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Memories of Ice

The Malazan Book of the Fallen: Book 3

Steven Erikson

The ravaged continent of Genabackis has given birth to a terrifying new empire: the Pannion Domin. Like a tide of corrupted blood, it seethes across the land, devouring all. In its path stands an uneasy alliance: Onearm's army and Whiskeyjack's Bridgeburners alongside their enemies of old--the forces of the Warlord Caladan Brood, Anomander Rake and his Tiste Andii mages, and the Rhivi people of the plains.

But ancient undead clans are also gathering; the T'lan Imass have risen. For it would seem something altogether darker and more malign threatens this world. Rumors abound that the Crippled God is now unchained and intent on a terrible revenge.

The Crippled God

The Malazan Book of the Fallen: Book 10

Steven Erikson

Savaged by the K'Chain Nah'Ruk, the Bonehunters march for Kolanse, where waits an unknown fate. Tormented by questions, the army totters on the edge of mutiny, but Adjunct Tavore will not relent. One final act remains, if it is in her power, if she can hold her army together, if the shaky allegiances she has forged can survive all that is to come. A woman with no gifts of magic, deemed plain, unprepossessing, displaying nothing to instill loyalty or confidence, Tavore Paran of House Paran means to challenge the gods -- if her own troops don't kill her first.

Awaiting Tavore and her allies are the Forkrul Assail, the final arbiters of humanity. Drawing upon an alien power terrible in its magnitude, they seek to cleanse the world, to annihilate every human, every civilization, in order to begin anew. They welcome the coming conflagration of slaughter, for it shall be of their own devising, and it pleases them to know that, in the midst of the enemies gathering against them, there shall be betrayal. In the realm of Kurald Galain, home to the long lost city of Kharkanas, a mass of refugees stand upon the First Shore. Commanded by Yedan Derryg, the Watch, they await the breaching of Lightfall, and the coming of the Tiste Liosan. This is a war they cannot win, and they will die in the name of an empty city and a queen with no subjects.

Elsewhere, the three Elder Gods, Kilmandaros, Errastas and Sechul Lath, work to shatter the chains binding Korabas, the Otataral Dragon, and release her from her eternal prison. Once freed, she will be a force of utter devastation, and against her no mortal can stand. At the Gates of Starvald Demelain, the Azath House sealing the portal is dying. Soon will come the Eleint, and once more, there will be dragons in the world. And so, in a far away land and beneath indifferent skies, the final cataclysmic chapter in the extraordinary 'Malazan Book of the Fallen' begins.

Reaper's Gale

The Malazan Book of the Fallen: Book 7

Steven Erikson

All is not well in the Letherii Empire. Rhulad Sengar, the Emperor of a Thousand Deaths, spirals into madness, surrounded by sycophants and agents of his Machiavellian chancellor. Meanwhile, the Letherii secret police conduct a campaign of terror against their own people. The Errant, once a farseeing god, is suddenly blind to the future. Conspiracies seethe throughout the palace, as the empire - driven by the corrupt and self-interested - edges ever-closer to all-out war with the neighboring kingdoms.

The great Edur fleet--its warriors selected from countless numbers of people--draws closer. Amongst the warriors are Karsa Orlong and Icarium Lifestealer--each destined to cross blades with the emperor himself. That yet more blood is to be spilled is inevitable... Against this backdrop, a band of fugitives seek a way out of the empire, but one of them, Fear Sengar, must find the soul of Scabandari Bloodeye. It is his hope that the soul might help halt the Tiste Edur, and so save his brother, the emperor. Yet, traveling with them is Scabandari's most ancient foe: Silchas Ruin, brother of Anomander Rake. And his motives are anything but certain - for the wounds he carries on his back, made by the blades of Scabandari, are still fresh.

Fate decrees that there is to be a reckoning, for such bloodshed cannot go unanswered--and it will be a reckoning on an unimaginable scale. This is a brutal, harrowing novel of war, intrigue and dark, uncontrollable magic; this is epic fantasy at its most imaginative, storytelling at its most thrilling.

Deadhouse Gates

The Malazan Book of the Fallen: Book 2

Steven Erikson

In the vast dominion of Seven Cities, in the Holy Desert Raraku, the seer Sha'ik and her followers prepare for the long-prophesied uprising known as the Whirlwind. Unprecedented in size and savagery, this maelstrom of fanaticism and bloodlust will embroil the Malazan Empire in one of the bloodiest conflicts it has ever known, shaping destinies and giving birth to legends . . .

House of Chains

The Malazan Book of the Fallen: Book 4

Steven Erikson

In Northern Genabackis, a raiding party of savage tribal warriors descends from the mountains into the southern flatlands. Their intention is to wreak havoc amongst the despised lowlanders, but for the one named Karsa Orlong it marks the beginning of what will prove to be an extraordinary destiny.

Some years later, it is the aftermath of the Chain of Dogs. Tavore, the Adjunct to the Empress, has arrived in the last remaining Malazan stronghold of Seven Cities. New to command, she must hone twelve thousand soldiers, mostly raw recruits but for a handful of veterans of Coltaine's legendary march, into a force capable of challenging the massed hordes of Sha'ik's Whirlwind who lie in wait in the heart of the Holy Desert.

But waiting is never easy. The seer's warlords are locked into a power struggle that threatens the very soul of the rebellion, while Sha'ik herself suffers, haunted by the knowledge of her nemesis: her own sister, Tavore.

Midnight Tides

The Malazan Book of the Fallen: Book 5

Steven Erikson

After decades of internecine warfare, the tribes of the Tiste Edur have at last united under the Warlock King of the Hiroth, There is peace--but it has been exacted at a terrible price: a pact made with a hidden power whose motives are at best suspect, at worst deadly.

To the south, the expansionist kingdom of Lether, eager to fulfill its long-prophesized renaissance as an Empire reborn, has enslaved all its less-civilized neighbors with rapacious hunger. All, that is, save one--the Tiste Edur. And it must be only a matter of time before they too fall--either beneath the suffocating weight of gold, or by slaughter at the edge of a sword. Or so destiny has decreed.

Yet as the two sides gather for a pivotal treaty neither truly wants, ancient forces are awakening. For the impending struggle between these two peoples is but a pale reflection of a far more profound, primal battle--a confrontation with the still-raw wound of an old betrayal and the craving for revenge at its seething heart.

Last Argument of Kings

The First Law Universe: First Law Trilogy: Book 3

Joe Abercrombie

The end is coming.

Logen Ninefingers might only have one more fight in him-but it's going to be a big one. Battle rages across the North, the king of the Northmen still stands firm, and there's only one man who can stop him. His oldest friend, and his oldest enemy: it's time for the Bloody-Nine to come home.

With too many masters and too little time, Superior Glokta is fighting a different kind of war. A secret struggle in which no one is safe, and no one can be trusted. As his days with a sword are far behind him, it's fortunate that he's deadly with his remaining weapons: blackmail, threats, and torture.

Jezal dan Luthar has decided that winning glory is too painful an undertaking and turned his back on soldiering for a simple life with the woman he loves. But love can be painful too-and glory has a nasty habit of creeping up on a man when he least expects it.

The king of the Union lies on his deathbed, the peasants revolt, and the nobles scramble to steal his crown. No one believes that the shadow of war is about to fall across the heart of the Union. Only the First of the Magi can save the world, but there are risks. There is no risk more terrible, than to break the First Law...

A Clash of Kings

A Song of Ice and Fire: Book 2

George R. R. Martin

George R. R. Martin, a writer of unsurpassed vision, power, and imagination, has created a landmark of fantasy fiction. In his widely acclaimed A Game of Thrones, he introduced us to an extraordinary world of wonder, intrigue, and adventure. Now, in the eagerly awaited second volume in this epic saga, he once again proves himself a master myth-maker, setting a standard against which all other fantasy novels will be measured for years to come.

Time is out of joint. The summer of peace and plenty, ten years long, is drawing to a close, and the harsh, chill winter approaches like an angry beast. Two great leaders--Lord Eddard Stark and Robert Baratheon--who held sway over an age of enforced peace are dead...victims of royal treachery. Now, from the ancient citadel of Dragonstone to the forbidding shores of Winterfell, chaos reigns, as pretenders to the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms prepare to stake their claims through tempest, turmoil, and war.

As a prophecy of doom cuts across the sky--a comet the color of blood and flame--six factions struggle for control of a divided land. Eddard's son Robb has declared himself King in the North. In the south, Joffrey, the heir apparent, rules in name only, victim of the scheming courtiers who teem over King's Landing. Robert's two brothers each seek their own dominion, while a disfavored house turns once more to conquest. And a continent away, an exiled queen, the Mother of Dragons, risks everything to lead her precious brood across a hard hot desert to win back the crown that is rightfully hers.

A Clash of Kings transports us into a magnificent, forgotten land of revelry and revenge, wizardry and warfare. It is a tale in which maidens cavort with madmen, brother plots against brother, and the dead rise to walk in the night. Here a princess masquerades as an orphan boy; a knight of the mind prepares a poison for a treacherous sorceress; and wild men descend from the Mountains of the Moon to ravage the countryside.

Against a backdrop of incest and fratricide, alchemy and murder, the price of glory may be measured in blood. And the spoils of victory may just go to the men and women possessed of the coldest steel...and the coldest hearts. For when rulers clash, all of the land feels the tremors.

Audacious, inventive, brilliantly imagined, A Clash of Kings is a novel of dazzling beauty and boundless enchantment--a tale of pure excitement you will never forget.

The Bonehunters

The Malazan Book of the Fallen: Book 6

Steven Erikson

The Seven Cities Rebellion has been crushed. Sha'ik is dead. One last rebel force remains, holed up in the city of Y'Ghatan and under the fanatical command of Leoman of the Flails. The prospect of laying siege to this ancient fortress makes the battle-weary Malaz 14th Army uneasy. For it was here that the Empire's greatest champion Dassem Ultor was slain and a tide of Malazan blood spilled. A place of foreboding, its smell is of death.

But elsewhere, agents of a far greater conflict have made their opening moves. The Crippled God has been granted a place in the pantheon, a schism threatens and sides must be chosen. Whatever each god decides, the ground-rules have changed, irrevocably, terrifyingly and the first blood spilled will be in the mortal world.

A world in which a host of characters, familiar and new, including Heboric Ghost Hands, the possessed Apsalar, Cutter, once a thief now a killer, the warrior Karsa Orlong and the two ancient wanderers Icarium and Mappo--each searching for such a fate as they might fashion with their own hands, guided by their own will. If only the gods would leave them alone. But now that knives have been unsheathed, the gods are disinclined to be kind. There shall be war, war in the heavens. And, the prize? Nothing less than existence itself...

The Sword of Destiny

The Witcher

Andrzej Sapkowski

Geralt is a witcher, a man whose magic powers, enhanced by long training and a mysterious elixir, have made him a brilliant fighter and a merciless assassin. Yet he is no ordinary murderer: his targets are the multifarious monsters and vile fiends that ravage the land and attack the innocent.

This is a collection of short stories, following the adventures of the hit collection THE LAST WISH. Join Geralt as he battles monsters, demons and prejudices alike...

Before They Are Hanged

The First Law Universe: First Law Trilogy: Book 2

Joe Abercrombie

Superior Glokta has a problem. How do you defend a city surrounded by enemies and riddled with traitors, when your allies can by no means be trusted, and your predecessor vanished without a trace? It s enough to make a torturer want to run if he could even walk without a stick.

Northmen have spilled over the border of Angland and are spreading fire and death across the frozen country. Crown Prince Ladisla is poised to drive them back and win undying glory. There is only one problem he commands the worst-armed, worst-trained, worst-led army in the world.

And Bayaz, the First of the Magi, is leading a party of bold adventurers on a perilous mission through the ruins of the past. The most hated woman in the South, the most feared man in the North, and the most selfish boy in the Union make a strange alliance, but a deadly one. They might even stand a chance of saving mankind from the Eaters if they didn t hate each other quite so much.

Ancient secrets will be uncovered. Bloody battles will be won and lost. Bitter enemies will be forgiven but not before they are hanged.

The Books of the South

Black Company: Tales of the Black Company: Book 2

Glen Cook

Marching south after the ghastly battle at the Tower of Charm, the Black Company is hounded by shadowy figures every inch of the way.

The game is on: the Company versus the Shadowmasters, deadly creatures that deal in darkness and sorrow.

When hope dies, there's still survival. And there's still the Black Company.

This omnibus edition collects Shadow Games, Dreams of Steel, and The Silver Spike.

Red Seas Under Red Skies

The Gentleman Bastard Sequence: Book 2

Scott Lynch

In his highly acclaimed debut, The Lies of Locke Lamora, Scott Lynch took us on an adrenaline-fueled adventure with a band of daring thieves led by con artist extraordinaire Locke Lamora. Now Lynch brings back his outrageous hero for a caper so death-defying, nothing short of a miracle will pull it off.

After a brutal battle with the underworld that nearly destroyed him, Locke and his trusted sidekick, Jean, fled the island city of their birth and landed on the exotic shores of Tal Verrar to nurse their wounds. But even at this westernmost edge of civilization, they can't rest for long-and are soon back to what they do best: stealing from the undeserving rich and pocketing the proceeds for themselves.

This time, however, they have targeted the grandest prize of all: the Sinspire, the most exclusive and heavily guarded gambling house in the world. Its nine floors attract the wealthiest clientele-and to rise to the top, one must impress with good credit, amusing behavior... and excruciatingly impeccable play. For there is one cardinal rule, enforced by Requin, the house's cold-blooded master: it is death to cheat at any game at the Sinspire.

Brazenly undeterred, Locke and Jean have orchestrated an elaborate plan to lie, trick, and swindle their way up the nine floors... straight to Requin's teeming vault. Under the cloak of false identities, they meticulously make their climb-until they are closer to the spoils than ever.

But someone in Tal Verrar has uncovered the duo's secret. Someone from their past who has every intention of making the impudent criminals pay for their sins. Now it will take every ounce of cunning to save their mercenary souls. And even that may not be enough....

The Time of Contempt

The Witcher: Book 2

Andrzej Sapkowski

Geralt was always going to stand out, with his white hair and piercing eyes, his cynicism and lack of respect for authority --- but he is far more than just a striking-looking man. He's a witcher; his sorcerous powers, enhanced by elixers and long training, have made him a brilliant fighter and a merciless assassin. Yet he is no ordinary murderer; his targets are the vile fiends and demons that ravage the land. But first appearance can often be deceptive; not everything monstrous-looking is a monster --- and even the fairest can have a bite!

Dark of the Moon

Chronicles of the Kencyrath: Book 2

P. C. Hodgell

Tai-tastigon is burning.

The whole city is in an uproar. And the cause, Jame, and her friend Marc have fled. They are making their way through mountain passes, far too late in the season, hoping to find Jame's brother Tori somewhere on the other side.

Nothing ever goes easily for Jame, least of all this journey. As hints of the past she has forgotten — of dark and horrid years in the house of Gerridon, betrayer of her people, the Kencyrath, and her god — come to the surface, she encounters changers from the house of Gerridon, wanting to bring her back into that dark place. Arrin-ken, catlike creatures who are nevertheless a part of her own people, find and judge her. Bandits, brigands and strange remnants from the past of her people—which suggest a dim future for them, their god and their hope of defeating the great enemy, Perimal Darkling — arise to haunt her. But her determination to find her brother and to avoid falling into eternal darkness only grows stronger.

Meanwhile Tori, who is Highlord of the Kencyrath, leads the wayward lords of the Kencyrath with uneasy grace. He is a compromise for them, a way of avoiding endless battle between them. But he can bind them together only so long as he can tread a narrow way between their varied needs and desires. When a vast and unexpected danger threatens, he must call up the host — the troops that each lord must muster — but in so doing he threatens his own position and his sanity, for he cannot avoid the attention this calls to him, attention that seems to bring changers who want to kill him, and odd nightmares that seem to suggest a future he does not want and the reappearance of a sister he both loves and fears.

Princeps' Fury

Codex Alera: Book 5

Jim Butcher

Under Tavi of Calderon, heir to the crown, war-torn Alera rebuilds while politicians and nobles vie for power. But from the south comes news: the dreaded Vord have come to Alera. For a thousand years, Alera and her furies have withstood every enemy and survived every foe.

The Dark Tower

The Dark Tower: Book 7

Stephen King

Set in a world of extraordinary circumstances, filled with stunning visual imagery and unforgettable characters, The Dark Tower series is unlike anything you have ever read. The final book opens like a door to the uttermost reaches of Stephen King's imagination. You've come this far. Come a little farther. Come all the way. The sound you hear may be the slamming of the door behind you. Welcome to The Dark Tower.

Wizard and Glass

The Dark Tower: Book 4

Stephen King

The Dark Tower beckons Roland, the Last Gunslinger, and the four companions he has gathered along the road. And, having narrowly escaped one world, they set out on a terrifying journey across the scarred urban wasteland to brave a new world where hidden dangers lie at every junction: a malevolent computer-run monorail hurtling towards self-destruction, Roland's relentlessly cunning old enemy, and the temptation of the wizard's diabolical glass ball, a powerful force in Roland's first love affair. This is a tale of long-ago love and adventure involving a beautiful and quixotic woman named Susan Delgado. And the Tower is closer...

Captain's Fury

Codex Alera: Book 4

Jim Butcher

After two years of bitter conflict with the hordes of invading Canim, Tavi of Calderon, now Captain of the First Aleran Legion, realizes that a peril far greater than the Canim exists-the terrifying Vord, who drove the savage Canim from their homeland. Now, Tavi must find a way to overcome the centuries-old animosities between Aleran and Cane if an alliance is to be forged against their mutual enemy. And he must lead his legion in defiance of the law, against friend and foe-before the hammerstroke of the Vord descends on them all.

Toll the Hounds

The Malazan Book of the Fallen: Book 8

Steven Erikson

In Darujhistan, the city of blue fire, it is said that love and death shall arrive dancing. It is summer and the heat is oppressive, but for the small round man in the faded red waistcoat, discomfiture is not just because of the sun. All is not well. Dire portents plague his nights and haunt the city streets like fiends of shadow. Assassins skulk in alleyways, but the quarry has turned and the hunters become the hunted.

Hidden hands pluck the strings of tyranny like a fell chorus. While the bards sing their tragic tales, somewhere in the distance can be heard the baying of Hounds...And in the distant city of Black Coral, where rules Anomander Rake, Son of Darkness, ancient crimes awaken, intent on revenge. It seems Love and Death are indeed about to arrive... hand in hand, dancing.

A thrilling, harrowing novel of war, intrigue and dark, uncontrollable magic, Toll the Hounds is the new chapter in Erikson's monumental series - epic fantasy at its most imaginative and storytelling at its most exciting.

The Conan Chronicles, Volume 2: The Hour of the Dragon

The Conan Chronicles: Book 2

Robert E. Howard

The second volume, completing the definitive collection of Conan stories, featuring the most distinctive and well known fantasy hero of all time.

Conan the Cimmerian: he rose from boy-thief and mercenary to become kingof Aquilonia. Neither supernatural fiends nor demonic sorcery could oppose the barbarian warrior as he wielded his mighty sword and dispatched his enemies to a bloody doom on the battlefields of the legendary Hyborian Age.

Collected together for the first time anywhere in the world, in chronological order, are all Robert E. Howard's definitive stories of Conan, exactly as he wrote them, as fresh, atmospheric and vibrant today as when they were first published in the pulp magazines more than sixty years ago.

Table of Contents:

  • Notes on Various People of the Hyborian Age - (1977) - essay by Julian May
  • Red Nails - (1936)
  • Jewels of Gwahlur - (1935)
  • Beyond the Black River - (1935)
  • The Black Stranger - (1987)
  • Wolves Beyond the Border (Draft) - (2000)
  • The Phoenix on the Sword - (1932)
  • The Scarlet Citadel - (1933)
  • The Hour of the Dragon - (1977) - novel
  • The Hour of the Dragon - (1969) - poem
  • Cimmeria - (1965) - poem
  • Afterword: Robert E. Howard and Conan: The Final Years - essay by Stephen Jones

Baptism of Fire

The Witcher: Book 3

Andrzej Sapkowski

The Wizards Guild has been shattered by a coup and, in the uproar, Geralt was seriously injured. The Witcher is supposed to be a guardian of the innocent, a protector of those in need, a defender against powerful and dangerous monsters that prey on men in dark times.

But now that dark times have fallen upon the world, Geralt is helpless until he has recovered from his injuries.

While war rages across all of the lands, the future of magic is under threat and those sorcerers who survive are determined to protect it. It's an impossible situation in which to find one girl - Ciri, the heiress to the throne of Cintra, has vanished - until a rumour places her in the Niflgaard court, preparing to marry the Emperor.

Injured or not, Geralt has a rescue mission on his hands.

This is the third of the Witcher novels by Andrzej Sapkowski

The Blade Itself

The First Law Universe: First Law Trilogy: Book 1

Joe Abercrombie

Logen Ninefingers, infamous barbarian, has finally run out of luck. Caught in one feud too many, he's on the verge of becoming a dead barbarian - leaving nothing behind him but bad songs, dead friends, and a lot of happy enemies.

Nobleman, dashing officer, and paragon of selfishness, Captain Jezal dan Luthar has nothing more dangerous in mind than fleecing his friends at cards and dreaming of glory in the fencing circle. But war is brewing, and on the battlefields of the frozen North they fight by altogether bloodier rules.

Inquisitor Glokta, cripple turned torturer, would like nothing better than to see Jezal come home in a box. But then Glokta hates everyone: cutting treason out of the Union one confession at a time leaves little room for friendship. His latest trail of corpses may lead him right to the rotten heart of government, if he can stay alive long enough to follow it.

Enter the wizard, Bayaz. A bald old man with a terrible temper and a pathetic assistant, he could be the First of the Magi, he could be a spectacular fraud, but whatever he is, he's about to make the lives of Logen, Jezal, and Glotka a whole lot more difficult.

Murderous conspiracies rise to the surface, old scores are ready to be settled, and the line between hero and villain is sharp enough to draw blood. Unpredictable, compelling, wickedly funny, and packed with unforgettable characters, The Blade Itself is noir fantasy with a real cutting edge.

The Last Wish

The Witcher

Andrzej Sapkowski

Geralt of Rivia is a witcher. A cunning sorcerer. A merciless assassin.

And a cold-blooded killer.

His sole purpose: to destroy the monsters that plague the world.

But not everything monstrous-looking is evil, and not everything fair is good...and in every fairy tale there is a grain of truth.

The international hit that inspired the video game The Witcher.

The Tower of Swallows

The Witcher: Book 4

Andrzej Sapkowski

The world has fallen into war. Ciri, the child of prophecy, has vanished. Hunted by friends and foes alike, she has taken on the guise of a petty bandit and lives free for the first time in her life.

But the net around her is closing. Geralt, the Witcher, has assembled a group of allies determined to rescue her. Both sides of the war have sent brutal mercenaries to hunt her down. Her crimes have made her famous.

There is only one place left to run. The tower of the swallow is waiting...

Stormbringer

The Elric Saga: Book 6

Michael Moorcock

There came a time when there was a great movement upon the Earth and above it, when the destiny of Men and Gods was hammered out upon the forge of Fate, when monstrous wars were brewed and mighty deeds were designed. And there rose up in this time, which was called the Age of the Young Kingdoms, heroes. Greatest of these heroes was a doom-driven adventurer who bore a crooning rune blade that he loathed.

His name was Elric of Melnibone, king of ruins, lord of a scattered race that had once ruled the ancient world. Elric, sorcerer and swordsman, slayer of kin, despoiler of his homeland, white-faced albino, last of his line.

Assassin's Quest

The Farseer Trilogy: Book 3

Robin Hobb

As this epic trilogy reaches its unforgettable conclusion, young FitzChivalry faces his toughest opponent ever: himself. Embittered and broken, his body reclaimed from the grave and his spirit from the care of his bond-wolf Nighteyes, Fitz awakens to a world where everything he once held dear is in ruins. King Shrewd is dead; Prince Regal has claimed the throne and rules the kingdom with a cruel and selfish negligence. Molly has deserted him for parts unknown. Queen Kettricken and her unborn child have fled to the mountains with the Fool, Verity is lost seeking the elusive Elderlings, and Fitz's presumed death forever bars him from Buckkeep. The only companions he had left in his solitude are Chade and Burrich, who wrestle him reluctantly back to humanity after his sojourn in Nighteyes' mind.

But angry with the lot Fate has cast him, Fitz drives away even these loyal companions, and for the first time faces his life on his own, without anyone to guide or lead him. And what he most desires is revenge against Regal, for everything the usurper has cost him. So, preparing his assassin's kit, he sets out for Regal's new capital at Tradeford, determined to murder the treacherous "king." Without guidance, though, he botches the attempt, and an urgent sending by Verity to save him leaves Fitz imprinted with the burning imperative to find and aid his true king in his quest to aid the land.

Eventually fighting his way through to the mountains, he rejoins Kettricken and the Fool in a quest for Verity--and there in the Skill-shadowed hills, he discovers an ancient power and a mysterious riddle, whose answer may well change the fate of the Six Duchies forever....

The Last Witness

K. J. Parker

When you need a memory to be wiped, call me.

Transferring unwanted memories to my own mind is the only form of magic I've ever mastered. But now, I'm holding so many memories I'm not always sure which ones are actually mine, any more.

Some of them are sensitive; all of them are private. And there are those who are willing to kill to access the secrets I'm trying to bury...

A classic Parker tale with a strong supporting cast of princes, courtiers, merchants, academics, and generally unsavory people.

Originally published as a chapbook. This story can also be found in The Year's Best Science Fiction & Fantasy Novellas 2016, edited by Paula Guran.

Carrion Comfort

Dan Simmons

Three elderly friends, who possess supernatural powers and who feed off of emotions generated during the murders they orchestrate, meet every year to discuss their game--an ongoing competition of mass murder and vampirism.

Assassin's Apprentice

The Farseer Trilogy: Book 1

Robin Hobb

Young Fitz is the bastard son of the noble Prince Chivalry, raised in the shadow of the royal court by his father's gruff stableman. He is treated like an outcast by all the royalty except the devious King Shrewd, who has him sectetly tutored in the arts of the assassin. For in Fitz's blood runs the magic Skill--and the darker knowledge of a child raised with the stable hounds and rejected by his family. As barbarous raiders ravage the coasts, Fitz is growing to manhood. Soon he will face his first dangerous, soul-shattering mission. And though some regard him as a threat to the throne, he may just be the key to the survival of the kingdom.

Royal Assassin

The Farseer Trilogy: Book 2

Robin Hobb

Young Fitz, the illegitimate son of the noble Prince Chivalry, is ignored by all royalty except the devious King Shrewd, who has had him tutored in the dark arts of the assassin. He has barely survived his first, soul-shattering mission, and returns to the court where he is thrown headfirst into the tumult of royal life.

With the King near death, and Fitz's only ally off on a seemingly hopeless quest, the throne itself is threatened. Meanwhile, the treacherous Red Ship Raiders have renewed their attacks on the Six Duchies, slaughtering the inhabitants of entire seaside towns.

In this time of great peril, it soon becomes clear that the fate of the kingdom may rest in Fitz's hands -- and his role in its salvation may require the ultimate sacrifice.

Wolves of the Calla

The Dark Tower: Book 5

Stephen King

Roland Deschain and his ka-tet are bearing southeast through the forests of Mid-World, the almost timeless landscape that seems to stretch from the wreckage of civility that defined Roland's youth to the crimson chaos that seems the future's only promise. Readers of Stephen King's epic series know Roland well, or as well as this enigmatic hero can be known. They also know the companions who have been drawn to his quest for the Dark Tower: Eddie Dean and his wife, Susannah Jake Chambers, the boy who has come twice through the doorway of death into Roland's world and Oy, the Billy-Bumbler.

In this long-awaited fifth novel in the saga, their path takes them to the outskirts of Calla Bryn Sturgis, a tranquil valley community of farmers and ranchers on Mid-World's borderlands. Beyond the town, the rocky ground rises toward the hulking darkness of Thunderclap, the source of a terrible affliction that is slowly stealing the community's soul. One of the town's residents is Pere Callahan, a ruined priest who, like Susannah, Eddie, and Jake, passed through one of the portals that lead both into and out of Roland's world.

As Father Callahan tells the ka-tet the astonishing story of what happened following his shamed departure from Maine in 1977, his connection to the Dark Tower becomes clear, as does the danger facing a single red rose in a vacant lot off Second Avenue in midtown Manhattan. For Calla Bryn Sturgis, danger gathers in the east like a storm cloud. The Wolves of Thunderclap and their unspeakable depredation are coming. To resist them is to risk all, but these are odds the gunslingers are used to, and they can give the Calla-folken both courage and cunning. Their guns, however, will not be enough.

First Lord's Fury

Codex Alera: Book 6

Jim Butcher

For Gaius Octavian, life has been one long battle. Now, the end of all he fought for is close at hand. The brutal, dreaded Vord are on the march against Alera. And perhaps for the final time, Gaius Octavian and his legions must stand against the enemies of his people. And it will take all his intelligence, ingenuity, and furycraft to save their world from eternal darkness.

The Desert Spear

The Demon Cycle: Book 2

Peter V. Brett

The sun is setting on humanity. The night now belongs to voracious demons that prey upon a dwindling population forced to cower behind half-forgotten symbols of power. Legends tell of a Deliverer: a general who once bound all mankind into a single force that defeated the demons. But is the return of the Deliverer just another myth? Perhaps not.

Out of the desert rides Ahmann Jardir, who has forged the desert tribes into a demon-killing army. He has proclaimed himself Shar’Dama Ka, the Deliverer, and he carries ancient weapons—a spear and a crown—that give credence to his claim. But the Northerners claim their own Deliverer: the Warded Man, a dark, forbidding figure. Once, the Shar’Dama Ka and the Warded Man were friends. Now they are fierce adversaries. Yet as old allegiances are tested and fresh alliances forged, all are unaware of the appearance of a new breed of demon, more intelligent—and deadly—than any that have come before.

The Killing Moon

Dreamblood: Book 1

N. K. Jemisin

The city burned beneath the Dreaming Moon.

In the ancient city-state of Gujaareh, peace is the only law. Upon its rooftops and amongst the shadows of its cobbled streets wait the Gatherers - the keepers of this peace. Priests of the dream-goddess, their duty is to harvest the magic of the sleeping mind and use it to heal, soothe . . . and kill those judged corrupt.

But when a conspiracy blooms within Gujaareh's great temple, Ehiru - the most famous of the city's Gatherers - must question everything he knows. Someone, or something, is murdering dreamers in the goddess' name, stalking its prey both in Gujaareh's alleys and the realm of dreams. Ehiru must now protect the woman he was sent to kill - or watch the city be devoured by war and forbidden magic.

The Alloy of Law

Cosmere: Mistborn: Wax and Wayne: Book 1

Brandon Sanderson

Three hundred years after the events of the Mistborn trilogy, Scadrial is now on the verge of modernity, with railroads to supplement the canals, electric lighting in the streets and the homes of the wealthy, and the first steel-framed skyscrapers racing for the clouds.

Kelsier, Vin, Elend, Sazed, Spook, and the rest are now part of history-or religion. Yet even as science and technology are reaching new heights, the old magics of Allomancy and Feruchemy continue to play a role in this reborn world. Out in the frontier lands known as the Roughs, they are crucial tools for the brave men and women attempting to establish order and justice.

One such is Waxillium Ladrian, a rare Twinborn, who can Push on metals with his Allomancy and use Feruchemy to become lighter or heavier at will. After twenty years in the Roughs, Wax has been forced by family tragedy to return to the metropolis of Elendel. Now he must reluctantly put away his guns and assume the duties and dignity incumbent upon the head of a noble house. Or so he thinks, until he learns the hard way that the mansions and elegant tree-lined streets of the city can be even more dangerous than the dusty plains of the Roughs.

The Warded Man

The Demon Cycle: Book 1

Peter V. Brett

As darkness falls after sunset, the corelings rise-demons who possess supernatural powers and burn with a consuming hatred of humanity. For hundreds of years the demons have terrorized the night, slowly culling the human herd that shelters behind magical wards-symbols of power whose origins are lost in myth and whose protection is terrifyingly fragile.

It was not always this way. Once, men and women battled the corelings on equal terms, but those days are gone. Night by night the demons grow stronger, while human numbers dwindle under their relentless assault. Now, with hope for the future fading, three young survivors of vicious demon attacks will dare the impossible, stepping beyond the crumbling safety of the wards to risk everything in a desperate quest to regain the secrets of the past. Together, they will stand against the night.

Published in the UK as The Painted Man.

The Traitor Baru Cormorant

The Masquerade: Book 1

Seth Dickinson

In Seth Dickinson's highly-anticipated debut The Traitor Baru Cormorant, a young woman from a conquered people tries to transform an empire in this richly imagined geopolitical fantasy.

Baru Cormorant believes any price is worth paying to liberate her people-even her soul.

When the Empire of Masks conquers her island home, overwrites her culture, criminalizes her customs, and murders one of her fathers, Baru vows to swallow her hate, join the Empire's civil service, and claw her way high enough to set her people free.

Sent as an Imperial agent to distant Aurdwynn, another conquered country, Baru discovers it's on the brink of rebellion. Drawn by the intriguing duchess Tain Hu into a circle of seditious dukes, Baru may be able to use her position to help. As she pursues a precarious balance between the rebels and a shadowy cabal within the Empire, she orchestrates a do-or-die gambit with freedom as the prize.

But the cost of winning the long game of saving her people may be far greater than Baru imagines.

The Blinding Knife

The Lightbringer Series: Book 2

Brent Weeks

From the New York Times Bestselling author of The Black Prism...

Gavin Guile is dying. He'd thought he had five years left--now he has less than one. With fifty thousand refugees, a bastard son, and an ex-fianc?e who may have learned his darkest secret, Gavin has problems on every side.

All magic in the world is running wild and threatens to destroy the Seven Satrapies. Worst of all, the old gods are being reborn, and their army of color wights is unstoppable. The only salvation may be the brother whose freedom and life Gavin stole sixteen years ago.

The Conan Chronicles, Volume 1: The People of the Black Circle

The Conan Chronicles: Book 1

Robert E. Howard

Conan the Cimmerian: he rose from boy-thief and mercenary to become kingof Aquilonia. Neither supernatural fiends nor demonic sorcery could oppose the barbarian warrior as he wielded his mighty sword and dispatched his enemies to a bloody doom on the battlefields of the legendary Hyborian Age.

Collected together for the first time anywhere in the world, in chronological order, are all Robert E. Howard's definitive stories of Conan, exactly as he wrote them, as fresh, atmospheric and vibrant today as when they were first published in the pulp magazines more than sixty years ago.

Table of Contents:

  • The Hyborian Age - (1936)
  • The Tower of the Elephant - (1933)
  • The Hall of the Dead (Synopsis) - (1976)
  • The God in the Bowl - (1952)
  • Rogues in the House - (1934)
  • The Hand of Nergal - (1976)
  • The Frost-Giant's Daughter - (1976)
  • Queen of the Black Coast - (1934)
  • The Vale of Lost Women - (1967)
  • The Snout in the Dark (Draft) - (1979)
  • Black Colossus - (1933)
  • Shadows in the Moonlight - (1934)
  • A Witch Shall Be Born - (1934)
  • Shadows in Zamboula - (1935)
  • The Devil in Iron - (1934)
  • The People of the Black Circle - (1934)
  • The Slithering Shadow - (1933)
  • Drums of Tombalku (Draft) - (1986)
  • The Pool of the Black One - (1933)
  • Afterword: Robert E. Howard and Conan: The Early Years - essay by Stephen Jones

Academ's Fury

Codex Alera: Book 2

Jim Butcher

In Furies of Calderon, bestselling author Jim Butcher introduced readers to a world where the forces of nature take physical form. But now, it's human nature that threatens to throw the realm into chaos.

The Steel Remains

Land Fit For Heroes: Book 1

Richard K. Morgan

A dark lord will rise. Such is the prophecy that dogs Ringil Eskiath—Gil, for short—a washed-up mercenary and onetime war hero whose cynicism is surpassed only by the speed of his sword. Gil is estranged from his aristocratic family, but when his mother enlists his help in freeing a cousin sold into slavery, Gil sets out to track her down. But it soon becomes apparent that more is at stake than the fate of one young woman. Grim sorceries are awakening in the land. Some speak in whispers of the return of the Aldrain, a race of widely feared, cruel yet beautiful demons. Now Gil and two old comrades are all that stand in the way of a prophecy whose fulfillment will drown an entire world in blood. But with heroes like these, the cure is likely to be worse than the disease.

Blood of Elves

The Witcher: Book 1

Andrzej Sapkowski

Watch for the signs! What signs these shall be, I say unto you: first the earth will flow with the blood of Aen Seidhe, the Blood of Elves...For over a century, humans, dwarves, gnomes, and elves have lived together in relative peace. But times have changed, the uneasy peace is over, and now the races are fighting once again. The only good elf, it seems, is a dead elf.

Geralt of Rivia, the cunning assassin known as The Witcher, has been waiting for the birth of a prophesied child. This child has the power to change the world - for good, or for evil.As the threat of war hangs over the land and the child is hunted for her extraordinary powers, it will become Geralt's responsibility to protect them all - and the Witcher never accepts defeat.

Following The Last Wish, BLOOD OF ELVES is the new novel starring Geralt of Rivia, the inspiration for the critically-acclaimed videogame The Witcher

The King's Blood

The Dagger and the Coin: Book 2

Daniel Abraham

WAR AND MADNESS CAST SHADOWS OVER THE LANDS DRAGONS ONCE RULED.Geder Palliako's star is rising. He is a hero of Antea, protector to the crown prince, and darling of the court. But storms from his past are gathering, and with them, a war that will change everything. Cithrin bel Sarcour founded a powerful bank on stolen wealth, forged papers, and ready blades. Now every move she makes is observed, recorded, and controlled. Unless Cithrin can free herself from her gilded cage, the life she made will be for naught; war may provide just the opportunity she needs. An apostate priest sees the hidden hand behind all: a long-buried secret of the dragon empire threatens everything humanity has built. An age of madness and death approaches, with only a few doomed heroes to stand in its way.

Furies of Calderon

Codex Alera: Book 1

Jim Butcher

In the realm of Alera, where people bond with the furies--elementals of earth, air, fire, water, wood, and metal--fifteen-year-old Tavi struggles with his lack of furycrafting. But when his homeland erupts in chaos--when rebels war with loyalists and furies clash with furies-- Tavi's simple courage will turn the tides of war.

The Cold Commands

Land Fit for Heroes: Book 2

Richard K. Morgan

With The Steel Remains, award-winning science fiction writer Richard K. Morgan turned his talents to sword and sorcery. The result: a genre-busting masterwork hailed as a milestone in contemporary epic fantasy. Now Morgan continues the riveting saga of Ringil Eskiath-Gil, for short-a peerless warrior whose love for other men has made him an outcast and pariah.

Only a select few have earned the right to call Gil friend. One is Egar, the Dragonbane, a fierce Majak fighter who comes to respect a heart as savage and loyal as his own. Another is Archeth, the last remaining daughter of an otherworldly race called the Kiriath, who once used their advanced technology to save the world from the dark magic of the Aldrain-only to depart for reasons as mysterious as their arrival. Yet even Egar and Archeth have learned to fear the doom that clings to their friend like a grim shadow... or the curse of a bitter god.

Now one of the Kiriath's uncanny machine intelligences has fallen from orbit-with a message that humanity faces a grave new danger (or, rather, an ancient one): a creature called the Illwrack Changeling, a boy raised to manhood in the ghostly between-world realm of the Grey Places, home to the Aldrain. A human raised as one of them-and, some say, the lover of one of their greatest warriors-until, in a time lost to legend, he was vanquished. Wrapped in sorcerous slumber, hidden away on an island that drifts between this world and the Grey Places, the Illwrack Changeling is stirring. And when he wakes, the Aldrain will rally to him and return in force-this time without the Kiriath to stop them.

An expedition is outfitted for the long and arduous sea journey to find the lost island of the Illwrack Changeling. Aboard are Gil, Egar, and Archeth: each fleeing from ghosts of the past, each seeking redemption in whatever lies ahead. But redemption doesn't come cheap these days. Nor, for that matter, does survival. Not even for Ringil Eskiath. Or anyone-god or mortal-who would seek to use him as a pawn.

Song of Susannah

The Dark Tower: Book 6

Stephen King

Susannah Dean is possessed, her body a living vessel for the demon-mother Mia. Something is growing inside Susannah's belly, something terrible, and soon she will give birth to Mia's "chap." But three unlikely allies are following them from New York City to the border of End World, hoping to prevent the unthinkable. Meanwhile, Eddie and Roland have tumbled into the state of Maine -- where the author of a novel called 'Salem's Lot is about to meet his destiny....

God Stalk

Chronicles of the Kencyrath: Book 1

P. C. Hodgell

Jame is a Kencyr. Kencyrs are not native to the planet where they now live. For thirty centuries they have been the weapon that their Three-Faced God has used against the power of the Perimal Darkling. And though they have fought well, the Darkling has come to planet after planet, and the Kencyrs have moved on.

Jame knows this as she stumbles out of the hilly, barren Haunted Lands into the city of Tai-tastigon. But she knows little else. She does not remember where she has been or what she has done for the last ten years of her life. Her memory goes back only a week or two — to finding her home destroyed and all her family dead.

In Tai-tastigon Jame begins a new life that seems to be at odds with all that the Kencyrs stand for. Kencyrs are honest and just, but Jame becomes an apprentice to the most renowned thief in the powerful Thieves' Guild. Kencyrs are confirmed monotheists, yet Jame explores the rituals and activities of the thousands of gods, templed and untempled, in this religious center; she even kills a god and then resurrects him. And at the inn, the Res aB'tyrr, where she lives, she finds herself using the most sacred dances of her people, dances she does not even remember learning, for the entertainment and sometimes the destruction of the inn's patrons.

Within herself Jame finds power she does not want and doubts she defies her heredity to harbor. She moves through the rich and bloody stew of Tai-tastigon like a hot spice. Her probings, to find herself and to discover what her powers mean to her and her people, combined with influences already at work, very nearly destroy the city. And yet, they bring her face to face with a destiny she must accept.

The Builders

Daniel Polansky

Hugo-nominated Novella

A missing eye.
A broken wing.
A stolen country.

The last job didn't end well.

Years go by, and scars fade, but memories only fester. For the animals of the Captain's company, survival has meant keeping a low profile, building a new life, and trying to forget the war they lost. But now the Captain's whiskers are twitching at the idea of evening the score.

The Poppy War

The Poppy War: Book 1

R. F. Kuang

When Rin aced the Keju--the Empire-wide test to find the most talented youth to learn at the Academies--it was a shock to everyone: to the test officials, who couldn't believe a war orphan from Rooster Province could pass without cheating; to Rin's guardians, who believed they'd finally be able to marry her off and further their criminal enterprise; and to Rin herself, who realized she was finally free of the servitude and despair that had made up her daily existence. That she got into Sinegard--the most elite military school in Nikan--was even more surprising.

But surprises aren't always good.

Because being a dark-skinned peasant girl from the south is not an easy thing at Sinegard. Targeted from the outset by rival classmates for her color, poverty, and gender, Rin discovers she possesses a lethal, unearthly power--an aptitude for the nearly-mythical art of shamanism. Exploring the depths of her gift with the help of a seemingly insane teacher and psychoactive substances, Rin learns that gods long thought dead are very much alive--and that mastering control over those powers could mean more than just surviving school.

For while the Nikara Empire is at peace, the Federation of Mugen still lurks across a narrow sea. The militarily advanced Federation occupied Nikan for decades after the First Poppy War, and only barely lost the continent in the Second. And while most of the people are complacent to go about their lives, a few are aware that a Third Poppy War is just a spark away.

Rin's shamanic powers may be the only way to save her people. But as she finds out more about the god that has chosen her, the vengeful Phoenix, she fears that winning the war may cost her humanity ... and that it may already be too late.

The Weird of the White Wolf

The Elric Saga: Book 3

Michael Moorcock

"We must be bound to one another then. Bound by hell-forged chains and fate-haunted circumstance. Well, then - let it be thus so - and men will have cause to tremble and flee when they hear the names of Elric of Melnibone and Stormbringer, his sword. We are two of a kind - produced by an age which has deserted us. Let us give this age cause to hate us."

Imrryr, the dreaming city; Yyrkoon, the hated usurper; Cymoril, the beloved... all had fallen to the fury and unearthly power of the albino prince and his terrible sword. An Elric faced at last the fate that was to be his in this haunted era - that he must go forth, sword and man as one, and havoc and horror would be forever at his forefront until he found his Purpose that was yet obscured to him.

Jack of Shadows

Roger Zelazny

They're going to have a devil of a time trying to catch the sharpest thief in hell....

Carrie

Stephen King

Stephen King's legendary debut, about a teenage outcast and the revenge she enacts on her classmates.

Carrie White may have been unfashionable and unpopular, but she had a gift. Carrie could make things move by concentrating on them. A candle would fall. A door would lock. This was her power and her sin. Then, an act of kindness, as spontaneous as the vicious taunts of her classmates, offered Carrie a chance to be a normal and go to her senior prom. But another act--of ferocious cruelty--turned her gift into a weapon of horror and destruction that her classmates would never forget.

The Way of Shadows

The Night Angel Trilogy: Book 1

Brent Weeks

The perfect killer has no friends. Only targets.

For Durzo Blint, assassination is an art. And he is the city’s most accomplished artist, his talents required from alleyway to courtly boudoir.

For Azoth, survival is precarious. Something you never take for granted. As a guild rat, he’s grown up in the slums, and learned the hard way to judge people quickly — and to take risks. Risks like apprenticing himself to Durzo Blint.

But to be accepted, Azoth must turn his back on his old life and embrace a new identity and name. As Kylar Stern, he must learn to navigate the assassins’ world of dangerous politics and strange magics — and cultivate a flair for death.

Shadow's Edge

The Night Angel Trilogy: Book 2

Brent Weeks

Kylar Stern has rejected the assassin’s life. The Godking’s successful coup has left Kylar’s master, Durzo, and his best friend, Logan, dead. He is starting over: new city, new friends, and new profession.

But when he learns that Logan might actually be alive and in hiding, Kylar is faced with an agonizing choice: will he give up the way of shadows forever and live in peace with his new family, or will he risk everything by taking on the ultimate hit?

Beyond the Shadows

The Night Angel Trilogy: Book 3

Brent Weeks

Logan Gyre is king of Cenaria, a country under siege, with a threadbare army and little hope. He has one chance - a desperate gamble, but one that could destroy his kingdom.

In the north, the new Godking has a plan. If it comes to fruition, no one will have the power to stop him.

Kylar Stern has no choice. To save his friends-and perhaps his enemies-he must accomplish the impossible: assassinate a goddess.

Throne of the Crescent Moon

Saladin Ahmed

The Crescent Moon Kingdoms, land of djenn and ghuls, holy warriors and heretics, Khalifs and killers, is at the boiling point of a power struggle between the iron-fisted Khalif and the mysterious master thief known as the Falcon Prince. In the midst of this brewing rebellion a series of brutal supernatural murders strikes at the heart of the Kingdoms. It is up to a handful of heroes to learn the truth behind these killings:

Doctor Adoulla Makhslood, "The last real ghul hunter in the great city of Dhamsawaat," just wants a quiet cup of tea. Three score and more years old, he has grown weary of hunting monsters and saving lives, and is more than ready to retire from his dangerous and demanding vocation. But when an old flame's family is murdered, Adoulla is drawn back to the hunter's path.

Raseed bas Raseed, Adoulla's young assistant, a hidebound holy warrior whose prowess is matched only by his piety, is eager to deliver God's justice. But even as Raseed's sword is tested by ghuls and manjackals, his soul is tested when he and Adoulla cross paths with the tribeswoman Zamia.

Zamia Badawi, Protector of the Band, has been gifted with the near-mythical power of the Lion-Shape, but shunned by her people for daring to take up a man's title. She lives only to avenge her father's death. Until she learns that Adoulla and his allies also hunt her father's killer. Until she meets Raseed.

When they learn that the murders and the Falcon Prince's brewing revolution are connected, the companions must race against time--and struggle against their own misgivings--to save the life of a vicious despot. In so doing they discover a plot for the Throne of the Crescent Moon that threatens to turn Dhamsawaat, and the world itself, into a blood-soaked ruin.

Prince of Fools

The Red Queen's War: Book 1

Mark Lawrence

Hailed as "epic fantasy on a George R. R. Martin scale, but on speed" (Fixed on Fantasy), the Broken Empire trilogy introduced a bold new world of dark fantasy with the story of Jorg Ancrath's devastating rise to power. Now, Mark Lawrence returns to the Broken Empire with the tale of a less ambitious prince...

The Red Queen is old but the kings of the Broken Empire dread her like no other. For all her reign, she has fought the long war, contested in secret, against the powers that stand behind nations, for higher stakes than land or gold. Her greatest weapon is The Silent Sister-unseen by most and unspoken of by all.

The Red Queen's grandson, Prince Jalan Kendeth-drinker, gambler, seducer of women-is one who can see The Silent Sister. Tenth in line for the throne and content with his role as a minor royal, he pretends that the hideous crone is not there. But war is coming. Witnesses claim an undead army is on the march, and the Red Queen has called on her family to defend the realm. Jal thinks it's all a rumor-nothing that will affect him-but he is wrong.

After escaping a death trap set by the Silent Sister, Jal finds his fate magically intertwined with a fierce Norse warrior. As the two undertake a journey across the Empire to undo the spell, encountering grave dangers, willing women, and an upstart prince named Jorg Ancrath along the way, Jalan gradually catches a glimmer of the truth: he and the Norseman are but pieces in a game, part of a series of moves in the long war-and the Red Queen controls the board.