'Only the four Mistresses remained from the hundreds she had loved, lost and left behind. "Soon, my dear Sisters," she thought. "So many shall pay. Pay for the sins of their ancestors ..."' It is three centuries since the devastating war that all but destroyed the kingdom of Eutracia. Those who masterminded the bloodshed - four powerful, conquest-hungry sorceresses -- were banished and sent into exile beyond the feared Sea of Whispers, with return all but impossible, death all but inevitable. Since those dark days, Eutracia has flourished, protected and guided by its council of wizards. Now a land of peace and plenty, it is about to crown a new king and the spirit of celebration fills every heart. Except one. Prince Tristan is a reluctant monarch-to-be. Though born with the endowed blood that will enable him to master magic, and destined to succeed his father as ruler of this land and its people, he is a rebel soul. But more than tradition compels Tristan to ascend the throne. The very survival of Eutracia depends upon it. For after these long years of peace, dreadful omens have begun to appear, heralding something too unspeakable to ponder.
It seems an ancient evil, nurtured over centuries of darkness, has returned and is thirsting for blood, for domination and, above all, for revenge. Tristan's fate is to fulfil a role chosen for him by an ages-old prophecy - to face an adversary whose hatred knows no bounds and whose greatest weapon is the person he loves most...Not since Terry Goodkind unsheathed the Sword of Truth has such a tale of heroism and magic so captured the imagination. Brimming with excitement and wonder, dark intrigue and dread enchantments, THE FIFTH SORCERESS marks the beginning of a magnificent fantasy adventure by a remarkable new storyteller.
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(178mm x 105mm x 38mm)
Bantam Books (Transworld Publishers a division of the Random House Group)
Publisher: Transworld Publishers Ltd
Country of Publication:
UK Kirkus Review »
As epic fantasy sagas appear at an ever-accelerating rate, a writer has to offer something very special indeed these days to rise above the many titles issued. On the evidence of this novel, Robert Newcomb is a writer who has precisely what it takes to deliver a complex and sweepingly conceived adventure that painstakingly avoids all the cliches of the genre. A cataclysmic war has reduced to ruins the Kingdom of Eutracia. Responsible for the mayhem are four sorceresses, crazed with dreams of Imperial power. They have been banished beyond the Sea of Whispers to a fate that is unclear, but is almost certainly an agonising death. As the Kingdom regains its prosperity under the benign protection of a council of wizards, there is only one restless figure in the new idyll: Prince Tristan is a king waiting in the wings, chafing against the royal destiny that awaits him - he has other aims than a sedate kingship. His wish is granted when a primeval force begins to stir, and Tristan is obliged to fight the most terrifying enemy it is possible to conceive, risking everything he holds dear. This first entry in a highly promising new sequence weighs in at some 600-odd pages, but Newcomb's narrative skill is such that the pages turn very quickly indeed. Unlike that other Prince Tristan of legend and opera, this one is more than prepared to wage bloody war rather than perish for love like his namesake. The world created here is fastidiously realized, with much astonishing detail, and Newcomb is a name to watch. (Kirkus UK)
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Author Biography - Robert Newcomb
Robert Newcomb travelled widely in his youth as a member of the American Institute for Foreign Study. He now lives in Florida. The Fifth Sorceress marked his debut and is the first book in 'The Chronicles of Blood and Stone' trilogy. The second volume, The Gates of Dawn, is also published in Bantam paperback and the concluding novel, The Scrolls of the Ancients, in Bantam Press trade paperback.