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With Lord of the Isles, David Drake returns to fantasy with a towering and complex epic of heroic adventure in an extraordinary and colorful world where the elemental forces that empower magic are rising to a thousand-year peak.
In the days following an unusually severe storm, the inhabitants of a tiny seaport town travel toward romance, danger, and astonishing magic that will transform them and their world.
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David Drake made his name in genre fiction with the Hammer's Slammers series of military science fiction about tough future mercenaries, launched in 1979. A versatile writer, he's also published well-received fantasies. Lord of the Isles opens a massive new saga of clashing swords and spells in an archipelago world. One thousand years beforehand, potent sorcery won a war only for it to backlash and sink the winning island. Now, with magic reaching another millennial peak of power, the world is endangered. Among the players are a king's ghost and two magicians who were present at the ancient disaster (one of them caused it), plus modern wizards, warriors, and unknowing descendants of royalty. Drake skillfully juggles multiple storylines as his engaging characters meet a wild variety of danger: rising and vanishing lands, the reanimated dead (not only human dead), out-of-control sorcery, demons, riots, traps, and other planes of reality including hell itself. The magic comes in several fascinating and often unpleasant flavors. Even likeable characters may die. This story reads well and halts at a satisfying moment of victory rather than at a nail-biting cliffhanger. It doesn't quite achieve epic scale--clearly Drake is keeping major trump cards in reserve for the coming sequels. A promising start. --David Langford, Amazon.co.ukAbout the Author:
David Drake (born 1945) sold his first story (a fantasy) at age 20. His undergraduate majors at the University of Iowa were history (with honors) and Latin (BA, 1967). He uses his training in both subjects extensively in his fiction. David entered Duke Law School in 1967 and graduated five years later (JD, 1972). The delay was caused by his being drafted into the US Army. He served in 1970 as an enlisted interrogator with the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, the Blackhorse, in Viet Nam and Cambodia. He has used his legal and particularly his military experiences extensively in his fiction also. He practiced law for eight years; drove a city bus for one year; and has been a full-time freelance writer since 1981, writing such novels as Out of the Waters and Monsters of the Earth. He reads and travels extensively.
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