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But now the protective barrier set so long ago over Valdemar is crumbling, and with the realm imperiled by the dark magic of Ancar of Hardorn, Princess Elspeth, Herald and heir to the throne, has gone on a desperate quest in search of a mentor who can teach her to wield her fledgling mage-powers and help her to defend her threatened kingdom.
Two years after his parents disappearance, Darian has sought refuge and training from the mysterious Hawkbrothers. Now he has opened his heart to a beautiful young healer. Finally Darian has found peace and acceptance in his life. That is, until he learns that his parents are still alive-and trapped behind enemy borders....
But all Kerowyn's hopes and plans were shattered when her anscestral home was attacked, her father slain, her brother wounded, and his fiancee kidnapped. Drive by desperation and the knowledge that a scorcerer had led the journey which would prove but he first step on the road to the fulfillment of her destiny.
Skandranon Rashkae is perhaps the finest specimen of his race, with gleaming ebony feathers, majestic wingspan, keen magesight and sharp intelligence. Courageous, bold, and crafty, Skan is everything a gryphon should be. He is the fulfillment of everything that the Mage of Silence, the human sorcerer called Urtho, intended to achieve when he created these magical beings to be his champions, the defenders of his realm--a verdant plain long coveted by the evil mage Maar.
Now Maar is once again advancing on Urtho's Keep, this time with a huge force spearheaded by magical constructs of his own--cruel birds of prey ready to perform any evil their creator may demand of them. And when one of Urtho's Seers wakes from a horrifying vision in which she sees a devastating magical weapon being placed in the hands of Maar's common soldiers, Skandrannon is sent to spy across enemy lines, cloaked in the protective of Urtho's powerful Spell of Silence.
High magic had been lost to Valdemar when he gave his life to save his kingdom from destruction by the dark sorceries. Now it falls to Elspeth Herald, heir to the throne, to take up the challenge and seek a mentor who will awaken her mage abilities.
Valdemar—the once-peaceful kingdom protected by the magic of its Herald-Mages—is now besieged on all fronts. The king lies near death, the neighboring land of Karse wages a relentless war against Valdemar, and the forces led by a master of dark forbidden magic are massing to strike the final devastating blow against the kingdom.
And Vanyel, the most powerful Herald-Mage Valdemar has even known, has become the primary target of the evil which is reaching out to poison all the land.
With all his fellow mages slain, Vanyel alone remains to defend his people against the dark master’s army. Yet a dream vision has revealed to Vayel the fate which awaits should he and his Companion Yfandes take up the dark master’s challenge.
And if either Vanyel or Yfandes falters, the dream will become a horrifying reality in which both Valdemar and its last Herald-Mage must pay the ultimate price.
From the Paperback edition.
Wild magic is taking its toll on the land. Many Heralds and Herald-Mages have died fighting to preserve the peace. Even Vanyel, the most powerful of the Herald-Mages is almost at the end of his strength, in need of a respite from the dual threats of war and dark magic.
But for Vanyel, there can be no rest. Not when his Companion, Yfandes, receives a summons which can’t be ignored—a desperate cry of a magical holocaust in the neighboring kingdom. Almost overwhelmed by the devastations they discover there, Herald-Mage and Companion must try to unravel this tragic mystery.
Is the young Prince Tashir, a newly Chosen Herald who can’t control his magic, responsible for the destruction? Or is Tashir a pawn in a deeper, more deadly game—and, if so, will Vanyel be able to find and defeat the true destroyer before this master of dark powers can strike again?
From the Paperback edition.
After a woman claims she’s pregnant with Wade O’Riley’s love child, Major League Baseball’s most celebrated catcher and ladies’ man is slapped on the wrist by management and ordered to improve his image. His enforcer is the team’s publicist, the tough and sexy Samantha McNead.
When Wade needs a date for a celebrity wedding, Sam steps up to the plate as his “girlfriend.” But given her secret crush on him and that one awkward night a year ago in a stuck elevator with too much scotch, the whole thing is an exercise in sexual tension.
Wade is thrilled when the pretense turns into an unexpected night of hot passion. But the next day Sam is back to her cool self. As a catcher, Wade’s used to giving the signals, not struggling to read them. Now, to win the love of his “pretend” girlfriend, he needs a homerun—even it involves stealing a few bases…
Chosen by the Companion Rolan, a mystical horse-like being with powers beyond imagining, Talia, once a runaway, has now become a trainee Herald, destined to become one of the Queen’s own elite guard. For Talia has certain awakening talents of the mind that only a Companion like Rolan can truly sense.
But as Talia struggles to master her unique abilities, time is running out. For conspiracy is brewing in Valdemar, a deadly treason that could destroy Queen and kingdom. Opposed by unknown enemies capable of both diabolical magic and treacherous assassination, the Queen must turn to Talia and the Heralds for aid in protecting the realm and insuring the future of the Queen’s heir, a child already in danger of becoming bespelled by the Queen’s own foes.
She was Tarma. Born to the Clan of the Hawk of the nomadic Shin’a’in people, she saw her entire clan slain by brigands. Vowing blood revenge upon the murderers, she became one of the sword-sworn, the most elite of all warriors. And trained in all the forms of death-dealing combat, she took to the road in search of her enemies.
She was Kethry. Born to a noble house, sold into a hateful “marriage”, she fled life’s harshness for the sanctuary of the White Winds, a powerful school of sorcery. Becoming an adept, she pledged to use her talents for the greatest good. Yet unlike other sorcerers, Kethry could use worldly weapons as well as magical skills. And when she became the bearer of a uniquely magical sword that drew her to those in need, Kethry was led to a fateful meeting with Tarma.
United by sword-spell and the will of the Goddess, Tarma and Kethry swore a blood oath to carry on their mutual fight against evil. And together, swordsmaster and sorceress set forth to fulfill their destiny….
Though Vanyel has been born with near-legendary abilities to work both Herald and Mage magic, he wasn’t no part in such things. Nor does he seek a warrior’s path, wishing instead to become a Bard.
Yet such talent as his, if left untrained, may prove a menace not only to Vanyel but to others as well. So he is sent to be fostered with his aunt, Savil, one of the fame Herald-Mages of Valdemar.
But, strong-willed and self-centered, Vanyel is a challenge which even Savil cannot master alone. For soon he will become the focus of frightening forces, lending his raw magic to a spell that unleashes terrifying wyr-hunters on the land.
And by the time Savil seeks the assistance of a Shin’a’in Adept, Vanyel’s wild talent may have already grown beyond anyone’s ability to contain, placing Vanyel, Savil, and Valdemar itself in desperate peril.
From the Paperback edition.
In battle, Alberich had always had a sort of “sixth sense” about things which were about to happen—when and from where the enemy would attack. Instinctively, he his this ability, for the Sunpriests kept careful watch for anyone exhibiting “demon powers” which were the hallmark of Karse’s greatest enemy—the witch-nation of Valdemar. Those they caught were “cleansed” in the fires of Vkandis Sunlord.
Both Alberich’s skill and secret served him well in the army of Karse, and when Alberich became one of Karse’s youngest captains, he received a special gift—a powerful white stallion “liberated” from the enemy. But this honor was merely a distraction, for the Sunpriests had laid a trap which even Alberich’s strange foresight could not predict…
Saved from burning as a witch when this odd white stallion braved flames and carried him over the border into Valdemar, he was healed by the same enemies he had been taught to hate his entire life. Though he knew he could never again return to his home, Alberich also knew he could never truly become a Valdemaran. How could Alberich remain true to his own people and still retain his honor while helping to train the direst enemy of Karse?
In this chronicle of the early history of Valdemar, Mercedes Lackey's bestselling world, a thirteen year- old orphan named Magpie escapes a life of slavery in the gem mines when he is chosen by one of the magical Companion horses of Valdemar to be trained as a Herald. Thrust into the center of a legend in the making, Magpie discovers talents he never knew he had and witnesses the founding of the great Heralds' Collegium.
Eleanor Robinson’s life had shattered when Father volunteered for the Great War, leaving her alone with a woman he had just married. Then the letter came that told of her father’s death in the trenches and though Eleanor thought things couldn’t get any worse, her life took an even more bizarre turn.
Dragged to the hearth by her stepmother Alison, Eleanor was forced to endure a painful and frightening ritual during which the smallest finger of her left hand was severed and buried beneath a hearthstone. For her stepmother was an Elemental Master of Earth who practiced the darker blood-fueled arts. Alison had bound Eleanor to the hearth with a spell that prevented her from leaving home, caused her to fade from people’s memories, and made her into a virtual slave.
Months faded into years for Eleanor, and still the war raged. There were times she felt she was losing her mind—times she seemed to see faces in the hearth fire.
Reginald Fenyx was a pilot. He lived to fly, and whenever he returned home on break from Oxford, the youngsters of the town would turn out to see him lift his aeroplane—a frail ship of canvas and sticks—into the sky and soar through the clouds.
During the war, Reggie had become an acclaimed air ace, for he was an Elemental Master of Air. His Air Elementals had protected him until the fateful day when he had met another of his kind aloft, and nearly died. When he returned home, Reggie was a broken man plagued by shell shock, his Elemental powers vanished.
Eleanor and Reginald were two souls scourged by war and evil magic. Could they find the strength to help one another rise from the ashes of their destruction?
For the last decade, Nina Hazlitt has been ready to hear the worst about her daughter's disappearance. But with no sightings, no body, and no suspect, the police investigation ground to a halt long ago, and Nina's pleas to the cold case department have led her nowhere.
Until she meets the newest member of the team: former Detective John Rebus.
Rebus has never shied away from lost causes - one of the many ways he managed to antagonize his bosses when he was on the force. Now he's back as a retired civilian, reviewing abandoned files. Necessary work, but it's not exactly scratching the itch he feels to be in the heart of the action.
Two more women have gone missing from the same road where Sally Hazlitt was last seen. Unlike his skeptical colleagues, Rebus can sense a connection - but pursuing it leads him into the crosshairs of adversaries both old and new.
Rebus may have missed the thrill of the hunt, but he's up against a powerful enemy who's got even less to lose.
On the twentieth anniversary of Ian Rankin's first American publication comes a novel bursting with the vitality and suspense that made its author one of crime fiction's most dazzling stars. STANDING IN ANOTHER MAN'S GRAVE is the triumphant return of John Rebus, and a riveting story of sin, redemption, and revenge.
Maya Witherspoon lived most of the first twenty-five years of her life in her native India. As the daughter of a prominent British physician and a Brahmin woman of the highest caste, she graduated from the University of Delhi as a Doctor of Medicine by the age of twenty-two.
But the science of medicine was not Maya’s only heritage. For Maya’s aristocratic mother Surya was a sorceress—a former priestess of the mystical magics fueled by the powerful and fearsome pantheon of Indian gods.
Though Maya felt the stirring of magic in her blood, her mother had repeatedly refused to train her. “I cannot,” she had said, her eyes dark with distress, whenever Maya asked. “Yours is the magic of your father’s blood, not mine....” Surya never had the chance to explain this enigmatic statement to her daughter before a mysterious illness claimed her life.
Yet it was Maya’s father’s death shortly thereafter that confirmed her darkest suspicions. For her father was killed by the bite of a krait, a tiny venomous snake, and in the last hours of her mother’s life, Surya had warned Maya to beware “the serpent’s shadow.” Maya knew she must flee the land of her birth or face the same fate as her parents.
In self-imposed exile in Edwardian London, Maya knew that she could not hide forever from the vindictive power that had murdered her parents. She knew in her heart that even a vast ocean couldn’t protect her from “the serpent’s shadow” that had so terrified her mother. Her only hope was to find a way to master her own magic: the magic of her father’s blood. But who would teach her? And could she learn enough to save her life by the time her relentless pursuers caught up with their prey?
In Savage Inequalities, Kozol delivers a searing examination of the extremes of wealth and poverty and calls into question the reality of equal opportunity in our nation’s schools.
When Wendy Everly was six years old, her mother was convinced she was a monster and tried to kill her. Eleven years later, Wendy discovers her mother might have been right. She's not the person she's always believed herself to be, and her whole life begins to unravel—all because of Finn Holmes.
Finn is a mysterious guy who always seems to be watching her. Every encounter leaves her deeply shaken...though it has more to do with her fierce attraction to him than she'd ever admit. But it isn't long before he reveals the truth: Wendy is a changeling who was switched at birth—and he's come to take her home.
Now Wendy's about to journey to a magical world she never knew existed, one that's both beautiful and frightening. And where she must leave her old life behind to discover who she's meant to become...
As a special gift to readers, this book contains a new, never-before-published bonus story, "The Vittra Attacks," set in the magical world of the Trylle.