the year pick by Publishers Weekly. Flint recevied his masters degree in history from UCLA and was for amny years a labor union activist. He lives in East Chicago, IL, with his wife and is working on more books in the best-selling Ring of Fire series.
Dave Freer is an ichthyologist turned author living in a remote part of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, with his wife and chief proof-reader, Barbara, four dogs and four cats, and two sons. Paddy and James. His first book-The Forlorn (Baen)-came out in 1999. Since then he has co-authored with
Eric Flint (Rats, Bats, and Vats, The Rats, The Bats, and the Ugly, Pyramid Scheme, Pyramid Power) and, with Mercedes Lackey and Eric Flint ( The Shadow of the Lion, This Rough Magic, The Wizard of Karres) as well as writing another solo novel in that series, A mankind Witch, and various shorter works. Besides working as a fisheries scientist for the Western Cape shark fishery he has worked as a commerical driver, and as a relief chef at several luxury game lodges.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This one starts out a bit slow with the familiar characters we've met in the previous 3 books of this series. It moves into new territory as some of the characters go east into the mongol lands. The last half of the book is awesome and very hard to put down. The authors really make you care for their characters and I found myself really concerned which of the main characters would survive the terrible situations they found themselves in. THere are some graphic scenes of torture which may not be suitable for some young readers, these scenes show the horrible nature of the enemy and have you on the edge of your seat waiting for the good guys to save the day. Even though there are some horribly scary situations in this book there are also great moments of humor and even romance. Check this one out it's worth every penny in my honest opinion. The next story can't get to me soon enough, anyone know when that will be??
The Byzantine Empire shuts down the trading route between the Mediterranean and the east by closing the Dardanelles. Golden Horde leader Jagiellon invites the western states to use a Roman land route. Accepting the invitation, Prince Manfred with his bodyguard Eric of Iceland leads diplomats from the Holy Roman Empire and the Venetian city-state to meet the Golden Horde leader. On the trip they encounter exiled Khan Mongol and his warrior sister Bortai. Countess Elizabeth Bathody pretends to befriend Prince Vlad of Valhalia after liberating him from his incarceration by King Emeric of Hungary. However, when the opportunity is right, she plans to use his blood to enhance her already vigorous demonic power and as bait to capture the inhuman beasts lurking nearby. Instead these werewolves enable Vlad to escape from the malevolent female who he rejects as evil. Vlad and his dragoons unite with Manfred and his Knights of the Holy Trinity, and Bortai and her Mongol horde to fight Jagiellon and his Golden Horde; while immoral Hungarian King Emeric and his magical forces wait to take out the winner. The demon god Chernobog encourages deadly chaos with the only hope for Manfred and his allies rests with blood magic that Vlad fears though is enticed. The third Heirs of Alexandria alternate historical fantasy (see The Shadow of the Lion and This Rough Magic) is a terrific entry as humor and romance enhance the magic and military prime themes. The story line is fast-paced with multiple subplots that deftly come together over the course of the tale although to much good luck happenchance on the hero's side as the continent seems very small detracts from an overall fine entry in a wonderful saga. Harriet Klausner