The Phoenix Endangered: Book Two of the Enduring Flame

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9781400157860: The Phoenix Endangered: Book Two of the Enduring Flame

In The Phoenix Endangered, the second entry in The Enduring Flame, Tiercel, a budding High Mage, and Harrier, a reluctant Knight-Mage, develop greater power—and learn of the evils of war when they see the devastation caused by the fanatical armies of the Wild Mage Bisochim. The desert tribespeople led by young Shaiara flee Bisochim's evil, seeking a legendary oasis deep in the desert—a refuge that may hold the key to stopping Bisochim and preserving the Balance between Light and Darkness...or that may be the cause of Light's ultimate downfall.

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About the Author:

Mercedes Lackey is the author or coauthor of close to 100 books, including the Halfblood Chronicles, the Dragon Jousters series, and the bestselling novels of Valdemar.

James Mallory is the bestselling author of the Merlin Trilogy and coauthor of the Obsidian Trilogy.

William Dufris has been nominated nine times as a finalist for the APA's prestigious Audie Award and has garnered twenty-one Earphones Awards from AudioFile magazine, which also named him one of the Best Voices at the End of the Century. He has also acted on stage and television in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Germany.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Chapter One

Called to Magic

HE’D NEVER THOUGHT he’d see a unicorn, Harrier thought crossly, and like so many things he’d thought he’d wanted to see when he was back in Armethalieh (like Elves and dragons and Wildmages) the reality was nothing like he’d expected it to be.

Oh, sure, Kareta was beautiful. In fact, she was the most beautiful thing he’d ever seen. But he hadn’t expected her to sucker him into falling into the stream with most of his clothes on—and make him lose his shirt—and then laugh her silly head off about it just as if she were one of his idiot brothers.

Of course, maybe that was just what unicorns were like. How would he know? Nobody in human lands had seen one since... well, since the time of the Magic Unicorn Shalkan and Kellen the Poor Orphan Boy.

Thinking about Kellen, a hero out of the Nine Cities’ most ancient legends, made Harrier shiver just a little, and not with cold (although he was soaking wet, and the walk back to the wagon from the woods wasn’t that pleasant in wet clothes), but because only a fortnight ago, he’d been talking to the person who’d taught that very hero to hold a sword. Who’d helped the Wild Magic turn Kellen into a Knight-Mage, a great warrior who could defeat the Endarkened.

With that thought, the red leather satchel he had slung over his shoulder, small as it was, suddenly seemed incredibly heavy. Because it contained the Three Books of the Wild Magic, brought to him (not to Tiercel, to him) by the unicorn Kareta, and if Harrier could believe her (did unicorns tell lies?) he hadn’t been granted the opportunity to become just an ordinary Wildmage—as if there could be such a thing— but a Knight-Mage.

Just like the hero Kellen had been.

Nobody knew how Kellen’s story ended, though everyone knew how it began, and everyone knew the ending of his sister’s, the Blessed Saint Idalia’s. She married the King of the Elves (so the tales went), was granted immortality by the Light, and lived forever in the Elven Lands. But over the last several moonturns, Harrier had learned a lot about how the stories he’d always taken for granted as being, well, wondertales (which meant they were sort-of true and sort-of not) were completely wrong about all the important things. Jermayan wasn’t King of the Elves, just to begin with. And Elves certainly didn’t live forever.

And having fought Goblins, and seen magical things that he had no name for, met Elves and dragons and all sorts of Otherfolk that had left the lands of Men in the time of the Great Flowering, Harrier’d thought he’d gotten used to things being strange by now. He and Tiercel had left Armethalieh almost four moonturns ago, at the beginning of summer, looking for a Wildmage who could put an end to Tiercel’s little problem, as Harrier had thought of it then. Tiercel said he was having visions. Harrier thought Tiercel was having bad dreams.

But they really were visions, and that was only the start of problems that just got worse and worse. At least they had Ancaladar with them now, because the Elves had cast an incredibly powerful spell (that they hadn’t been sure at the time was even going to work) to transfer Ancaladar’s Bond from Jermayan to Tiercel, because otherwise Tiercel, whether he was a High Mage or not, wouldn’t have the power he needed to cast his spells. So now Tiercel had the power, and all he had to do was learn all those spells, so when he’d gotten up this morning, Harrier had thought they only had two problems to deal with.

One was the fact that Tiercel kept saying that it took about twenty or thirty years to train a High Mage (and he also kept saying that they didn’t have that long before the Darkness came back), and the other was that they really had no idea of where they were going to find it and fight it, because nobody recognized the landscape from Tiercel’s visions.

Now they had a third one.

Harrier really didn’t like magic. It was weird. It made him uncomfortable. It wasn’t that it was wrong or evil or bad, but... he was the youngest son of the Portmaster of Armethalieh, for the Light’s sake! And he would have made a really rotten Portmaster, and he was glad now that he’d left because that meant his older brother Brelt would be Portmaster instead, and Brelt would make a wonderful Portmaster, but what he was supposed to be doing out here was the same thing he’d been doing for moonturns: keeping Tiercel out of trouble, and watching his back, and making sure that there was food and that Tiercel came in out of the rain and that nobody took advantage of him because Tiercel was much too easygoing for Harrier’s peace of mind. And sure, Ancaladar could do some of that, but not all of it. And how was Harrier supposed to do any of it if he was being a Knight-Mage?

Even leaving aside that he didn’t know the first thing about being a Knight-Mage, except that if you were one you were supposed to be an incredible warrior and a great leader of men. And he really wasn’t.

BY the time Harrier got back to the wagon, Kareta was already there. Her pale golden coat shimmered in the late-morning sunlight as if it were actual gold, and the long spiraling horn that grew from the center of her forehead glowed with the soft white iridescence of the inside of a seashell. Even as irritated as he was, Harrier couldn’t help stopping to stare at her for just a moment: an actual unicorn—most beautiful of the Otherfolk!

But she was tapping one small pink hoof in irritation as she waited for him, and kept glancing back over her shoulder toward him, interrupting her conversation with Tiercel and Ancaladar to do so. At least Ancaladar was having a conversation. Tiercel, Harrier was pleased to see, looked just as flummoxed as he had upon his first sight of Kareta.

Harrier wondered if the two of them had shown up of their own accord, or if Kareta had gone and gotten them—he really didn’t put anything past her at this point, because even though he’d only talked to her for about five minutes, Harrier already knew that she was just as pushy and managing as any of his sisters-in-law. But maybe Ancaladar and Tiercel had just been drawn by—for lack of a better term—the scent of magic. Were unicorns magic in the same way that dragons were? He knew that they were Otherfolk, and creatures of the Light (as little as Kareta had been acting like one just now), but nobody really knew all that much about them; they hadn’t been seen in human lands since the Great Flowering.

“There you are!” Kareta said, tossing her head. “Well it took you long enough—did you stop to take a bath after all? Come on! We’ve got a lot to talk about!”

“My clothes are wet. I’m going to change,“ Harrier said sulkily.

He wanted to toss the satchel with the Three Books down on the ground just to show Kareta what he thought of her bright idea that he should become a Knight-Mage, but he couldn’t bring himself to do it. Whatever he thought of the idea of becoming one, a Knight-Mage was a Wildmage, and Wildmages were guardians of the Great Balance, and Harrier worshipped at the Shrine of the Eternal Light—the Great Balance as it was venerated in the Nine Cities—just like everyone else in Armethalieh. The Light might be known by different names in different places: as Leaf and Star to the Elves, as the Herdsman to the Centaurs, as the Huntsman and the Forest Wife back in the Hills, and even in some places as the Good Goddess, but it was all the same Light, the same way as the sun was the same sun, no matter where you went. Without another word, he sighed, and settled the satchel firmly on his shoulder as he walked past the other three and climbed the steps into the wagon.

He ducked his head as he stepped up and inside. “You don’t have to like it. You just have to do it.” That was one of his father’s favorite sayings, and it had gotten Harrier through many an afternoon of tedious chores. He wasn’t entirely sure that Antarans Gillain had ever meant it to apply to his youngest son becoming a Wildmage, though.

Well, maybe there was a way out. He was sure Ancaladar would know.

He closed the door of the wagon behind him, and bolted it too, just to make sure he had a little time alone to think. He kept his head ducked; Tiercel could stand upright in here, but Harrier was a good half-head taller than Tiercel was, and he’d already collected more than his fair share of bruises from the ceiling and doorframe of the wagon.

THE true purpose of the wagon wasn’t actually to provide him and Tiercel with a place to sleep, but to provide Tiercel with a portable workroom, for unlike the Wild Magic, the High Magick required a large number of ingredients, and research books, and tools. But at the moment it also held all their belongings, for though the boys had arrived at Karahelanderialigor, city of the Elven Mages, with little more than the clothes on their backs, they had left it fully-provisioned, thanks to the generosity of House Malkirinath.

He sat down on one of the chests to remove his boots, setting the satchel carefully aside. The boots were durable leather, made for hard use (and even for wading into a stream, if need be), but it would take them hours to dry. He set them in a corner. He’d oil them later, to keep them from stiffening as they dried. Then he dragged off his overtunic (his shirt was floating downstream, but if he was lucky, it had caught on a branch, and he’d be able to retrieve it later; he had others, but that was his favorite) and got to his feet to rummage through the chest for a change of clothes. At least he’d packed up the camp this morning before he’d gone off for his ill-advised morning swim, so he was able to lay hands on a drying cloth and his camp boots without tearing the whole org...

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Book Description MP3 CD. Book Condition: New. MP3 CD. In The Phoenix Endangered, the second entry in The Enduring Flame, Tiercel, a budding High Mage, and Harrier, a reluctant Knight-Mage, develop greater power-and learn of the evils of war when.Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. 0.100. Bookseller Inventory # 9781400157860

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Book Description Tantor Media, Inc, United States, 2008. CD-Audio. Book Condition: New. Unabridged. Language: English . Brand New. In The Phoenix Endangered, the second entry in The Enduring Flame, Tiercel, a budding High Mage, and Harrier, a reluctant Knight-Mage, develop greater power and learn of the evils of war when they see the devastation caused by the fanatical armies of the Wild Mage Bisochim. The desert tribespeople led by young Shaiara flee Bisochim s evil, seeking a legendary oasis deep in the desert a refuge that may hold the key to stopping Bisochim and preserving the Balance between Light and Darkness.or that may be the cause of Light s ultimate downfall. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9781400157860

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