The Hidden Stars: Book One of The Rune of Unmaking

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9780060575892: The Hidden Stars: Book One of The Rune of Unmaking

More than a century ago, the cataclysmic struggle between the wizards and the mages ended in their mutual destruction -- leveling great cities and reducing grand palaces to dust. From the vast graveyard that remained, the Empress

Ouriána rose up to proclaim herself the Divine Incarnation of the Devouring Moon—ruling her wasted realm with the blackest sorcery; turning her priests from men to monsters and setting them loose to enslave or destroy all who would oppose her.

But now signs and portents hint of a champion—a young girl, hidden and talented, who is destined to end Ouriána's terrible reign. And now a brave band of heroes must locate their savior princess—even if it means being pursued to the ends of the world by the withering fury of the dark goddess herself.

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About the Author:

Debut author Madeline Howard enjoys gardening, Celtic myths, and working on the next Rune of Unmaking book. She lives in Northern California with her family.

From Publishers Weekly:

Anyone willing to endure names like Éireamhóine and Baillébachlein will find that a pronunciation guide and a map are about all that's missing from Howard's solid first novel. Classical fantasy elements, such as the eternal war between Light and Dark and the royal-born savior adopted by ignorant strangers, share space with a surprisingly original setting and story. Nineteen years earlier, Master Wizard Éireamhóine spirited a baby princess away at the cost of his life. Now the harsh Empress Ouriána, a self-proclaimed dark goddess, thinks she has found the girl and sends her monstrous priests to destroy her. The healer Sindérian, the wizard Faolein and the half-fey Prince Ruan travel north, where the young woman's family is battling Ouriána's malevolent forces for control of the land, to learn whether she is indeed the long-lost princess, the only one who can destroy the empress. Some readers may be put off by the simplicity—the kings are always wise, the wizards are always clever and the protagonists always survive—but bloody warfare, intricate magic and deft portraits of characters and culture provide some sparkle and keep things moving. With its strong (and not overly sexualized) female characters, the series should particularly appeal to anyone wanting a feminist alternative to the current crop of genre sagas.
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