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The Spellsong War

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The Spellsong War

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Author: L. E. Modesitt, Jr.
Publisher: Tor, 1998
Series: Spellsong Cycle: Book 2
Book Type: Novel
Genre: Fantasy
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With The Soprano Sorceress L.E. Modesitt started The Spellsong Cycle, an innovative and compelling new fantasy series that won Modesitt tons of new readers. The Spellsong War will enthrall its readers and continue to build Modesitt's increasingly loyal following.

Anna Marshal is regent of the kingdom of Defalk only a few months after a sorcerer pulled her from her boring life as a music instructor in Ames, Iowa to the world of Erde. With her ability and her integrity she saved Defalk from invasion and became it's regent, now she must defend it against the greedy rulers of neighboring kingdoms who see a weakened state and a possible opportunity.

The Spellsong War is the second book of the Spellong Cycle.




The heavy gong sounds, and the two women in the uniform of the Council turn and open the lacquered double doors, each bearing the ancient symbol of the Council of Wei. Each wears twin black-lacquered scabbards at her hips, and the scabbards contain the infamous short swords of the Nordan Guard.

Ashtaar moistens her lips and steps through the doors, then down the black carpet toward the dais.

The black-lacquered Council table is also ancient, and behind it sit seven figures. The woman in the center wears a silver-and-black seal on a heavy silver chain. Her dark eyes hold Ashtaar as the spymistress walks down the dark green carpet toward the space below the dais holding the table.

"The mist-world sorceress now holds Defalk. The Council has read your report, and would like to inquire further."

"Yes, Ancient One." Ashtaar bows.

"Please summarize the major events that led to the current state of affairs. Briefly."

"A travel sorceress and a player summoned the lady Anna from the mist worlds. Both are dead now. The sorcerer Brill spirited her away and tutored her in the ways of both Darksong and Clearsong. The Dark Ones tried to kill her and failed. She supported Lord Barjim against the Ebrans at the Sand Pass. Barjim and Brill were killed, and she collapsed, but not before she destroyed two-thirds of the invaders. She somehow found her way south and recovered in Synope, in the lands of Lord Hryding. Lord Behlem of Neserea then marched into Defalk and took Falcor, but not before Lord Jecks rescued the heir, his grandson Lord Jimbob. Lord Behlem offered his support to the sorceress, and she accepted it and went to Falcor. The Dark Ones gathered another army and marched toward Falcor. The sorceress used water magic and song to destroy the entire Ebran army and all the darksingers in Defalk. The Evult responded by flooding the Fal and destroying half of Falcor. Lord Behlem attempted to remove the lady Anna, and she used her sorcery to kill him and his consort and enlist the support of many of the Neserean troops in Falcor. Then she proclaimed a regency for young Jimbob. Shortly, almost at the dawn of winter, she marched a small force through the Ostfels and used her sorcery to destroy the Evult, the city of Vult, and most of Synek. She almost died, but the lords of Defalk, especially Lord Jecks, rallied behind her. So did the people. She has a reputation for being good and fair, and vindictively just." Ashtaar bows once more.

"The rains now fall on Defalk, do they not?" asks the red-haired woman to the left of the Council leader.

"Yes. The sorceress removed the chains on the clouds when she destroyed the Evult."

"Will the sorceress attempt to rule directly and put young Jimbob out of the way?" asks the dark-haired Council leader.

"That does not appear likely. She can have no children and has, in effect, adopted the boy."

"And Lord Jecks has not objected?"

"He publicly supports the sorceress. As do the lords Birfels, Nelmor, Hryding, Geansor, Clethner, and the lady Gatrune, and the Rider of Heinene. There are doubtless others, and none of the thirty-three have raised voice or hand against her."

"With her powers, I doubt any of sound mind would do so," suggests the Council leader. "Are there any whispers of discontent?"

"Almost none that we have been able to track. She holds but one hostage, and that is Wendella, the consort of Lord Dencer of Stromwer. Dencer is rumored to be less than happy."

"No others?"

"None that we know or can scry."

"What of Ebra?"

"The land has been flattened, mostly by the floods she unleashed down the river Elha, and Vult lies buried under the fire peak the Ebrans are calling Zauberinfeuer. Hadrenn has claimed the ruins of Synek. He is the one of the sons of an ancient lord, and several pretenders are struggling over Elawha. A lord named Bertmynn is raising armsmen in Dolov. He wishes to be lord of all Ebra." Ashtaar waits.

"We have received a scroll from the Liedfuhr. He protests our interference in Defalk. He also informs us that young Rabyn is the Lord of Neserea and under his protection and regency. What beyond that do you know?" The dark-haired Council leader smiles faintly.

"He has dispatched fiftyscore lancers to Neserea. They were delayed by the snows in the Mittpass, but travel the south road through the Great Western Forest."

"Spymistress of it fair to say that a year ago we faced possible threats from the Prophet of Music and the Dark Ones, and both have been destroyed?"

"Yes, Leader Tybra."

"Is it also fair to say that you chose not to remove the soprano sorceress?" asks Tybra.

"I waited to see whether the Dark Ones and the Prophet were successful in their attempts. The Dark Ones failed in four attempts. The Prophet and his consort failed as well. We have been able to trace at least two attempts by Neserea." Ashtaar inclines her head. "I thought it best not to turn the sorceress's wrath against Nordwei."

" we have a strong and united Defalk on our southern borders, and this is your doing?"

"We have a united Defalk, ruled by a woman for the first time in recorded history, and a Defalk that will take a decade or longer to recover from the drought and depredations of the Dark Ones and the Nesereans."

"That is what you say. For now...for now, we shall see. You may go, but do not hesitate to inform the Council should this sorceress take any action that could possibly affect Nordwei."

"Yes, leader Tybra." Ashtaar bows a last time, then turns. She does not wipe the dampness from her forehead.

Copyright © 1998 by L. E. Modesitt, Jr.


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