Bloodwinter (Bantam Spectra Book)

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9780553378634: Bloodwinter (Bantam Spectra Book)

An epic new fantasy of passion, power, and the most perilous enchantment of all....

From a master of contemporary fantasy comes an unforgettable tale of heroes, heroines, and rogues whose two rival nations are scarred by suspicion, shadowed by war, and summoned to destiny by a magic that is both gift and curse.

In the icy northern realm of Eron, three young artisans bound by an unspeakable act of violence arrive at an isolated gem mine on a special commission for their king. They are the arrogant but talented Eddyn; Avall, his archrival; and beautiful Strynn, newly wed to Avall...but carrying Eddyn's child.

Meanwhile, to the south, in the heart of Ixti's scorpion-riddled sands and sensuous cities, a horrible accident has forced Prince Kraxxi into exile with blood on his hands and a price on his head.

The four will be drawn together--and torn apart--by a magnificent find: a gem with magical properties beyond anyone's imagining or control. It is a struggle in which hidden forces pursue a frighteningly sinister agenda. For whoever possesses the gem holds the future of the world...and the power to destroy it.

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Review:

Sex and plagues, magic and swordplay, conspiracies and prophecies, even royal fratricide--Tom Deitz knows the ingredients of good fantasy. But despite obvious skill and a dedicated cadre of fans, Deitz continues to be one of the genre's underappreciated, underrated authors. That may end with the first installment of his new Angen Chronicles, Bloodwinter.

This first book introduces us to rival nations Eron and Ixti. Eron's mountain-dwelling, Nordic society is tightly ordered and places great importance on craftsmanship and ritual. To the deserts of the south, the more chaotic and combative Ixti is grasshopper to Eron's ant, always coveting the resources of its neighbor. Bloodwinter concerns the fate of five young people, four from Eron, one from Ixti: the beautiful Strynn and the reserved Avall are newly married, but Strynn carries the child of Avall's villainous rival, Eddyn. These three master artisans work together through the winter on regalia for their king, but Avall stumbles upon a powerful gem that feeds on blood and allows its users to meld their minds. Meanwhile, Merryn, Avall's sister and Strynn's closest friend, serves out the winter in Eron's War-Hold, after shaming Eddyn in a ritual duel. She ends up in bed with the significant Ixtian in the story, self-exiled Prince Kraxxi, who has accidentally killed his father's favorite son. Bloodwinter is solid, if long in parts, but it ends abruptly. Hopefully the next installment will better address the most consistent complaint about Deitz, leveled by fans and critics alike: pacing. --Paul Hughes

From the Back Cover:

Praise for Bloodwinter:

"Deitz's unusual setting and strong, magnetic characters bode well for this new series."
--Publishers Weekly

"A complex tale...a solid addition to most fantasy collections."
--Library Journal

"Deitz's skill at crafting a complex tale of men and women driven by warring emotions and rival ambitions anchors his fantasy visions in the reality of human experience."
--Library Journal

"Both villainy and heroism go beyond stereotype [in] a well-crafted work that explores the nature of art."
--Locus

"Tom Deitz is a fine storyteller in the tradition of the Southern mountains...with all its legends and magic transported from afar. Like his forebears, he can make magic with words."
--Sharyn McCrumb, New York Times bestselling author of The Ballad of Frankie Silver

"Once again, Tom Deitz has proven himself a master of the fantasy genre. He has created a detailed, realistic world, characters who are both engaging and believable, and a compelling, fast-moving story that draws the reader in from the first page."
--John Maddox Roberts

"Deitz has always been a superb fantasist, but he's outdone himself in this richly developed, character-driven story!"
--Josepha Sherman

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Tom Deitz
Published by Spectra (1999)
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Published by Spectra (1999)
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