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The Third Book of The Magravandias Chronicles
The sudden death of the Emperor Leonid has plunged the empire of Magravandias into chaos. To preserve order, Valraven Palindrake, Dragon Lord of Caradore, reluctantly pledges his support to the young Crown Prince, Gastern.
Concerned for the fate of her adopted country, Varencienne Palindrake, Valraven's wife and Leonid's daughter, embarks on a perilous journey to Magrast to confer with her mother, the Empress Tatrini. But en route, she is captured by the dark magus Taropat and his student Shan, who hope to use her as a pawn in their own intricate game to revive three lost implements of power: the Dragon's Eye, the Dragon's Breath, and the Dragon's Claw.
As Magravandias descends toward a holocaust of bloodshed and warfare, a dark cabal of Firemages schemes in secret to engineer the coronation of their own chosen successor. And in Caradore, the twin children of Valraven Palindrake summon ancient magics to open the Way of Light and place a True King on the throne.
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Storm Constantine has written over twenty books, both fiction and non-fiction and well over fifty short stories. Her novels span several genres, from literary fantasy, to science fiction, to dark fantasy. She is most well known for her Wraeththu trilogy (omnibus edition published by Tor), and is currently at work on a new set of novels set in the world of Wraeththu, beginning with The Wraiths of Will and Pleasure (Tor, 2003). Wraeththu are magical and sensual hermaphroditic beings, who when their story first began, almost twenty years ago, broke startling new ground in the often staid fantasy/sf genres.
Her influences include myth, magic and ancient history and the foibles of human nature. She uses writing and fiction to bridge the gap between mundane reality and the unseen realms of imagination and magic. She strives to awaken perception of these inner realms and the unexplored territory of the human psyche.
Aside from writing, Storm runs the Lady of the Flame Iseum, a group affiliated to the Fellowship of Isis, and is known to conduct group members on tours of ancient sites in the English landscape, in her husband's beat up old army Land Rover. She is also a Reiki Master/Teacher, has recently set up her own publishing company, Immanion Press, to publish esoteric books, and teaches creative writing when she gets the time.
Neil Gaiman, author of the Sandman series, once said: 'Storm Constantine is a mythmaking, Gothic queen, whose lush tales are compulsive reading. Her stories are poetic, involving, delightful, and depraved. I wouldn't swap her for a dozen Anne Rices!'
Full of vivid and complex storytelling, this richly imagined, humane novel concludes the saga of the Magravandian Empire that began with Sea Dragon Heir and The Crown of Silence. The old emperor's death gives shadowy religious and political cabals a chance to maneuver for power. At the same time, personal cravings and sexual desires agitate members of the empire's powerful families, while the rival dragon-gods who represent elements of nature contend through their human avatars. Valraven (aka Lord Palindrake), head of the family once allied with the sea dragons, must first decide whether he wants to become the True King; then he must prove that he is worthy. Valraven's wife, Varencienne, also finds her role changing in unpredictable ways. Readers uneasy about entering such an intricate tale so late, however, shouldn't hesitate. For one thing, the author has a gift for creating compelling characters, whose motives are far from straightforward. Situations that seem initially to be sword-and-sorcery cliches turn out to be anything but, as Valraven and company discover more layers of meaning in events and have to reinterpret their own actions. Magic here is neither simple nor safe but an effort to tinker with powers too big for human control. As Constantine makes abundantly clear, even people who wish to walk the path of light must wade through darkness, especially as they try to escape narrow preconceptions. For all its strife, this is an affirmative book. Agent, Robert Kirby.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
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