After winning two wars against the Nemovorti in six months, Minalan plans an expedition over the summer to the Lost Valley of Anghysbel, in the far north of his realm, in the caldera of a super volcano at the edge of the tundra. There, he suspects, many of the answers he so desperately need might be hidden. The only problem is that thanks to the anti-magical properties of the jevolar, there, his spells won’t work – he’ll be without magic for the first time since he came into his Talent. On this quest for the knowledge to save the world, however, the stakes are too high to be concerned about such things. Minalan seeks the knowledge he needs no matter the price.
The footwizard Fondaras the Wise has been to the realm of the jevolar four times in his long life and he knows the way – and the great dangers of the non-magical land. He warns that Anghysbel is filled with forgotten creatures and lost races that have hidden from the world for eons. That doesn’t dissuade the Spellmonger – it’s a challenge. So is the deadly poisonous alkali waste that is the only way to the fabled land. So is the fact that his wife, Alya, insists on going with the expedition. So is the company of goblins pursuing him to catch the greatest wizard in the world in a place without magic. And the passage through the alkali wastes is only open for the nine dry weeks of summer, so there is a time limit on his explorations.
But once he’s there, Minalan’s expedition discovers a unique land filled with forgotten secrets: an outpost of the Kasari, where the tribe sends its magically-Talented folk; a colony of Wilderlords existing in seclusion; the exiled clan of Kilnusk Alon, the former kings of the Dradrien and Karshak, alike; a community of Tal Alon left on their own for generations; and an old comrade who has fled the Five Duchies in fear of the Censorate.
That’s just where the mysteries begin. When he opens the Cave of the Ancients, a remnant of the original human colony on Callidore, Minalan starts on a path toward the answers he seeks. He is startled to find that the once-great human civilization once had an outpost in Anghysbel, as did many other races. Armed with new knowledge he braves the dangerous wilderness of Anghysbel with Lilastien and the rest of his friends in search of the ancient Alka Alon vault containing the arsenal he seeks. Along the way he discovers the scion of the Aronin, the half crazed Ameras; he encounters a dragon, learns about a forgotten group of the Forsaken, and is introduced to the mysterious Leshi in search of an immensely important, incredibly powerful artifact. Not even the threat of cyclopses and lizard men, renegade dragons and the pestilent Kurja can stand in the way of his exploration.
But that’s not all he discovers. When a beardless, half-mad Karshak outcast offers them an opportunity to learn the secrets they desperately seek, Minalan and Lilastien are tempted . . . but the price of that knowledge may well be madness, or even death. For dark powers more ancient than the world dwell in exotic Anghysbel, powers that would speed Callidore’s destruction, not work for its salvation. Minalan the Spellmonger has to consider carefully if he’s willing to pay the price to save the world . . . and the cost of that bargain may well be his life!
Release date: July 1, 2021
Print pages: 688
* BingeBooks earns revenue from qualifying purchases as an Amazon Associate as well as from other retail partners.