Darksong Rising (Spellsong Cycle, Book 3)
L. E. Modesitt Jr.
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L. E. Modesitt has gathered a large devoted following with his bestselling Recluce novels, which have more than a million copies in print. With the Spellsong Cycle he has broadened that following, creating a compelling, innovative fantasy world where music is magic.
In The Soprano Sorceress, Anna Marshall wished she could be anywhere but Iowa, wished she could be anything but a singer and music teacher--and found herself pulled from Iowa to the world of Erde, a world where song is magic. And Anna's musical ability gave her the potential to be an enormously powerful sorceress. For the first time, Anna was in complete control of her own life--and she made the most of it. With her musical talent and training, her common sense, and her integrity, Anna became a magician and saved the kingdom of Defalk from invasion, and within six months she became its regent.
In The Spellsong War, Anna faced the harsh reality of rebuilding Defalk, ravaged by years of drought and war. But she wasn't given the time: knowing Defalk's weakened state, its southern neighbors invaded. In the realpolitik atmosphere on Erde, Anna needed to demonstrate that she would not allow Defalk's greedy neighbors to seize the kingdom. And since the male rulers of most of Erde were still convinced that women were weak, her demonstration was doubly strong.
Now in Darksong Rising, Anna faces enemies both foreign and domestic: men who would destroy her and claim Defalk for their own. To the East, Bertmynn, Lord of Dolov, seeks to gain control of all of Ebra by crushing the revolt of the FreeWomen of Elahwa, in order to bring the full might of all of Ebra against Defalk. To the West, Rabyn, the Prophet of Music and ruler of Neserea, waits for the first opportunity to invade Defalk with a force of lancers that outnumbers Anna's ten to one. And at home, Anna must decide whether to support the ascension of a conniving lord--rightful heir to the throne by birth, but potentially devastating for his subjects--or face civil war. The solutions to all these problems are magical, but not easy, not even for the mighty Anna, who has learned that magic has a high cost, and ruling means winning over and over, day by day.
shrugged. “That is the way the lords of the north think—or many of them.” “It’s that important …” Anna shook her head. “I’m not sure I’ll ever understand. He’d rather kill me and have Defalk under that creep Rabyn than accept that his son is an incompetent thick-skulled dunderhead?” “He can accept that,” Jecks replied. “He cannot accept that you would place the good of any woman above that of his son.” “My son the dunderhead, right or wrong … is that it?” After a moment, Jecks smiled sadly.
upon the black-haired Mansuuran officer. “Nubara looks most unwell, sire,” offers Bassil. “He has a heavy winter cloak wrapped around him while the others wear but tunics. He stays close by the young Prophet, but yet remains the one to offer orders to the armsmen.” “Poison—alamarite. One cannot taste it.” Konsstin shakes is head. “That was one of Cyndyth’s favorites. The lizard is being destroyed by the viper, and a half-grown viper at that. He will not reach full growth, that one.” “Then you
sorcery? The arrows of flame continued to fall across the upper part of the Neserean camp, and the invisible pyramid was illuminated in flame, but those flames fell away from the tent, whose blue and cream panels were revealed by the flow of flames. The thunder of a single drum continued to boom into the darkness. A second, deeper tone, joined the first, then a third, and the darkness flashed with sparks of light, as glowing black shieldlike globules rose from the Prophet’s tent. Each shield
like sounds that had taken on the force of a slow-moving wind, began to press at her. Her ears felt as though she were far, far underwater, slowly being crushed. She could feel something like static electricity crawling along her arms. You’ve got to come up with another spell—quickly. But what? Rabyn’s triple-toned Darksong was blocking her flame arrows, and the darkness was creeping away from the tent toward her, with the increasingly stronger rhythm and volume of the Darksong drums. Think!
could well run a keep. And she is my closest heir.” “I don’t want you to think about that,” Anna replied. “I will consider your request … if I have to, and not before.” “That be all I could ask.” Anna was touched by Kinor’s request—thinking about his younger sister, and probably as a way to provide for Liende. Would Mario have done the same in Kinor’s boots? Anna hoped so, but she wouldn’t ever know. Kinor bowed. “And Kinor? You’d better work on building up your own force of trusted armsmen.