The myths name it the Signata: the place that contains all places, the moment that contains all moments. As enigmatic to the gods as to mortals, the sacred treasure is said to have appeared but thrice in forty centuries, always in a different form, and each time to vanish as suddenly as it came. Its purpose and powers, no one knows. Yet in a world threatened by an ancient and merciless evil, it seems the only hope--if it can be found.
The barbarian Tathars cut a scarlet swath across the lands of the Ascendancy, led by Erkai the Chain, a master of the dreaded Black Craft. However, there exists a power that dwarfs even Erkai's sorcery: the force known as Deep Magic, long ago banished from the world. But now Erkai has found a way to break the ban, and seize that terrible power for his own.
Defeating Erkai and the Tathar horde falls to Mandine Dascaris, heiress to the throne of the Ascendancy, and to the young soldier Key Mec Brander, an outlander from the distant lands of the Elthame. Together they embark on a secret, desperate search for the Signata. To fail means the ruin of their world--but the price of success may be no less than their lives.
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The Stone and the Maiden has all the elements of a great fairy tale--a corrupt king, an evil wizard, a conniving stepsister, and, of course, a beautiful princess and a handsome soldier. Author Dennis Jones weaves an intricately threaded story around these classic characters in this action-packed tale.
The Ascendancy is rotting from the inside out. Archates, incompetent Dynast, is fearful and easily manipulated, willing to sacrifice his kingdom, his people, and even his own daughters to preserve himself. The barbarian Tathars are on the march, taking advantage of the Dynast's cowardice and slowly crushing the Ascendancy. Evil Erkai the Chain aids the Tathars with his forbidden Black Craft--the magic of death. In the middle of this desperate situation, the luminessa Mandine, uncertain heir to the Ascendancy throne, experiences a vision in which the God and Goddess instruct her to find the Signata, enigmatic tool of Deep Magic. If she succeeds, Erkai and the Tathars can be defeated. If not, the universe will be threatened by unspeakable evil. To make matters worse, Mandine's stepsister Theatana has designs on the throne and is willing to torture, kill, and dabble in the Black Craft to get it.
But never fear, our plucky heroine doesn't have to go it alone. She's got the able strength of hunky Key Brander at her side, not to mention the assistance of the mysterious forest-folk, the hemandri, and their familiars, the small dragon-like pandragore. This first fantasy novel is a terrific quest adventure and a romantic fantasy all rolled up into a delightful package--beginning Dennis Jones's House of the Pandragore series in high style--plus the complicated setup promises many sequels. --Therese LittletonAbout the Author:
Dennis Jones is a full-time writer who lives with his wife Sandi, in Canada, where he is currently working on a new novel of epic fantasy.
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Book Description Harper Collins Publishers, 1999. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 2245485