Set in an alternate Europe where bloody conflicts rage, the sixth book of the Crown of Stars epic fantasy series continues the world-shaking conflict for the survival of humanity
The lost land of the Aoi has returned at last to the earth from which it was cast forth millennia ago. And as tsunamis, earthquakes, and firestorms reshape the very land and seas, darkness descends everywhere. With the war for empire disrupted, all sides must regroup. And though the battle for survival must be the primary focus of all concerned, there are always those eager to seize power, no matter at what cost.
Though King Henry demanded with his last breath that Prince Sanglant accept his crown, many may refuse to honor the dying king’s wish. Liath, Sanglant’s wife, has been excommunicated and unless he agrees to put her aside, his own aunt, Mother Scholastica, is threatening to interdict Sanglant and all who follow him. And though he and Liath long to search for their missing daughter, Blessing, the demands of statecraft hold them hostage to Sanglant’s newly constituted court.
Henry’s wife, Adelheid, is determined to regain control of their empire. But she has let Antonia proclaim herself the new skopos, the Holy Mother who rules over all of the church. And Antonia has already proved herself an extremely dangerous ally.
The Aoi are divided between those who seek only to rebuild and warriors determined to claim revenge against the humans.
Stronghand, too, is consolidating his gains for his combined Eika/Alban empire, bent on further conquests, drawn in part by the bond he still shares with Alain.
And even as Liath seeks out the forbidden magic that could bring back the light of day, new alliances are forming and old ones being abandoned. Only time will tell who—if anyone—will emerge triumphant as cultures, religions, and races clash in the ultimate struggle for control of this strange new world....
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Kate Elliott’s credits include the Nebula finalist novel, King’s Dragon, its sequels, Prince of Dogs, The Burning Stone, Child of Flame, and The Gathering Storm; her groundbreaking DAW science fiction series, The Novels of Jaran—Jaran, An Earthly Crown, His Conquering Sword, and The Law of Becoming; and her magnificent fantasy collaboration with Melanie Rawn and Jennifer Roberson, The Golden Key. She now lives in Hawaii with her husband, three children, and a dog. She can be found at kateelliott.com.Review:
Praise for the Crown of Stars series:
“In the Jaran series, Elliott proved herself good at setting up conflict on a grand scale.... Here she creates a complex fantasy world with intriguing parallels to European history, colorful characters, and plenty of action and magic.” —Locus
“The saga’s world is extremely well built, its pacing is brisk enough to keep the pages fluttering.... This certainly could become one of the best multivolume fantasies—fans, take note!” —Booklist
“Elliott has a gift for creating grim, dark settings as well as swashbuckling action scenes (both magical and material) worthy of Rafael Sabatini. This is a splendid piece of intelligent entertainment.” —Publishers Weekly
“A solidly engrossing addition to a worthwhile series.” —Kirkus
“Kate Elliott, an excellent fantasist, writes lush and lyrical scenes and uses her characters to scale down cosmic events to a human scale.” —Midwest Book Review
“Ms. Elliott continues to weave an elegantly intricate tapestry of full-bodied characters who will fascinate and intrigue readers up to the very last page.”—Romantic Times Magazine (now RT Reviews)
“Strong plotting, thorough world building and sound characterization and character development make this novel a must-purchase for those collections that have invested in the rest of the series.”—VOYA
“Elliott has created a world with depth and color and peopled it with a large cast of characters, all poised on the brink of a cataclysmic conclusion.”—SF Chronicle
“This is a very good climax to a very long series.... The writing is clear and excellent, the universe is interesting, the politics and warfare believable.”—SFRevu
“Elliott has developed as real a fantasy realm as any writer working in the genre, and the very complexity of the story contributes to its verisimilitude.”—Chronicle
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