New York Times and USA Today bestselling authors Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory first teamed up to write The Obsidian Trilogy, set in a wondrous world filled with magical beings, competing magic systems, and a titanic struggle between good and evil. That world proved so popular with the creators and readers alike that Lackey and Mallory have returned to it with The Phoenix Unchained, Book One of The Enduring Flame, the opening volume of a new epic fantasy trilogy.
After a thousand years of peace, much Magick has faded from the world. The Elves live far from humankind. There are no High Mages, and Wild Mages are seen only rarely. Bisochim, a powerful Wild Mage, is determined to reintroduce Darkness to the world, believing that it is out of Balance.
Tiercel, a young Armethalian nobleman, is convinced that High Magic is not just philosophy. He attempts a spell-and draws the unwelcome attention of Bisochim. Tiercel survives Bisochim's attack and begins trying to turn himself into a High Mage.
Next in line to be Harbormaster of Armethalieh, Harrier instead finds himself regularly saving Tyr's life and meeting magickal people and creatures. To Harrier's dismay, it seems that he must become a hero.
In The Phoenix Unchained, Harrier and Tiercel begin a marvelous journey to uncover their destinies. Along the way, they meet a charming female centaur, several snooty Elves, and the most powerful dragon their world has ever known.
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Mercedes Lackey is the author of the bestselling Valdemar series, the Tales of the Five Hundred Kingdoms, and, also with James Mallory, the Obsidian Trilogy (The Outstretched Shadow, To Light a Candle, and When Darkness Falls) and the Enduring Flame Trilogy (The Phoenix Unchained, The Phoenix Endangered, and The Phoenix Transformed). She has written many other books, including Trio of Sorcery, Phoenix and Ashes, Sacred Ground, The Firebird, The Fairy Godmother, and Alta. Lackey is the co-author, with Andre Norton, of the Halfblood Chronicles, including Elvenborn. Mercedes Lackey was born in Chicago and graduated from Purdue University. She has worked as an artist's model, a computer programmer, and for American Airlines, and has written lyrics and recorded more than fifty songs. She lives in Oklahoma.
James Mallory is author of the three-part novelization of the Hallmark Merlin miniseries: The Old Magic, The King's Wizard, and The End of Magic. He was born in San Francisco and attended schools in California and the Midwest, before moving to New York to pursue a career in writing. From an early age, he has been fascinated with the Arthurian legends, an avocation which triggered a lifelong interest in fantasy literature. He lives in California.Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
It was Festival Sennight in Armethalieh, and even though spring was sennights away, the entire city was garlanded in flowers of every kind. The City’s greenhouses were always kept busy for moonturns in anticipation of the demand, for what was the anniversary of the Great Flowering without flowers?
Though the City streets were still crusted with the remains of a late snow—it was barely Kindling, and the only flowers to be seen in the natural world were snowdrops and a few hardy early daffodils—every house on the street was garlanded in evergreen swags and bright glass and metal flowers. Even the lampposts had been decorated. Indoors, where it was warmer, every home’s Light-shrine was filled with flowers dedicated to the Blessed Saint Idalia and her brother Kellen the Poor Orphan Boy, who had broken the power of the Endarkened over ten centuries before.
When he’d been a baby, Harrier Gillain had been sure that all this celebration was entirely for him. After all, he’d been born during Festival Sennight, and his Naming Day was the first day of Festival. His three older brothers had been happy to contribute to his confusion for as long as possible, assuring him that yes, indeed, the City-wide celebration was entirely for him, and certainly it all meant that he would grow up to be a great Wildmage, perhaps even a Knight-Mage like Kellen the Poor Orphan Boy.
Even as a baby, Harrier had found that hard to believe. Everyone knew that Knight-Mages belonged to the Time of Legend. You might as well hope to see a dragon or an Elf. And while everyone knew that they were both as real as Wildmages, it was also true that they’d withdrawn to the lands far to the East only a century or two after the Great Flowering. Harrier had more chance of meeting a Wildmage, and he had about as much chance of that as he had of... well, of becoming the Chief Magistrate of Armethalieh, Highest of the Nine.
But that was something he’d actually stopped thinking about a very long time ago. These days, Harrier knew exactly how his future would go. Once he’d finished his schooling, he would do exactly as his father had done, and his father, and his father, for more generations than Harrier could count. He would do just as his brothers had already done, and go to work for their father, Antarans Gillain, the Harbormaster of Armethalieh.
His eldest brother Eugens worked in the Customs House. His second-eldest brother Carault was apprenticed to a captain who plied a packet (one in which Antarans Gillain owned shares) between the Harbor and the Out Islands; some day, Carault vowed, he would earn his Sea Mastery and captain a Deep Voyager to the Selken Lands at the far side of Great Ocean.
And then there was Brelt.
Brelt was twenty—three years older than Harrier—and the Gillains had thought that he would be their last child. Everything would have worked out very well if he had been, for that would have meant one for the sea, one for the land—in this case, the Customs House—and the youngest child to follow in his father’s footsteps and be trained up to assume his position, as was the tradition in the Gillain family. Brelt Gillain absolutely loved everything to do with the work of being Harbormaster: the details, the diplomacy, the need to have the customs and rules not only of Armethalieh the Golden, but of every land she traded with, constantly at the forefront of his mind.
But then Harrier had been born. And later this year, when Harrier graduated Armethalieh Normal School, he would come to work as Apprentice Harbormaster, and Brelt would move over to the Customs House to begin an apprenticeship under Eugens. It really didn’t seem fair. But as Brelt had told Harrier cheerfully, Harrier was even less suited to the Customs House than he was to being Apprentice Harbormaster. Brelt assured him he would be happy enough in the Customs House. Much of the work was similar, after all.
Harrier knew that Brelt was right. And both of them loved the Port and the Docks—they’d grown up there, having been brought to work by their father from the time either of them could walk. It was just that Harrier knew, deep down inside, that Brelt had the potential to be a far better Harbormaster than he would ever be. Brelt was glib and diplomatic, and always knew the right thing to say.
Harrier? Well, even Harrier’s best friends called him stubborn.
But Da is a good man, and a smart man. He’ll do what’s best for the City. If I am a hopeless apprentice, why, he’ll see that. He’ll have Brelt back out of the Customs House so fast it’ll steal the wind from the sails of every ship from here to the Out Islands. And then...
What then? Harrier certainly couldn’t take Brelt’s place in the Customs House.
Well, Da will think of something. And today’s too fine a day to worry about something that’s moonturns and moonturns away. Not with a whole sennight of holiday from lessons, and me with a day of liberty from chores.
In fact, Harrier not only had a day of liberty, he had a day of exile, since he’d been strictly banished from his own home, forbidden to return before Evensong Bells. His mother had assured him that the preparations for his Naming Day party would proceed much more smoothly in his absence. And so, as he often did, Harrier went seeking his best friend to share his rare day of freedom with.Harrier’s household rose at First Dawn Bells—even though his father, as Portmaster, was one of the most important men in the City, Antarans Gillain’s family still kept Tradesmen’s hours. Harrier knew that in contrast to his family’s habits, most of the rest of the City—especially the Nobility—preferred to lie abed and miss the best part of the day. But even though the Rolforts were members of the Nobility—minor nobility, Tiercel always corrected him, whenever he mentioned it—the Rolfort household stirred to wakefulness only a bell after Harrier’s did, for even during Festival Sennight, when the Port was quiet, and many of the shops were closed, the administration of the City must go on. As he headed in the direction of the Rolfort townhouse, only two Bells after his own awakening, Harrier was confident he would not only find them all awake, but that Lord Rolfort would already have departed for the day to his duties in Chief Magistrate Vaunnel’s office.
When Harrier reached his destination, he took a moment to admire the Festival Sennight decorations that bedecked the front of the Rolfort townhouse before entering the small neat courtyard. The great stone unicorns at the gates had been garlanded with evergreen wreaths studded with the traditional glass flowers. His nurse used to tell him wondertales about the Time of Mages, when all the statues in Armethalieh were alive, and could walk and talk. It was a pretty story, though he’d long since outgrown wondertales. He didn’t believe it, anyway. Not even a Wildmage could bring stone to life. But the stone unicorns with their garlands were pretty enough.
In the little courtyard between the unicorns and the front door, tall evergreens in pots had been brought from the back garden and arranged in front of the pillars. Each one had been carefully garlanded with brilliant glittering swags of tinsel—Harrier recognized Hevnade’s work; the eldest of Tiercel’s four sisters was always the one who took charge of the Festival Sennight decorations. Under her direction, the little courtyard of the Rolfort townhouse had been turned into a spring forest in full magical bloom.
Over the door of the house itself, a representation of the Eternal Light had been hung, its golden rays sparkling in the early morning sun. More garlands of green framed the door itself and, as a final touch, an enormous wreath was attached to the door, the evergreen interwoven with sweet-scented herbs and bright berries. With only a little difficulty, Harrier located the door knocker in the midst of it—a large brass object in the shape of a cheerful, fat-bellied Faun—and knocked loudly.
“I knew it would be you!” Doreses said, opening the door. She was the second-youngest of Tiercel’s sisters, claiming the door-duty today because, like most of the noble households of the City, the Rolforts had given their servants the day off. “You spend more time here than in your own home.”
Harrier didn’t bother to dignify the gibe with a response. Instead, he focused his attention on the squirming bundle in her arms. “And how is the man of the house today?” he teased.
“You hold him,” Doreses said promptly, depositing baby Priadan unceremoniously into Harrier’s arms and walking off.
There was a moment of chaos while Harrier juggled his giggling kicking burden—fortunately he was already an uncle several times over, and not in the least afraid of babies—before settling his unexpected charge securely in the crook of his arm and kicking the door shut with a backward jab of his boot.
Priadan’s birth, just a bit over a year ago, had come as a great surprise to the Rolforts, for after Brodana’s birth, the Healers had told Lady Rolfort that there would be no more children, and that had been eight years ago. With five children—and four of them girls—the Rolfort family had seemed entirely complete. Priadan had come as a complete surprise to everyone.
But a good surprise, as Tiercel—the eldest—insisted. It gave his younger sisters something to fuss over. And—as he told Harrier—he no longer had to worry about being the only one to carry on the Rolfort family name. Though as Priadan was only a little over a year old, it would be quite some time before they could expect much from him. With the baby in his arm, Harrier followed the familiar path to the breakfast room.
The family was still gathered around the table: Lady Rolfort, her four daughters—ranging in age from fourteen to eight, and all...
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Book Description Tor Fantasy, 2008. Mass Market Paperback. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P11076535506X
Book Description Tor Fantasy, 2008. Mass Market Paperback. Book Condition: New. Brand New!. Bookseller Inventory # VIB076535506X
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