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Treachery and deceit run rampant throughout a devastated land, spawning dark alliances in the terrible war ignited by the enmity of two families. But unbeknownst to all, there are others who truly control the beleaguered kingdom's destiny-combatants emerging from eons of restless sleep to renew the bloody terror of a battle older than time.
The battle for power between the Renne and Wills families reaches a fever point. Fleeing a forced marriage, young Elise Wills makes a desperate bargain with a river spirit to save her own life. It is left to the wanderer Alaan to find Elise.
The cataclysm began more than a century earlier, when the King of Ayr died before naming an heir to the throne, and damned his realm to chaos. The cold-blooded conspiracies of the Renne and the Wills-each family desirous of the prize of rule-would sunder the one kingdom, and spawn generations of hatred and discord.Now Toren Renne, leader of his great and troubled house, dreams of peace-a valiant desire that has spawned hostility among his kinsmen, and vicious internal plots against his life. In the opposing domain, Elise Wills's desire for freedom is to be crushed, as an unwanted marriage to an ambitious and sinister lord looms large. As always, these machinations of nobles are affecting the everyday lives of the common folk-and feeding a bonfire of animosity that has now trapped an unsuspecting young Valeman Tam and two fortune-hunting friends from the North in its high, killing flames.But the closer Toren comes to achieving his great goal of uniting two enemy houses, the more treachery flowers. Nobles and mystics alike conspire to keep the realm divided, knowing that only in times of strife can their power grow.And perhaps the source of an unending misery lies before an old king's passing, beyond the scope of history, somewhere lost in a fog of myth and magic roiling about an ancient enchanter named Wyrr-who bequeathed to his children terrible gifts that would poison their lives...and their deaths. It is a cursed past and malevolent sorcery that truly hold the land, its people, and its would-be rulers bound. And before the already savaged kingdom can become one again, all Ayr will drown in a sea of blood.
Sean Russell is one of that new breed of epic fantacists who pay as much attention to character as they do to plotting. He lives in British Columbia, Canada, and this is the first book in a new trilogy The Swans' War. A medieval society grafted onto a savage landscape where the two greatest of noble families are implacable enemies and have been since a dying king failed to name his heir over a century ago.
Contains both books of The River into Darkness series:<P> BENEATH THE VAULTED HILLS: The last of the world's great mages, the enigmatic Lord Eldrich has dedicated his life to eradicating all remaining vestiges of magic in the world. But the fanatical Tellerites--followers of a long-dead mage-apprentice--oppose Eldrich, desiring the hidden knowledge of the magical arts and with it the coveted key to immortality. Drawn into this conflict against his will is Erasmus Flattery, who as a boy dwelt with Eldrich, and is still haunted by the memories of what transpired during his stay with the mage. Now Erasmus must lead as expedition to search for a secret that has remained hidden since the time of the first Mages!<P> THE COMPASS OF THE SOUL: In his quest to destroy all magic in the world, the last great mage, Lord Eldrich, has sent Erasmus Flattery to find and eradicate Anna, the leader of the Tellerites, a group of finatics desperate to preserve the magic--including the key to immortality--Eldrich wants to eliminate. Torn by his resentment of Eldrich's manipulations and his strange loyalty to Anna, Erasmus willl undergo a magical and spiritual journey which will cause him to question all he believes to be true...and rock the foundations of his world!
The secrets of the Mages had been lost with the passing of Erasmus Flattery, a man of Talent who had served the last known Mage. Can those secrets be rediscovered?
The savage war between two mighty families has ravaged the kingdom both wish to rule-spawning treachery within the ranks of the RennÉ and Wills, drawing the brave, the innocent, and the malevolent alike into the bloody conflict. But a far more terrible consequence has arisen from the carnage-for Death himself has been roused from his dread domain . . . and is preparing to walk the world again.
World Without End is a 600 page conventional fantasy novel Written by the Canadian author Sean Russell and first published in 1995. It is the first book in a series by Russell entitled Moontide and Magic Rise; Sea without a Shore (a Bookshare possession) is the second book in this series. The River into Darkness (a Bookshare possession) is a subsequent omnibus set in the same universe that contains two books, Beneath the Vaulted Hills and The Compass of the Soul. DAW Books's summary of World Without End reads as follows: LOST SECRETS OF THE MAGES The Age of the Mages is over, and all magical arts are thought to be lost to the world. There are even those who suspect that the last of the great Mages spent their final years scrupulously eradicating all traces of their craft from the pages of history- that their art will never be practiced again. It is the dawn of a new era: an age of reason, science and exploration, and Tristam Flattery, is one of its most promising young" naturalists. But when Tristam is summoned to the royal court of Farrland to try to revitalize a failing species of plant which seems to have mysterious, almost magical, medicinal properties-a plant without which, he is told, the aging king will surely die - he soon realizes that he has been drawn into the heart of a political struggle which spans generations, a conflict which threatens the very foundations of civilization. And before long, Tristam is caught in the grip of a destiny which will lead him to the ends of the known world-on a voyage of discovery that has more to do with magic than with science....
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