A millennia-old prophecy was given when the Forbidden Ones were driven from Achar. And now, the Acharites witness its manifestation: Achar is under attack by an evil lord from the North, Gorgreal-his ice demons strike from the sky and kill hundreds of brave warriors in the blink of an eye.
All Acharites believe the end is near.
One young woman, Faraday, betrothed of Duke Borneheld, learns that all she has been told about her people's history is untrue. While fleeing to safety from the dangerous land, Faraday, rides with Axis, legendary leader of the Axe-Wielders-and hated half-brother of Borneheld-and a man Faraday secretly loves although it would be death to admit it. She embarks on a journey, which will change her life forever, in search of the true nature of her people.
This grand and heroic story tells the tale of one woman's plight to learn the truth of her people and change their hearts and their minds forever. She fights against oppressive forces to share this reality and will not desist until everyone knows. . . . . The truth of the Star Gate
At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
About the Author
Sara Douglass was born in Penola, a small farming settlement in the south of Australia, in 1957. She spent her early years chasing (and being chased by) sheep and collecting snakes before her parents transported her to the city of Adelaiden and the more genteel surroundings of Methodist Ladies College. Having graduated, Sara then became a nurse on her parents' urging (it was both feminine and genteel) and spent seventeen years planning and then effecting her escape.
That escape came in the form of a Ph.D. in early modern English history. Sara and nursing finally parted company after a lengthy time of bare tolerance, and she took up a position as senior lecturer in medieval European history at the Bendigo campus of the Victorian University of La Trobe. Finding the departmental politics of academic life as intolerable as the emotional rigors of nursing, Sara needed to find another escape.
This took the form of one of Sara's childhood loves - books and writing. After she spent some years practicing writing novels, HarperCollins Australia picked up one of Sara's novels, BattleAxe (published in North America as The Wayfarer Redemption), the first in the Tencendor series, and chose it as the lead book in their new fantasy line with immediate success. Since 1995 Sara has become Australia's leading fantasy author and one of its top novelists. Her books are now sold around the world.
Read an Excerpt
The Wayfarer Redemption
By Sara Douglass
Tom Doherty AssociatesCopyright © 1995 Sara Douglass Enterprises Pty Ltd.
All rights reserved.
The Tower of the Seneschal
Twenty-nine years later ...
The speckled blue eagle floated high in the sky above the hopes and works of mankind. With a wingspan as wide as a man was tall, it drifted lazily through the air thermals rising off the vast inland plains of the kingdom of Achar. Almost directly below lay the silver-blue expanse of Grail Lake, flowing into the great River Nordra as it coiled through Achar toward the Sea of Tyrre. The lake was enormous and rich in fish, and the eagle fed well there. But more than fish, the eagle fed on the refuse of the lake-side city of Carlon. Pristine as the ancient city might be with its pink and cream stone walls and gold and silver plated roofs; pretty as it might be with its tens of thousands of pennants and banners and flags fluttering in the wind, the Carlonites ate and shat like every other creature in creation, and the piles of refuse outside the city walls supported enough mice and rats to feed a thousand eagles and hawks.
The eagle had already feasted earlier that morning and was not interested in gorging again so soon. It let itself drift further east across Grail Lake until the white-walled seven-sided Tower of the Seneschal rose one hundred paces into the air to greet the sun. There the eagle tipped its wing and its balance, veering slowly to the north, looking for a shady afternoon roost. It was an old and wise eagle and knew that it would probably have to settle for the shady eaves of some farmer's barn in this most treeless of lands.
As it flew, it pondered the minds and ways of these men who feared trees so much that they'd cut down most of the ancient forests once covering this land. It was the way of the Axe and of the Plough.
Far below the eagle, Jayme, Brother-Leader of the Religious Brotherhood of the Seneschal, most senior mediator between the one god Artor the Ploughman and the hearts and souls of the Acharites, paced across his comfortable chamber in the upper reaches of the Tower of the Seneschal.
"The news grows more disturbing," he muttered, his kindly face crinkling into deep seams of worry. For years he'd refused to accept the office his fellow brothers had pressed on him, and now, five years after he'd finally bowed to their wishes and accepted that Artor himself must want him to hold supreme office within the Seneschal, Jayme feared that it would be he who might well have to see the Seneschal — nay, Achar itself — through its greatest crisis in a thousand years.
He sighed and turned to stare out the window. Even though it was only early DeadLeaf-month, the first week of the first month of autumn, the wind had turned icy several days before, and the windows were tightly shut against the cold. A fire blazed in the mottled green marble fireplace behind his desk, the light of the flames picking out the inlaid gold tracery in the stone and the silver, crystal and gold on the mantel.
The younger of his two assistants stepped forward. "Do you believe the reports to be true, Brother-Leader?"
Jayme turned to reassure Gilbert, whom he thought might yet prove to have a tendency toward alarm and panic. Who knew? Perhaps such tendencies would serve him well over the coming months. "My son, it has been so many generations since anyone has reliably spotted any of the Forbidden Ones that, for all we know, these reports might be occasioned only by superstitious peasants frightened by rabbits gambolling at dusk."
Gilbert rubbed his tonsured head anxiously and glanced across at Moryson, Jayme's senior assistant and first adviser, before speaking again. "But so many of these reports come from our own brothers, Brother-Leader."
Jayme resisted the impulse to retort that most of the brothers in the northern Retreat of Gorkentown, where many of these reports originated, were little more than superstitious peasants themselves. But Gilbert was young, and had never travelled far from the glamor and cultivation of Carlon, or the pious and intellectual atmosphere of the Tower of the Seneschal where he had been educated and admitted into holy orders to serve Artor.
And Jayme himself feared that it was more than rabbits that had frightened his Gorkentown brethren. There were reports coming out of the small village of Smyrton, far to the north-east, that needed to be considered as well.
Jayme sighed again and sat down in the comfortable chair at his desk. One of the benefits of the highest religious office in the land were the physical comforts of the Brother-Leader's quarters high in the Tower. Jayme was not hypocritical enough to pretend that, at his age, his aching joints did not appreciate the well-made and cushioned furniture, pleasing both to eye and to body, that decorated his quarters. Nor did he pretend not to appreciate the fine foods and the invitations to the best houses in Carlon. When he did not have to attend to the administration of the Seneschal or to the social or religious duties of his position, there for the stimulation of his mind were thousands of leather-bound books lining the shelves of his quarters, with religious icons and portraits collected over past generations decorating every other spare space of wall and bringing some measure of peace and comfort to his soul. His bright blue eyes, still sharp after so many years spent seeking out the sins of the Acharites, travelled indulgently over one particularly fine representation of the Divine Artor on the occasion that he had presented mankind with the gift of The Plough, a gift that had enabled mankind to rise above the limits of barbarity and cultivate both land and mind.
Brother Moryson, a tall, lean man with a deeply furrowed brow, regarded his Brother-Leader with fondness and respect. They had known each other for many decades; having both been appointed as the Seneschal's representatives to the royal court in their youth. Later they had moved to the royal household itself. Too many years ago, thought Moryson, looking at Jayme's hair and beard which were now completely white. His own thin brown hair, he knew, had more than a few speckles of gray.
When Jayme had finally accepted the position of Brother-Leader, a post he would hold until his death, his first request had been that his old friend and companion Moryson join him as first assistant and adviser. His second request, one that upset many at court and in the royal household itself, was that his protégé, Axis, be appointed Battle Axe of the Axe-Wielders, the elite military and crusading wing of the Seneschal. Fume as King Priam might, the Axe-Wielders were under the control of the Seneschal, and within the Seneschal a Brother-Leader's requests were as law. Royal displeasure notwithstanding, Axis had become the youngest ever commander of the Axe-Wielders.
Moryson, who had kept out of the conversation to this point, stepped forward, knowing Jayme was waiting for his advice. "Brother-Leader," he said, bowing low from the waist with unfeigned respect and tucking his hands inside the voluminous sleeves of his habit, "perhaps it would help if we reviewed the evidence for a moment. If we consider all the reports that have come in over the past few months perhaps we might see a pattern."
Jayme nodded and waved both his assistants into the intricately carved chairs that sat across from his desk. Crafted generations ago from one of the ancient trees that had dominated the landscape of Achar, the well-oiled wood glowed comfortingly in the firelight. Better that wood served man in this way than free-standing on land that could be put to the Plough. Thick stands of trees were always better cut down than left standing to offer shade and shelter to the demons of the Forbidden.
"As always your logic comforts me, Brother Moryson. Gilbert, perhaps you could indulge us with a summation of events as you understand them thus far. You are the one, after all, to have read all the reports coming in from the north."
Neither Jayme nor Moryson particularly liked Gilbert; an unbrotherly sentiment, they knew, but Gilbert was a rather pretentious youth from a highborn Carlonite family, whose generally abrasive personality was not helped by a sickly complexion, thin shanks and sweaty palms. Nevertheless, he had a razor-sharp mind that could absorb seemingly unrelated items of information from a thousand different sources and correlate them into patterns well before anyone else could. He was also unbelievably ambitious, and both Jayme and Moryson felt he could be better observed and controlled if he were under the eye of the Brother-Leader himself.
Gilbert shuffled back into his seat until his spine was ramrod straight against the back of the chair and prepared to speak his mind. Both Moryson and Jayme repressed small smiles, but they waited attentively.
"Brothers under Artor," Gilbert began, "since the unusually late thaw of this spring," both his listeners grimaced uncomfortably, "the Seneschal has been receiving numerous reports of ... unusual ... activities from the frontier regions of Achar. Firstly from our brethren in the religious Retreat in Gorkentown, who have reported that the commander of Gorkenfort has lost many men on patrol during this last winter." The small municipality of Gorkentown, two hundred leagues north, huddled for protection about the military garrison of Gorkenfort. Centuries previously, the monarchy of Achar had established the fort in GorkenPass in northern Ichtar; it was then and remained the most vital link in Achar's northern defenses.
"One shouldn't expect every one of your men to come back from patrol when you send them out to wander the northern wastes during the depths of winter," Jayme muttered testily, but Gilbert only frowned slightly at this interruption and continued.
"An unusual number of men, Brother-Leader. The soldiers who are stationed at Gorkenfort are among the best in Achar. They come from the Duke of Ichtar's own home guard. Neither Duke Borneheld, nor Gorkenfort's commander, Lord Magariz, expect to get through the winter patrols unscathed, but neither do they expect to lose over eighty-six men. Normally it is the winter itself that is the garrison's enemy, but now both Duke Borneheld and Lord Magariz believe they may have another enemy out there amid the winter snows."
"Has the Duke Borneheld seen any evidence for this with his own eyes, Gilbert?" Moryson asked smoothly. "Over the past year Borneheld seems to have preferred fawning at the king's feet to inspecting his northern garrison."
Gilbert's eyes glinted briefly. These two old men might think he was a conceited fool, but he had good sources of information.
"Duke Borneheld returned to Ichtar during Flower-month and Rose-month, Brother Moryson. Not only did he spend some weeks at Hsingard and Sigholt, but he also travelled to the far north to speak with Magariz and the soldiers of Gorkenfort to hear and see for himself what has been happening. Perhaps, Brother Moryson, you were too busy counting the tithes as they came in to be fully aware of events in the outside world."
"Gilbert!" The Brother-Leader's voice was rigid with rebuke, and Gilbert inclined his head in a show of apology to Moryson. Moryson caught Jayme's eye over Gilbert's bowed head and a sharp look passed between them. Gilbert would receive a far stronger censure from his Brother-Leader when Jayme had him alone.
"If I might continue, Brother-Leader," Gilbert said deferentially.
Jayme angrily jerked his head in assent, his age-spotted fingers almost white where they gripped the armrests of his chair.
"Lord Magariz was able to retrieve some of the bodies of those he had lost. It appears they had been ... eaten. Chewed. Nibbled. Tasted." Gilbert's voice was dry, demonstrating an unexpected flair for the macabre. "There are no known animals in either northern Ichtar or Ravensbund that would attack, let alone eat, a grown man in armor and defended with sword and spear."
"The great icebears, perhaps?" Jayme asked, his anger fading as his perplexion grew. Occasionally stories filtered down about man-eating icebears in the extreme north of Ravensbund.
"Gorkenfort is too far inland for the icebears, Brother-Leader. They would either have to walk down the GorkenPass for some sixty leagues or shortcut across the lesser arm of the Icescarp Alps to reach it." He paused, reflecting. "And icebears have no head for heights. No," Gilbert shook his head slowly, "I fear the icebears are not responsible."
"Then perhaps the Ravensbundmen themselves," suggested Moryson. Ravensbund was, theoretically, a province of Achar and under the administration of the Duke of Ichtar on behalf of the King of Achar. But Ravensbund was such an extraordinarily wild and barren place, inhabited by uncouth tribes who spent nearly all their time hunting seals and great icebears in the extreme north, that both the King of Achar, Priam, and his loyal liege, Duke Borneheld of Ichtar, generally left the place to its own devices. Consequently, the garrison at Gorkenfort was, to all intents and purposes, the northernmost point of effective Acharite administration and military power in the kingdom. Although the Ravensbundmen were not much trouble, most Acharites regarded them as little more than barbaric savages.
"I don't think so, Brother Moryson. Apparently the Ravensbundmen have suffered as badly, if not worse, than the garrison at Gorkenfort. Indeed, many of the Ravensbund tribes are moving south into Ichtar. The tales they tell are truly terrible."
"And they are?" Jayme prompted, his fingers gently tapping his bearded chin as he listened.
"Of the winter gone mad, and of the wind come alive. Of ice creatures all but invisible to the eye inhabiting the wind and hungering for human flesh. They say the only warning that comes before an attack is a whisper on the wind. Yet if these creatures are invisible before attack, then they are generally visible after. Once they have gorged, the creatures are slimed with the blood of their victims. The Ravensbundmen are afraid of them — afraid enough to move out of their homelands — and the Ravensbundmen, savages as they are, have never been afraid of anything before."
"Have they tried to attack them?"
"Yes. But the creatures are somehow ... insubstantial. Steel passes through their bodies. And they do not fear. If any soldiers get close enough to attack them, it is generally the last thing they get to do in this life. Only a few have escaped encounters with these ..."
"Forbidden Ones?" Moryson whispered, his amiable face reflecting the anxiety that such a term provoked in all of them. None of them had wanted to be the first to mention this possibility.
"Wait, Moryson," Jayme counselled. "Wait until we have heard all of what Gilbert has to say." All three men had forgotten the tension and anger that Gilbert's jibe had caused moments before.
"Magariz's soldiers have seen similar apparitions, although most who have been close enough to see them have died," Gilbert said slowly. "One man they found alive. Just. He died a few minutes after Magariz arrived. He said, and this report was Lord Magariz's own, that he had been attacked by creatures which had no form and which had suffered no wounds at the edge of his sword."
"And how did they wound this soldier? I thought the Gorkenfort garrison were among the best armored soldiers in the realm."
"Brother-Leader, Magariz understood from the soldier's last words that the creatures surrounded him — then simply oozed through the gaps in his armor until they lay between it and his skin. Then they began to eat."
Gilbert stopped for a moment, and all three men contemplated such a horrific death. Jayme closed his eyes; may Artor hold him and keep him in His care, he prayed silently.
"I wonder why they left him alive?" Moryson wondered softly.
Gilbert's voice was caustic when he replied. "They had already consumed the rest of his patrol. One assumes they were reasonably full."
Jayme abruptly pushed himself up from his chair and moved over to a wall cabinet. "I think Artor would forgive us if we imbibed a little wine this early in the afternoon, Brothers. Considering we still have the reports from Smyrton to review, I think we might need it."
Excerpted from The Wayfarer Redemption by Sara Douglass. Copyright © 1995 Sara Douglass Enterprises Pty Ltd.. Excerpted by permission of Tom Doherty Associates.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
1 - The Tower of the Seneschal,
2 - At King Priam's Court,
3 - The Lady of Care,
4 - At the foot of the Fortress Ranges,
5 - In the Palace of the King,
6 - In the King's Privy Chamber,
7 - In the Brother-leader's Palace Apartment,
8 - Faraday's Betrothal,
9 - Leavetakings at Dawn,
10 - Across the Plains of Tare,
11 - Unlocked Doors,
12 - At the Edge of the Silent Woman Woods,
13 - The Cauldron Lake,
14 - Inside the Silent Woman Keep,
15 - Silent Woman Night,
16 - Two White Donkeys,
17 - The Ancient Borrows,
18 - The Sentinels Speak,
19 - A Cloudy Day,
20 - The Storm,
21 - Inside the Enchanter-Talon's Tomb,
22 - Evening by the Barrows,
23 - The Star Gate,
24 - Across the Plains of Arcness,
25 - The Goodpeople Renkin,
26 - "Belle My Wife!",
27 - Towards Fernbrake Lake,
28 - Fernbrake Lake,
29 - The Bane and the Child,
30 - The Mother,
31 - Smyrton,
32 - The Prisoners,
33 - The Forbidden Valley,
34 - GhostTree Clan,
35 - StarMan,
36 - The GhostTree Camp,
37 - Fervois Landing,
38 - Sigholt,
39 - Rivkah Awakes,
40 - Gorkenfort,
41 - The Duchess of Ichtar,
42 - Reacquaintances,
43 - The SkraeBold Speaks,
44 - Vows and Memories,
45 - The Groves,
46 - In the Hand of Artor,
47 - In the Hands of the Mother,
48 - Vuletide Morning,
49 - Vuletide,
50 - The Streets of Gorkentown,
51 - The Lake of Life,
52 - The Earth Tree Grove,
53 - Departures,
54 - The Charonites,
55 - The Assembly of the Icarii,
56 - FreeFall SunSoar,
57 - Escape from Gorkenfort,
58 - BattleAxe,
The Prophecy of the Destroyer,
Praise for Sara Douglass,
Reading Group Guide
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sara Douglass was born into a farming family on a remote South Australia sheep station, and raised in Adelaide. Before she became Australia's most successful fantasy author, she was a registered nurse who then returned to school for a Ph.D. in sixteenth century English history at the University of Adelaide. Named a senior lecturer in Medieval History at La Trobe University at Bendigo, where she currently resides, she has now turned her full attention to writing fantasy novels.
ABOUT THE BOOK
The Wayfarer Redemption
Book One: Battleaxe
A day will come when born will be
Two babes whose blood will tie them.
That born to Wing and Horn will hate
The one they call the Starman.
Destroyer! rises in the north
And drives his Ghostmen south;
Defenseless lie both flesh and field
Before Gorgrael's ice.
To meet this threat you must release
The Starman from his lies;
Revive Tencendor, fast and sure
Forget the ancient war,
For if Plough, Wing, and Horn can't find
The bridge to understanding
Then will Gorgrael earn his name
And bring Destruction hither.
—from The Prophecy of the Destroyer
In the days before the last great war, the land of Achar was called Tencendor, and three races shared its rich bounty: the severe and industrious Acharites, who tilled the soil; the pacifist, forest-dwelling Avar; and the magnificent Icarii birdmen, who soar high above their mountain home. But the ancient war split the land asunder, and the victorious Acharites drove out the other races and named them the Forbidden. Now, long centuries later, the Acharites' religion still preaches that the Forbidden are to be hated and destroyed on sight.
This first enthralling volume in The Wayfarer Redemption now finds Achar under assault again, this time from the icy terror of Gorgrael, the long-prophesied Destroyer. Driven by an all-consuming hatred, his demonic icewraiths sweep out of the frozen north, devouring all in their path and burying farm and field beneath a thick shroud of killing frost. In this fractured kingdom, the young Lady Faraday is betrothed to Duke Borneheld, next in line for the Acharite throne. Yet, even as her wedding day approaches, she finds herself falling for Axis, Borneheld's hated half-brother and leader of the elite AxeWielders. But Axis is also the Starman, destined to face Gorgrael in final combat for the future of the reborn Tencendor. And now, the day of the prophecy has come. As Gorgrael's hordes encroach ever closer to the heart of Achar, Axis and Faraday must work quickly to heal the wounds of the past and revive the alliance between the Acharites and the Forbidden Ones, before the whole of Tencendor is lost forever.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I think that a comparison to Eddings and Terry Brooks is very fair. Both appealed to me when I was younger, and first getting into Sci-Fi and Fantasy, and now both seem like average or below average reads 'especially David Eddings'. I'd rate Wayfarer Redemption better than both of the above, but really the writing is not that great. I can read it, and it keeps me entertained for a few days, but it drags here and there, and a lot if it is contrived or forced 'just my opinion'. I hate to hack on the author because there really are very few out there worth the money, and I was truely hoping she was one of them. Sorry, no she isn't a great, but it is a 6 book series 'that's a good thing', and it isn't bad, so I would recommend it if you're perpetually looking for a decent book. It's a long series, the ideas are original, and it moves pretty well 'for the most part', but keep in mind it's not going to blow you away. I'm half through #2 and it's more of the same, but it does give me time to find a new author. More for younger readers.
This is one of those fantasy books that backs up the stereotype that I hear all the time in academia. The characters and the story/plot are incredibly engaging, but the writing, quite honestly, is horrendous.
The writing is extremely poor. Comma splices and run-ons abound, the omniscience lacks subtlety, and plot devices and deus ex machina dominate the action. I would not read the rest of the series.
This book is the first in a series of six. The story is definitely epic. The variety and depth of characters is wonderful. My only major complaint is the speed of the story. It is very very slow in this first book. The entire book feels like a pologue. Other than that, it is a very indepth introduction into the world of Achar.
Based on the description and cover art, this seemed like a good story. However, I found it to be a very slow, uninteresting read; I couldn't even get halfway through.
When I started this novel, I was very excited by it. The beginning was very strong; the Skraellings were super creepy, and the mystery presented with the two pregnant women was intriguing. The momentum was definitely lost for me a few chapters in, though. A lot of repetition, info-dumping, clichés... I think the basic plot is still interesting and fresh enough, though, that if there had been better editing, this novel would have been much better. I intend to read the rest of the series, but only from the library.
This was one of those books for me. This series is one I have remembered many details from even though I had forgotten the name. Books and series that can have that lasting effect are why I love reading.
This is my favorite series out of probably 50 or so that I have read. I love the first book more after I have read the second, and I love the first and second more after having read the third. The last three books could be cut from the series for all I care, the first three books are fantastic. An aspect I enjoy about Douglas's writing is that it's smooth reading. You don't have to drudge through what seems like useless overly complicated details about things that only pertain to a side plot of a miscellaneous character's cousin's girlfriend and said girlfriend's genealogy. There is nothing tedious about Douglas's writing, and in fact, you will be hard pressed to put the book down.
The first three books of this series are on my list of "must read" recommendations for people who are getting into fantasy (the last three books are incredibly disappointing, but that's a story for another review). They are lengthy, and you develop relationships with the characters. Arguably, I probably have a bias toward this series because it was the first book my now-husband loaned me to read before we started dating. It was an early book by Douglass, and is great in that respect because she had less pressure from editors and publishers to get the product out, and focused more on character development and weaving the storylines. I would also say that for those who have read other fantasy series, such as the Wheel of Time series, or Song of Ice and Fire, this series may be a disappointment. It is clearly a novice author who has yet to master the intricacies of creating elaborate worlds and races. Her descriptions are less flavorful than others in the genre, and sometimes the books come across as lackluster in regards to really bring you "into" the world. I know that the second or third time I read the series, it didn't hold the magic I remembered because I had "graduated" to much more elaborate authors and series. Overall, it's a beautiful story, and has all the elements one would expect to find in a fantasy series. Love, war, monsters, a vast and foreign landscape, and the lead characters maintain an element of intrigue long into the series.
This is by far one of my favorite fantasy novels. The general concept is nothing new but it is well written and easy to get lost in. Faraday is also an all time favarite character, especially if you put in the time for the whole series.
I am an avid sci-fi/fantasy book reader and I can say this book is definately one of the best! Easy to follow, but not lacking in plot interest. It draws you in immidiately and keeps you there. One of those books you "cant put down". There are many characters to identify with and sub plots to figure out. I look forward to the whole series!
I've never posted/commented on any of the books I've read. I felt the need to write something for this one. Though I like many different types of books the fantasy genre is my favorite and this series is the best I've read. I traveled through all of these stories quickly and hungrily. The characters, the world, the tensions, the interactions and the romances are woven together into a welcomed variation from the tried and true "classic" fantasy landscape. I love my Tolkien and Martin but this series remains the most memorable and fulfilling for me. I don't like reading books, much less a compilation of books, twice. This is the first series that I have read more than once. The first time was 10-11 years ago. Last week I bought Wayfarer Redemption and have had such a good time that I'm starting book 4 today. I highly recommend these books to any fantasy fans.