Queensblade

Heirs to Byzantium

Book 3
Open Road Media
Free sample

The time for the transfer of power from one generation to the next has come. The rites require Queen Olwen to kill herself with the Queensblade in order to ensure the bounty of the kingdom. First, the Princess, Olwen's daughter Gwenlliant, must discover the powers in order to inherit the crown and the kingdom, for only in Gwenlliant rests the power to bring back the bounty of the land and the kingdom of the ages. Gwenlliant must go forth from the Isles of Mist to the shores of Byzantium in order to discover her ancient birthright. Attacked along the way by the assassins of the spirit of darkness and nearly becoming a sacrifice in the dark and bloody vaults of the Stone King, Gwenlliant must overcome hardship and steal her way to succession for only then will her kingdom survive. 
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About the author

Susan Shwartz received her master’s and doctorate in medieval English from Harvard University. She is the author of several fantasy novels, Grail of Hearts and Shards of Empire, as well as two novels with the venerable Andre Norton, Imperial Lady and Empire of the Eagle. She has been nominated for both the World Fantasy and Nebula Awards. She currently resides in New York City.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Open Road Media
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Published on
Apr 1, 2014
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Pages
256
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ISBN
9781480496514
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Alternative History
Fiction / Fantasy / Epic
Fiction / Fantasy / Historical
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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A young king manipulated by evil hands becomes a champion of justice when a magical pretender to the throne challenges his sovereignty

For six years, forces of evil and repression have ruled medieval Gwynedd after eliminating two rightful kings of the Haldane line. Keeping the current young liege, King Rhys Michael, weak with wine, the council of regents and its fanatical allies in the church have been virtually unstoppable in their quest to dominate and destroy the mystical Deryni who share their land. But now a credible threat has arisen: A Deryni claimant to the throne has taken up arms against the cruel oppressors of his magical race. With a mighty army at his command, Prince Marek—the bastard son of King Imre, Gwynedd’s last Deryni ruler—has challenged the Haldane reign, and Rhys Michael’s masters realize the young king must be roused from his stupor to confront the interloper. However, the young Haldane monarch is not the malleable, drunken puppet the regents imagine—and when his long-dormant arcane powers are awakened, Rhys Michael will put his own clandestine plans in motion to right the wrongs of recent history no matter what the cost.

The fourth trilogy in Katherine Kurtz’s magnificent chronicles of the Deryni concludes with awesome power in this stirring tale of war, faith, magic, and justice. Populated by a large cast of unforgettable characters, the thrilling history of an alternate medieval world unfolds in all its epic splendor and tragedy, strongly reaffirming Kurtz’s well-deserved place among the finest storytellers and world-builders in all of fantasy fiction.
Magic and mysticism come alive in this magnificent historical fantasy from the New York Times–bestselling author of the Chronicles of the Deryni.

Long before Camber was revered as a saint, he was a Deryni noble, one of the most respected of the magical race whose arcane skills set them apart from ordinary humans in the medieval kingdom of Gwynedd.
 
For nearly a century, Camber’s family has had little choice but to loyally serve the ruling Festils, Deryni usurpers who employed dark magic to wrest the throne from the rightful Haldane liege.
 
Now, the land suffers under the tyranny of King Imre, whose savage oppression of the human population weighs heavily on Camber’s heart—a heart that is shattered when the despot and his evil mistress-sister, Ariella, cause the death of Camber’s beloved son.
 
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A strange assortment of humans and otherworldly beings joins a young soldier of God on his perilous quest through an alternate, technology-free reality ruled by an all-powerful Evil

In an alternate world where the Dark Ages never ended, “the Evil” that arises every five hundred years has prevented all manner of technological advancement, even well into the twentieth century. The son of a powerful English noble, young Duncan Standish has always longed to be a soldier of the Lord, and now he’s been offered a rare opportunity to fulfill his dream. Entrusted with the delivery of an ancient manuscript—purported to be irrefutable evidence of the existence of Jesus Christ—to a noted Oxenford scholar, Duncan must journey many perilous miles in the company of a motley group of fellow travelers, including a goblin, a ghost, and other magical and non-magical companions. But the road they traverse together is fraught with terrible trials that would test even the most devout, for the Evil is strong in this place of dark wonders.
 
Multiple Hugo, Nebula, and Locus Award–winner and SFWA Grand Master Clifford D. Simak moves easily from science fiction to quest fantasy in this enthralling tale of magic, peril, and discovery on an Earth that never was. Rich in color, thrills, and wild invention, and populated by a highly original and unforgettable cast of characters, Fellowship of the Talisman showcases the author’s peerless storytelling skills, demonstrating once again that the great Simak had few equals in the realm of twentieth-century speculative fiction.

In a departure for this very well-reviewed fantasist, Susan Shwartz has returned to her science fiction roots with a riveting novel of honor and its loss, love and its betrayal, and the exploration of what it means to be a true hero.

What Susan Shwartz has done is to take a well-loved tale and it in an unconventional setting. Second Chances is nothing less than an homage to Joseph Conrad-think of Lord Jim in space. Just as Conrad explored in great depth the perplexing, ambiguous problem of lost honor and guilt, expiation and heroism, Shwartz has created in her Jim a man haunted by guilt over an act of supposed cowardice and his lifelong efforts to somehow atone for that action-whether or not he merited the disgrace.

As Conrad's Jim was a tragic and ultimately noble hero, so too is Shwartz's Jim. A professional soldier whose time has passed, Jim is stationed about the corporate BioShip Irian Jaya security for a commercial venture critical to humanity's continued survival. The war that sundered whole worlds is over and now he's just another "tin soldier," a prop for the military to look good to war-weary civilians. But he's never stopped caring about those who scorn him and the ideals that he still clings to. That caring is tested, however, when he is thrust into a scandal not of his making. He chooses to carry the burden of guilt, no matter what. Because of his pride . . . . and maybe because that's the one thing he has left. Out of this madness will come the biggest battle for his honor and his soul.

And perhaps, a promise of a second chance.



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