Defiant Peaks

Archmage Planir and the wizards of Hadrumal have unleashed their devastating powers to destroy the corsair threat. Seeing such overwhelming magic at work, noblemen from Caladhria to the Tormalin Emperor can only fear for their own grip on power, should the mageborn ever turn against them. Perhaps the mysteries of Artifice could counter Hadrumal’s might, but lowland knowledge of such enchantments is limited. Solura’s adepts demand a high price for sharing their aetheric knowledge while the skilled Artificers of the remote northern mountains hold themselves aloof.

Artist Clint Langley

Planir faces more urgent dangers. Enraged at magic invading their domains, the Archipelagan warlords have cut all ties with the mainland. They are baying for wizard blood to wash away such desecration and they are rallying their fleets. In the Council of Hadrumal, Planir’s decisions are increasingly challenged as he strives to chart a course through this crisis. He must look beyond the wizard city for allies. To Suthyfer, the far away haven for mageborn in the Eastern Ocean, and to Caladhria. Corrain, Baron Halferan and Lady Zurenne are mistaken if they believe all their trials are over.

In the lull before winter’s storms descend, Solura’s rival wizards see Hadrumal’s plight and plot. In the high mountain peaks beyond, enigmatic observers contemplate Planir’s options and consider the consequences, should he fall…

This is my fifteenth novel and while my four series so far have all been separate stories set in the world of Einarinn, a single timeline runs through them all. Consequently, as this story developed, I found myself looking back all the way to The Thief’s Gamble, to make sure that what happens here remains consistent with everything that’s gone before, especially in terms of Elemental wizardry and Artifice and their relationship to each other.

Consequently I found myself seeing characters from all those earlier series who would have a role to play in this unfolding drama; people whom Archmage Planir could and would trust, and who have the particular skills and experience which he will need to call upon if he is ever to find a way out of this crisis. Revisiting characters like Shiv and Guinalle was a delight. There are others whose reappearance is as startling as it’s unarguable, surprising me as well as established fans. On the other side of those scales, it was a little frustrating not to be able to go into far more detail about what’s happened in their lives since they were central to the tales I was telling at the time. Some other time, perhaps.

This is the conclusion of Jilseth and Corrain’s story, and Lady Zurenne’s (and definitely not forgetting Hosh). None of their lives will ever be the same again.

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