“Plenty of adventure and magic . . . continues Robert Newcomb’s tradition of mixing adventure with an interesting and well-realized magical world.”—SF Site
Prince Tristan and his twin sister, Shailiha, are the Chosen Ones, prophesied to unite the opposing magics of the dark Vagaries and the benevolent Vigors. But before they can fulfill their destiny, they must search out the mysterious Scrolls of the Ancients which hold the key to unlocking great mystical secrets. They are not the only ones on a dire quest.
Krassus, a devoted servant of the Vagaries, has located one of the Scrolls and through it has attained great and ominous powers. Now he needs but one thing: a man who unknowingly possesses magic in his blood almost as potent as that of the Chosen Ones. Tristan and Shailiha must find that man before Krassus’s dark enchantments turn him into the most dangerous weapon of evil the world has ever known—if it’s not already too late. . . .
Epic fantasy found an exhilarating new voice in Robert Newcomb, whose monumental debut novel, The Fifth Sorceress, was hailed by readers and critics alike. And now, for all those spellbound by the tale of Prince Tristan, heir to the throne of Eutracia, his twin sister Princess Shailiha, the ancient wizard Wigg, and the fate of their enchanted land, there is indeed more—much more—to be told. . . .
For three centuries, Eutracia was a kingdom at peace, ruled by a benevolent monarchy and guided by a council of wizards. But a horror from the past, long believed vanquished, returned with devastating fury. And when the battle against the bloodthirsty Sorceresses of the Coven was finally won, victory was not without its price. Now, the royal palace lies in ruins; the king and queen, the royal guard, and the Directorate of Wizards are dead; the land is lawless; and Prince Tristan— forced by the Coven to murder his father, the King—is a wanted man.
In a cavernous underground labyrinth, once headquarters of the wizards’ council, Tristan has taken refuge with his sister, Shailiha, her infant daughter, the wizard Wigg—the lone surviving member of the Directorate—and the crippled wizard Faegan, returned from self-imposed exile in the forest of Shadowood. Together they face the daunting task of restoring order to Eutracia and winning back the allegiance of her subjects. But suddenly, even these challenges pale beside a truly terrifying turn of events. The sacred jewel that is the source of all magic has inexplicably begun to lose its power. Without its age-old enchantment to sustain their spells, the immortal wizards will perish . . . and magic will vanish from Eutracia forever.
At the same time, a mysterious and ruthless mercenary has declared a bounty upon the head of Prince Tristan. And an army of wizards on a mission to rid Eutracia of monsters created by the Coven has fallen prey to an insidious breed of creatures—beings that can only have sprung from forbidden use of malevolent magic. With time and their powers dwindling, Wigg and Faegan desperately seek to discover who, or what, has succeeded the dead Sorceresses in laying siege to Eutracia. But when the shocking truth is revealed, and an evil that transcends life itself is made known, it is Tristan, more than any other, who will be stunned to his very soul. And it is Tristan who will be thrust into the ultimate battle—for his life, his land, and the course of his destiny.
In The Fifth Sorceress, Robert Newcomb conjures a time and place wrought with exquisite detail, characters vividly drawn and deeply felt, and a history rich in glory and horror, splendor and secrets. . . .
“We gave them a chance once, long ago. . . . We offered to share power equally, and in peace. But they refused and chose war. With them it was all or nothing. Wizard against Sorceress. Male against female. Light against dark.”
It is more than three centuries since the ravages of a devastating war nearly tore apart the kingdom of Eutracia. In its wake, those who masterminded the bloodshed—a quartet of powerful, conquest-hungry Sorceresses—were sentenced to exile, with return all but impossible and death all but inevitable. Now a land of peace and plenty, protected and guided by a council of immortal wizards, Eutracia is about to crown a new king. And as the coronation approaches, 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 give him the power to master magic, and destined by tradition to succeed his father as ruler, he is a rebel soul. And when he discovers the ancient, hidden caves where strange red waters flow—possessed of their own mysterious magic—it only makes him yearn all the more to escape his future of duty . . . and succumb to the stirrings of enchantment within him.
But more than tradition compels Tristan to ascend the throne. The very existence of Eutracia depends upon it. For after these long centuries of peace, dreadful omens have begun to appear, heralding something too unspeakable to ponder. And if indeed the old evil has returned, hungry to wreak vengeance, Tristan’s role in an ages-old prophecy must be fulfilled—or the cost to his kingdom and his people will be beyond imagination.
It will be a battle like none ever known, against an enemy whose thirst for blood and domination is depthless and unyielding. And for Tristan, it will be the ultimate challenge: facing an adversary whose greatest weapon is the person he loves most—transformed into the instrument of his annihilation . . . and the catalyst that will doom Eutracia forever to darkness.