Outside the great stone Keep of Renweth, the night was the province of the Dark Ones -- monstrous creatures that had swarmed out of their eldritch underground caverns to destroy humanity. Inside, where the pitiful remnant of the once-great Realm of Darwath huddled, Chancellor Alwir and Bishop Govannin continued their bitter struggle for dominance. Against all advice, Alwir went ahead with plans to use Ingold, Rudy, and the other wizards in a hopeless, desperate invasion of the Nests of the Dark. The Bishop, obsessed with fanatical fury, sought to root out all magic by murdering the wizards. Both conspired together to seek the aid of Alketch, ancient enemy of the Realm. In that hotbed of ambition, hatred, and fear, no one except Ingold would heed Gil's discovery of the truth that lay behind the rising of the Dark!
The laws of magic have changed--no one knows how or why. And with that change, new perils have arisen: deadly water-monsters from the depths of the Seven Lakes and a plague of madness in the desert. In the strongholds of human safety, anger and greed bloom as nobles and landchiefs fight for power. Raeshaldis, the only woman formally trained in the old systems of male magic, allies herself with the beautiful concubine Summerchild to found the Circle of the Moon--a motley group of women whose powers are untested, unknown, and unreliable. Faced with an attempt by the landchiefs to oust the King, and with the efforts of her own family to re-enslave her, Raeshaldis must play a deadly guessing-game, while an even more terrible threat awaits...
The crew of the Nautilus, a battered Starship of mysterious origin, is beamed aboard the Starship Enterprise™. The group claims they are freedom fighters from the future working to save the Federation from the Consilium -- a group of corrupt power-seekers. But when the Nautilus crew members suddenly seize control of the U. S. S. Enterprise™, and a Starship from the future arrives to arrest the renegades, Kirk must separate his true allies from those who wish to destroy the Federation.
Sun Wolf had always been counted the best of the mercenary captains, and he attributed much of his success to two unshakable rules: never mess with magic, and never fall in love. Then, unexpectedly, he discovered that he possessed a natural gift for working magic, and, unschooled though he was, his first rule crumbled...folio wed soon after by the second. Unable to deny the power in his blood, the Wolf resigned his command. With only Starhawk beside him--the woman who was both his most trusted lieutenant and his lover-he set out in search of a wizard who would train him to use his abilities. But wizards were a rarity in the land since Sun Wolf and an army of determined women had overthrown the evil Sorcerer King Altiokis. And to compound his problems, the dangerous, difficult quest for enlightenment had scarcely begun when it was interrupted by a band of mercenaries from his former command. They reported that his crack troops, currently engaged in the bitter siege of Vorsal, were being demoralized-and defeated-by a run of brutally bad luck. A hex, they believed, spawned by the curse of some unknown wizard--the sort of enemy only Sun Wolf could hope to vanquish. The Wolf reluctantly agreed to put aside his own urgent need for a magical mentor and, with Starhawk, join his men at Vorsal. He never anticipated that the foe would attack before they even reached the besieged city, bringing the battle to him...and nearly killing Starhawk. For that, Sun Wolf vowed the mysterious master of dark magic would pay. But first he had to learn the identity of his enemy and discover what object was being used as the hidden focus of the curse that undermined the mercenaries' campaign. Fortunately, he had in his possession the valuable tomes that had once belonged to a full-fledged wizard. Unfortunately, he'd never had a chance to learn any of the spells. And so he was completely unprepared when his treacherous foe struck again--this time seeking to enslave Sun Wolf himself with magic, and turn him against the very comrades he had been desperately trying to protect!
Now the bestselling author returns with a story that leads January from the dangerously sensual milieu of New Orleans into a world seething with superstition and dark spirits, where one man's freedom turns on a case of murder and blood vengeance.
Nineteenth-century New Orleans is a blazing hotbed of scorching politics and personal vendettas. And it's into this fire that Benjamin January falls when he is hired to follow Oliver Weems, a bank official who has absconded with $100,000 in gold and securities. But it's more than just a job for January. The missing money is vital to the survival of the school for freed slaves that he and his wife Rose have founded. Following the suspected embezzler--and the money--onto the steamboat Silver Moon, January, Rose, and their friend Hannibal Sefton are sworn to secrecy about the crime until they can find the trunks containing the stolen loot. And then the unexpected happens: Weems is found murdered and suddenly the job of finding the pirated stash grows not only more difficult--but more deadly. There is no shortage of suspects--from the sinister slave-dealer to the bullying steamship pilot to the suspiciously innocent "lady" with connections to every river pirate in the riotous port of Natchez-Under-the-Hill--who all seem to have something to hide. Now, with time running out, January seeks clues wherever he can find them--and allies among whoever can help. Working in tandem with a young planter named Jefferson Davies, he must uncover the dark web of corruption, betrayal, and greed that has already cost one man his life...and, if he can't catch a brutal, remorseless killer, will soon cost January and his friends theirs.
InA Free Man of ColorandSold Down the River, Benjamin January guided readers through the seductive maze of New Orleans' darkest quarters. Now January joins the orchestra of the city's top opera house -- only to become enmeshed in a web of hate and greed more murderous than any drama onstage. In 1835, the cold February streets glitter with masked revelers in Carnival costumes. An even more brilliant display is promised at the American Theater, where impresario Lorenzo Belaggio has brought the first Italian opera to town. But it's pitch-black in the muddy alley outside the stage door when Benjamin January, coming from rehearsal with the orchestra, hears a slurred whisper, sees the flash of a knife, and is himself wounded as he rescues Belaggio from a vicious attack. The bombastic impresario first accuses two of his tenors, then suspects his rival, the manager of New Orleans' other opera company. Could competition for audiences really provoke such violent skulduggery? Or has Belaggio taken too many chances in the catfight between two sopranos, one superseded by the other as his mistress and his prima donna? But burning in January's mind and heart is a darker possibility. The opera Belaggio plans to present -- a magnificent version ofOthello-- strikes a shocking chord in this culture. Is the murderous tragedy of the noble Moor and his lady, the spectacle of a black man's passion for a white beauty, one that some Creole citizen -- or American parvenu -- would do anything to keep off the stage? Bloody threats and voodoo signs, poison and brutal murder seem to implicate many strange bedfellows. And Benjamin must discover who -- in rage, retribution, or an insidious new commerce in this beautiful cutthroat city -- will kill and kill . . . and who willDie Upon a Kiss.
The Citadel of Wizards was under siege. Deep in the Vaults beneath the walled city, Gates into inhuman realities were opening and closing without warning. Monsters emerged from other dimensions; and ancient, malign magics came to life under the influence of cosmic chaos.
As a vicious dragon stalks the Southlands, Crown Prince Gareth ventures to the forbidding North in search of the only man who can kill it. He is Lord Aversin, the Dragonsbane, whose dragon-slaying days have won him renown across the land. But when Gareth finds Lord Aversin, he discovers the mighty hero is squat and bespectacled, the ruler of a mud-village who admits that he killed the dragon not with a lance, but with ignoble poison. Still, he'll have to do...
Lord John Aversin--with the help of his mageborn wife, Jenny Waynest-- has fought and defeated two dragons, earning the title of Dragonsbane. But there are creatures more terrifying than dragons. Demonspawn from a dark dimension have learned to drink the magic--and the souls--of mages and dragons alike, turning their victims into empty vessels. And now they've stolen John and Jenny's mageborn son, twelve-year-old Ian. In desperation, John seeks the help of the eldest and strongest dragon: Morkeleb the Black. But the demons have allies, too: a vast army poised to plunge the Realm into civil war. In the coming struggle, Morkeleb will sacrifice what he values most. Jenny will question everything she trusts and believes in. And John will embark on a perilous quest for the only things capable of defeating such powerful demons--even more powerful demons . . .
The novels of New York Times bestselling author Barbara Hambly have broken new ground in the realm of fantasy. With a sweeping cast of characters whose powers are both awesome and heartachingly limited, the Dragon series is built around the touching relationship between a husband and wife separated by a flood of violence and chaos. Condemned to die for consorting with demons, dragonslayer Lord John Aversin sits in a dank prison cell and calculates the odds of escape, while smelling the smoke of the executioners' pyres. In Winterlands, Jenny Waynest pays a heavy price for choosing to be human, mourning the loss of her husband, Lord John, and the dangers that engulf her family. But in a season of the Dragon Star, strange miracles are about to transpire. As a pitched battle between the Hellspawn and the human rages, Jenny and John will be reunited in a city under siege. And there, they will have one last chance to understand all that has happened to them and why, who their true enemies and true allies are, and most of all, for what magical purpose each has been chosen. A vast adventure and a powerful mystery teeming with demons and witches, gnomes and dragons, Dragonstar explores profound issues of faith, fate, and technology-while obscuring long held boundaries between good and evil, love and hate, what is human and what is fantastic. With this glorious finale to a breathtaking series, Barbara Hambly establishes herself as one of the most visionary and inventive storytellers in the field of fantasy fiction today.
As a girl growing up in Kentucky, she lived a sheltered, privileged life filled with picnics and plantation balls. Vivacious, impulsive, and intoxicated by politics, she is a Todd of Lexington, an aristocratic family whose ancestors defeated the British. But no one knows her secret fears and anxieties. Although she is courted by the most eligible suitors in the land, including future senator Stephen Douglas, it is a gangly lawyer from Illinois who captures her heart. After a stormy courtship and a broken engagement, Abraham Lincoln will marry twenty-four-year-old Mary Todd and give her a ring inscribed with the words "Love Is Eternal." But their happiness won't last nearly so long. Their first child will be born under the gathering clouds of a civil war, and three more follow. As Lincoln's star rises, the pleasure-loving Mary learns, often the hard way, the rules of being a politician's wife. But by the time the fiery storm of war passes, tragedy will have claimed two sons, scandal will shadow her days as First Lady, and an assassin's bullet will take Lincoln himself, leaving Mary alone and all but forgotten by the nation that owed her husband its survival. Yet it is in the years to come that Mary Todd Lincoln will truly come into her own. In public, she will fight to preserve Lincoln's memory even as she battles a bitterly contested insanity trial. In private, she will struggle with depression and addiction as she endures the betrayals-both real and imagined-of family and friends. With a gifted novelist's imagination and a historian's eye for detail, Barbara Hambly tells a story of astonishing scope, richly peopled with real-life characters and their fictional counterparts, a tour-de-force tale of power, politics, and the role of women in nineteenth- century America. The result is a Mary Todd Lincoln few have seen and none will forget-the fascinating, controversial woman of whom her husband could say: "My wife is as handsome as when she was a girl and I fell in love with her; and what is more, I have never fallen out"-Mary Todd, the woman who loved Abraham Lincoln.
Benjamin January made his debut in bestselling author Barbara Hambly'sA Free Man of Color,a haunting mélange of history and mystery. Now he returns in another novel of greed, madness, and murder amid the dark shadows and dazzling society of old New Orleans. . . The summer of 1833 has been one of brazen heat and brutal pestilence, as the city is stalked by Bronze John--the popular name for the deadly cholera epidemic that tests the healing skills of doctor and voodoo alike. Benjamin January's Paris medical training keeps him all night long with the dying at Charity Hospital. Then his work as a music teacher takes him out again into the fetid, empty midday streets. Empty except for Cora Chouteau, a dark-skinned plantation waif come to town in search of her lover, sold in slavery to one of its prominent families. Though January's certain she's a runaway, he agrees to try to pass a message to the man she seeks. Soon, however, he learns that Cora is accused of murdering her lecherous master, Otis Redfern, and poisoning his wife almost to death. And of stealing five thousand dollars and a pearl necklace. Yet it seems that Emily Redfern herself, iron-willed and socially ambitious, had cause to wish her profligate husband dead. And Cora, too--or so the girl insists. . . . Before Ben can unpick one story from the other, Cora disappears into the torrid night. And as storms rage in from the Gulf, he is swept into an inquiry that leads into a labyrinth of lives: from the vulgar American Emily Redfern to Madame Delphine Lalaurie, flawless jewel of Creole society, and from the wisdom of a voodoo queen to the learning of a lovely schoolmistress, Cora's only true friend. Risking both his life and his freedom, Ben pursues the truth through a lush and fevered world of opulent town houses, grim cemeteries, and raucous taverns. A gilded world of injustice, deceit, and calumny--and a half-glimpsed horror that far transcends the perils of. . . Fever Season. Barbara Hambly attended the University of California and spent a year at the University of Bordeaux, France, obtaining a master's degree in medieval history in 1975. She has worked as both a teacher and a technical editor, but her first love has always been history. Ms. Hambly lives in New Orleans and Los Angeles with two Pekingese, a cat, and another writer. She is at work on her next historical novel,Graveyard Dust.
Benjamin January, a Creole physician and piano teacher who has known the glories of Paris as well as of his native New Orleans, is at the Blue Ribbon Ball during Mardi Gras. Near the ball, Angelique Crozat, an octoroon who travels in the city's finest company, is found murdered--and there is no shortage of suspects. This novel transports the reader to the center of the cosmopolitan South in an age when both its glories and the forces which would tear it apart are equally in evidence.
Elcidar Beta Three -- a tranquil, undisturbed planet strategically located between the Federation and the Klingon Empire. Home to the Midgwins, a race of people who throughout all time have lived in peace with their planet, and themselves. But now, times are changing. Unwilling to embrace any form of technology, the Midgwins have exhausted their world's natural resources, and stand on the brink of global famine. When Captain Kirk and the Enterprise arrive to aid the Midgwins, they find themselves caught up in that race's struggle for survival...a struggle whose climactic battle pits them against a creature of darkness and shadow -- an entity who roams the Enterprise corridors as if it owned them -- an enemy who will not hesitate to kill to achieve its ultimate goal...
Bestselling author Barbara Hambly'sA Free Man of ColorandFever Seasonestablished Benjamin January as one of mystery's most exciting heroes. Now he returns in a powerful new novel, a sensual mosaic of old New Orleans, where cultures clash and murder can hover around every darkened corner. . . . It is St. John's Eve in the summer of 1834 when Benjamin January--Creole physician and music teacher--is shattered by the news that his sister has been arrested for murder. The Guards have only a shadow of a case against her. But Olympe--mystical and rebellious--is a woman of color, whose chance for justice is slim. As Benjamin probes the allegation, he is targeted by a new threat: graveyard dust sprinkled at his door, whispering of a voodoo death curse. Now, to save Olympe's life--and his own--Benjamin knows he must glean information wherever he can find it. For in the heavy darkness of New Orleans, the truth is what you make it, and justice can disappear with the night's warm breeze as easy as graveyard dust. . . .
Those who lovedCold Mountainor Geraldine Brooks'sMarchwill embrace and long remember this spellbinding novel of two remarkable women torn apart by conflict, sustained by literature and art, united by friendship and hope. As brother turns against brother in the bloodbath of the Civil War, two young women sacrifice everything but their friendship. Susanna Ashford is the Southerner, living on a plantation surrounded by scarred and blood-soaked battlefields. Cora Poole is the Northerner, on an isolated Maine island, her beloved husband fighting for the Confederacy. Through the letters the two women exchange, they speak of the ordeal of a familiar world torn apart by tragedy. And yet their unique friendship will help mend the fabric of a ravaged nation. The two women write about books and art, about loss and longing, about their future and the future of their country. About love. About being a woman in nineteenth-century America. About the triumphant resilience of the human spirit. Their voices and their stories are delineated in indomitable prose by an award-winning writer who captures in intimate detail a singular moment in time. InHomeland,Barbara Hambly takes readers on a unique odyssey across a landscape treacherous with hardship and hatred. She paints a passionate masterpiece of a friendship that not only transforms our understanding of the most heart-wrenching era of American history but celebrates the power of women to change their world.
While chaos reigned in the Eastern Lands, the Keep of Dare stood as a bastion against war and bandits and the spawn of unnatural sorceries. Then twin blows rocked the citadel: the fearsome Alketch army mounted siege, even as young Prince Tir was snatched from the heart of the Keep. Behind the terror was the depraved, hook-handed general Vair na-Chandros. He had learned that the royal child possessed forbidden wisdom: a secret with which the bloodthirsty Vair intended to conquer the world.One single man posed a threat to Vair's vaunting ambition: the legendary warrior known as the Icefalcon. Banished by his own people and scorned as a barbarian by others, only he could hope to free the boy from Vair's clutches. With his sister Cold Death--a sorcerer whose magic was as sharp as her tongue--the Icefalcon embarked on a dangerous mission of rescue and redemption.Braving nightmare demons and the endless hordes of Vair's inhuman soldiers, he shadowed Vair and his small captive beyond the reaches of the known world. And when the boy led Vair to the forgotten Keep of the Shadow at the End of Time, the Icefalcon would face his greatest battle . . . for his prince, for his honor, and for all eternity.From the Hardcover edition.
The U.S.S. Enterprise is on a peaceful mission at Starbase 12 when a bizarre cosmic phenomenon causes a Klingon ship to suddenly vanish -- with Spock aboard for the ride. Spock's last message from the Klingon ship is cryptic and frightening. The Klingons are traveling into the past, searching for the one man who holds the key to the furure. If they can kill that man, the course of history will be changed -- and the Federation will be destroyed!
New York Times bestselling author Barbara Hambly is among today's most brilliantly inventive writers of fantasy. Her riveting novels portray the timeless struggle of good and evil with matchless intensity and insight. Now, in the sequel to her critically acclaimed Dragonshadow, Hambly works her most compelling magic yet. The result is a masterpiece of dark fantasy, a courageous and compassionate journey through the hells of the human heart . . . and beyond. Once the most powerful mage in the land, Jenny Waynest is now a broken woman. Though sickened by the memory of how the demon Amayon had possessed her body to slake his sadistic lusts, she knows a part of her was corrupted by his touch. That part mourns the demon's defeat and longs for his return, though he has already cost her everything she holds dear: the trust of her husband, Lord John Aversin; the chance to be a mother to her mage-born son; and the magic that had given her life its purpose. Lord John has torments of his own: memories of the beautiful and cruel Aohila, demon queen of a rival hell, whom he'd tricked into providing the help he needed to free Jenny. Now, condemned to death for trafficking with demons, John cannot forgive Jenny for what she suffered. Nor can he forgive himself--for opening the door to a far greater evil . . . an evil that still haunts his dreams. And not only his dreams . . . For a vengeful Aohila needs mortal aid in realms beyond her power, and who better to provide it than Lord John? Blackmailed into cooperating, John is given a guide: none other than Amayon, the demon he'd driven out of Jenny and into the waiting claws of the demon queen. Now, forced to put his life in the hands of a creature he dare not trust by a monster he dare not disobey, John must fight his way through unimaginable horrors in quest of a prize that may doom the world he has left behind . . . While Jenny, awakened by the stardrake known as Morkeleb the Black, embarks on a quest of her own--one that will lead her, without the magic she has always relied upon, into a world as deadly as any braved by her husband . . . only much closer to home.
The City of Mandrigyn was conquered and its men enslaved by the Wizard King, Altiokis. The women of the city led by Sheera Galernas, hire the mercenary army Captain Sun Wolf to train and lead the ladies against Altriokis.
For rising young lawyer Cal Griffin, it's just another day in the Big City -- until the lights go off ... for good. Suddenly packs of pale crouched figures are stalking the darkened subways, monsters prowl Times Square, and the people all around Cal are ... changing. Similar weirdness is happening everywhere, from the dank, cold heart of a West Virginia coal mine to a remote lab in South Dakota -- where a team of government scientists has unwittingly invited something catastrophic into the world -- to the highest levels of power in Washington, D.C. And Cal Griffin is not the only one struggling to comprehend the surreal, devouring chaos surrounding him -- nor the only one who will be forced to accept a new role in this brave new world of nightmare and wonder. For the forces bled from the stilled machines are fueling a consciousness both newly born and ancient -- and more than one unlikely hero will be needed for the titanic battle between the darkness and the light.
Five years after defeating the Dark Ones, the embattled inhabitants of the once-great Keep of Dare face a yet more deadly foe. An icy-cold force was spreading across the northlands, spawning strange creatures that killed everything in their grisly path . . .Archmage Ingold Inglorion believed the source of this monstrous evil lay in the decadent lands to the south. With him traveled Gil Patterson, the scholar-warrior from Earth who had forsaken her own universe for love of the mage. Determined to aid him in his quest, she was cursed to become the instrument of his death.Ingold's apprentice Rudy Solis was left behind, the sole wizard standing between the Keep of Dare and the nightmare creatures besieging it. Rudy struggled tirelessly with wavering magic to ward off the virulent attacks of the ice mage's minions. But when someone attacked the widowed queen--the woman he loved--Rudy was forced to plumb the ultimate secret locked in the black crystal heart of the Keep of Dare . . . and so decide the fate of the world.From the Paperback edition.
DANCERS IN THE DARK by Charlaine HarrisDancer Layla Rue Le May's childhood prepared her to handle just about anything, including her aloof partner, Sean McClendon, a three-hundred-year-old vampire. But when she acquires a stalker, Layla Rue is surprised to find that Sean is the only one she can trust.HER BEST ENEMY by Maggie ShayneKiley Brigham refuses to believe there's a ghost in her house, but when an unseen hand leaves a bloody message on her mirror, she's forced to turn to local psychic Jack McCain. As the two work to uncover a long-buried secret, Kiley finds that she's haunted not by spirits, but by thoughts of Jack....SOMEONE ELSE'S SHADOW by Barbara HamblyMaddie Laveau worries about her young roommate, Tessa, when she stays late to practice ballet in the old Glendower Building...and when Tessa goes missing, Maddie enlists mysterious tenant Phil Anderson to help. But is Phil the white knight she needs, or the predator she fears?
When Martha Dandridge Custis marries her second husband, George, she never suspects that the soft-spoken Virginia planter is destined to command the founding of a nation--or that she is to be "Lady Washington," the woman at the first President's side. Only a select inner circle of women will know the cost of sharing a beloved man with history . . . and each will draw strength from the unique treasure given to them by a doomed queen. Seeing farm and family through each harsh New England season, Abiga...
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