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Vidarian Rulorat, called the Tesseract, a powerful magic-user whose abilities spread across multiple elements, finds himself at war with the Alorean Import Company, a powerful cabal of merchants wealthy enough to buy nations. By opening the gate between worlds, Vidarian released the Starhunter, goddess of chaos. With her coming, wild magic returned to the world of Andovar, bringing with it shape- changers and strange awakened elemental technologies, including many-sailed ships powered by air magic, and mechanical automata lit from within by earth and fire. Now, Vidarian discovers that the Alorean Import Company is determined to eliminate two- thirds of this new life on Andovar in the hopes of hoarding more magic for themselves in a new, worldwide plutocracy. Along with his human, gryphon, and shapechanger allies, he must stop the Company if he is to safeguard any future for the diverse life of Andovar, including his and Ariadel's newborn daughter. With the existence of whole species hanging in the balance, Vidarian is locked in a race for the future of the world.
In the sequel to Sword of Fire and Sea, Vidarian Rulorat faces the consequences of opening the gate between worlds: elemental magic is awakening across the planet after centuries of dormancy, bringing with it magically-powered wonders including flying ships and ancient automata; empires leap into war over long disputed territory as their technologies shift; the spirit of his oldest friend, Ruby—killed in the immediate aftermath of the gate's opening—is trapped inside one of the gems used to open the gate; and Ariadel, his one great love, isn't speaking to him. Called into service by the desperate young emperor of Alorea, Vidarian must lead sky ships in a war against the neighboring southern empire, train the demoralized imperial Sky Knights to ride beasts that now shapeshift, master his own amplified elemental magic, and win back Ariadel—all without losing his mind. Compounding his task is a political minefield laid by the Alorean Import Company, which may or may not be fomenting war across the planet, and a shapeshifter that bonds to Vidarian during his early attempts to subdue the rogue bird-like seridi—a wolf pup that will prove to be the fabled bridge between sky and earth magics, an electricity elemental that takes the shape of a dragon upon maturity: the lance of earth and sky.
Three generations ago Captain Vidarian Rulorat's great-grandfather gave up an imperial commission to commit social catastrophe by marrying a fire priestess. For love, he unwittingly doomed his family to generations of a rare genetic disease that follows families who cross elemental boundaries. Now Vidarian, the last surviving member of the Rulorat family, struggles to uphold his family legacy, and finds himself chained to a task as a result of the bride price his great-grandfather paid: the Breakwater Agreement, a seventy-year-old alliance between his family and the High Temple of Kara'zul, domain of the fire priestesses.
The priestess Endera has called upon Vidarian to fulfill his family's obligation by transporting a young fire priestess named Ariadel to a water temple far to the south, through dangerous pirate-controlled territory. A journey perilous in the best of conditions is made more so by their pursuers: rogue telepathic magic-users called the Vkortha who will stop at nothing to recover Ariadel, who has witnessed their forbidden rites.
Together, Vidarian and Ariadel will navigate more than treacherous waters: Imperial intrigue, a world that has been slowly losing its magic for generations, secrets that the priestesshoods have kept for longer, the indifference of their elemental goddesses, gryphons—once thought mythical—now returning to the world, and their own labyrinthine family legacies. Vidarian finds himself at the intersection not only of the world's most volatile elements, but of colliding universes, and the ancient and alien powers that lurk between them.