Juliet E. McKenna is the renowned author of The Chronicles of the Lescari Revolution, The Tales of Einarinn series and The Aldabreshin Compass series. A mother and Black Belt in Aikido, she lives in Oxford, England.
Archmage Planir and the wizards of Hadrumal have demonstrated their devastating powers and the corsair threat is no more. The mainland rulers’ relief is overshadowed with fear of one day facing such a threat to their own dominion. Will Tormalin’s Emperor make an alliance with Solura’s wizards who so openly covet Hadrumal’s secrets? Will he seek out that other mysterious magic, Artifice, to counter Planir’s magecraft? How will the aloof Aetheric adepts of the mountains answer such an appeal?
Aldabreshin warlords have always forbidden wizardry. Now the Archmage has encroached so unforgivably on their domains, their laws demand a wizard’s shed blood to wash away the taint and the Aldabreshi have countless men and ships for such a quest.
With many of the Wizard Council disputing Planir’s chosen course, he must look beyond the island city for allies. To Suthyfer, the controversial haven for mageborn far away in the Eastern Ocean. To Caladhria, where Corrain, Baron Halferan and Lady Zurenne believe they have finally won respite from all their trials. But absence of strife is hardly peace. The lull before winter’s storms descend from the distant northern peaks will be a short one.
In Halferan, Captain Corrain is hailed as a hero; but he knows all praise would turn to anger if the Caladhrians knew the truth. The wizard who supposedly saved them has merely claimed the corsair island for his own, and no one knows what his next move will be.
Corrain has good reason to fear the worst, as he confides in Lady Zurenne. He knows he can trust her, now that still more perilous secrets bind them together. This disastrous turn of events cannot be concealed from Hadrumal’s mages. Surely the Archmage will enforce his authority by crushing this upstart mage? Unless the Aldabreshin warlords act first. Will they be content to drive this solitary wizard out of the Archipelago, or has the time come for them to destroy all magic?
The Archmage rules the island of wizards and has banned the use of magecraft in warfare, but there are corsairs raiding the Caladhrian Coast, enslaving villagers and devastating trade. Barons and merchants beg for magical aid, but all help has been refused so far. Lady Zurenne’s husband has been murdered by the corsairs. Now a man she doesn’t even know stands as guardian over her and her daughters. Corrain, former captain and now slave, knows that the man is a rogue wizard, illegally selling his skills to the corsairs. If Corrain can escape, he’ll see justice done. Unless the Archmage’s magewoman, Jilseth, can catch the renegade first, before his disobedience is revealed and the scandal shatters the ruler’s hold on power...