The tale of the early days of Morlock Ambrosiusmaster of all magical makers, wandering swordsman, and son of Merlinconcludes!
From beyond the northern edge of the world, the Sunkillers (undying enemies of everything that lives and breathes and is an individual) are reaching into the sky of Laent to drain out its light and warmth. Their hope is to scrape sky, land, and sea clean of mortal life and return to where they once dwelled, before the first rising of the sun. Against them stand only the Graith of Guardians, defenders of the peaceful anarchy of the Wardlands. But the agents of the Sunkillers are abroad even in the Wardlands: plotting, betraying, murdering among the Graith.
Married now for a century, Morlock Ambrosius and Aloê Oaij will take different paths to counter the threat. As Aloê ferrets out the enemy within the Graith, Morlock joins forces with his sister, the formidable Ambrosia Viviana, and crosses the monster-haunted plains of the deep north to confront the Sunkillers in their own realm. Morlock and Aloê think their parting is temporary, but it is final. They may or may not save the world, but they will not save each other, or themselves.
About the Author
James Enge is the author of Blood of Ambrose (nominated for a World Fantasy Award), This Crooked Way, The Wolf Age, Travellers' Rest, A Guile of Dragons (A Tournament of Shadows Book One), and Wrath-Bearing Tree (A Tournament of Shadows Book Two). His fiction has appeared in Black Gate, Flashing Swords, and Every Day Fiction. He is an instructor of classical languages at a Midwestern university.
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The Wide World's End
A Tournament of Shadows: Book Three
By JAMES ENGE
Prometheus BooksCopyright © 2015 James Enge
All rights reserved.
Night begins the day, and in the darkness of night the first day of spring was being born. In the west, great Chariot was rising, bright with hope as it re-entered the world. No other moon was in the sky, but Chariot's light filled up the snow-covered plain of the Gap of Lone, and the gray-caped thain walking on it.
The thain went his way toward the base of the cliff with slow deliberate steps, as if he had all the time in the world. His gray cape of office was charred with fire and stained dark with dried blood. Fresh blood, black in the moon's blue light, was running down his legs and squelching in his shoes, staining his footprints in the new snow like mud.
Among the gray stones of the cliff face was a hollow. In the hollow hung a golden bell. The thain picked up the copper striker that lay below it. He didn't trust his trembling fingers to hold the slender stalk of metal so he gripped it with both hands, as if it were the handle of a sledgehammer. He struck the bell as hard as he could (which wasn't so very hard): three times. Then he waited there, although he could hear his pursuers loping toward him through the snow, voiceless though they were. He struck the bell three more times and fell dead in the shallow snowdrifts at the base of the cliff.
The bell rang in the little hollow. It rang in the watchroom of the Gray Tower, the Graith's guardpost over the Gap of Lone. It rang in the thains' Northtower, on the border of Thrymhaiam in the far north. It rang in Anglecross Tower in the west of the Wardlands, in Islandkeep that guarded the Southhold, in the Graith's chamber in the city of A Thousand Towers. The same bell, or an image of it, swung in all those places. The same signal sounded in all those places.
Many thains had set out to send that signal, but only the one survived to deliver the news before he died: the Wardlands had been invaded.
When his enemies found him dead, they cut up his body and rendered it down for soup, as was their custom. But they could not work the striker loose from the thain's hands, so they cut them off and left them there at the base of the cliff.
Long the hands lay there in the bitter snows, waiting for nothing.
Excerpted from The Wide World's End by JAMES ENGE. Copyright © 2015 James Enge. Excerpted by permission of Prometheus Books.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Table of Contents
Part One: The Winter War, 15,
Chapter One: Lone Survivor, 17,
Chapter Two: Conversations in A Thousand Towers, 19,
Chapter Three: Knife, 27,
Chapter Four: Red and Gray, 30,
Chapter Five: Evening in the Gravehills, 38,
Chapter Six: The Hill of Storms, 45,
Part Two: Rites of Spring, 55,
Chapter One: What Really Happened, 57,
Chapter Two: Blood's Price, 63,
Chapter Three: Death of a Summoner, 72,
Chapter Four: The Last Station, 77,
Chapter Five: Evening in A Thousand Towers, 97,
Chapter Six: A Parting; a Meeting, 104,
Chapter Seven: A Needle of Sunlight, 120,
Chapter Eight: Vengeancer, 126,
Chapter Nine: The Lacklands, 139,
Chapter Ten: Scenes of the Crime, 154,
Chapter Eleven: Among the Vraids, 163,
Chapter Twelve: Intruder in the Death House, 175,
Chapter Thirteen: The Sea Road to Grarby, 181,
Chapter Fourteen: Empty Sock, 188,
Chapter Fifteen: The God and His Enemies, 194,
Chapter Sixteen: Dead Ends, 202,
Chapter Seventeen: Miracles of St. Danadhar, 208,
Chapter Eighteen: Second Chances, 215,
Chapter Nineteen: Enemies of the Enemy, 221,
Chapter Twenty: End of Deceit, 227,
Chapter Twenty-One: The Chains of the God, 234,
Part Three: A Cold Summer, 247,
Chapter One: Endless Empire, 249,
Chapter Two: Fire, Gods, and a Stranger, 257,
Chapter Three: To Market, To Market, 266,
Chapter Four: The Flight of the Viviana, 276,
Chapter Five: The Wreck of the Viviana, 290,
Chapter Six: The Narrow Road to the Deep North, 299,
Chapter Seven: The Graith Divided, 323,
Chapter Eight: News from Home, 347,
Chapter Nine: Ghosts and Shadows, 351,
Part Four: Fall, 359,
Chapter One: The Way Back, 361,
A. The Lands of Laent during the Ontilian Interregnum, 379,
B. The Gods of Laent, 381,
C. Calendar and Astronomy, 383,
D. The Wardlands and the Graith of Guardians, 389,
E. Note on Ambrosian Legend and Its Sources, Lost and Found, 391,