...and a wizard's work is never done! After facing a hopeless siege, an implacable foe and an impossible escape, you would think that Minalan the Spellmonger would be able to rest -- but the armies of the undead goblin shaman Shereul (known as the Dead God to his human victims) are rolling over the western reaches of the rustic Duchy of Alshar and is headed toward the heart of the Duchy of Castal. Thousands are fleeing for their lives as hordes of goblins pour out of Boval Vale and devastate the rugged fiefs of the Alshari Wilderlands. And the super-charged shamans of the Dead God are making defending the realm almost impossible for the outnumbered Alshari country knights.
While the two Dukes play feudal politics to further their own ends, the only people who seem to care about the invasion are Minalan and his outlaw warmagi friends -- and they're busy dodging agents of the sinister Royal Censorate of Magic.
But if someone doesn't organize an army in northern Alshar soon, then there will be nothing to stop the armies of the divinely-powerful Dead God from conquering all five Duchies in his genocidal quest for vengeance.
But things are just not that simple: he has to cope with a sexy young Shadowmage assasin who works for a mysterious spymaster, a cocky new manservant, a dysfunctional group of suddenly-powerful warmagi, the Censor General, and a bunch of whiny nobles before the Dukes will grant him the troops and money he will need -- and the Dukes have plans of their own. If Minalan the Spellmonger can't lobby the courts of Alshar and Castal to work together -- and quickly -- the hordes of the Dead God will sweep over the frontiers of both states. Worse, the mysterious Umbra veil he has erected around Boval Vale may come to imperil all Five Duchies.
Minalan would rather just go home and let the Dukes handle it, but his conscience won't let him. Someone has to stop the Dead God . . . and that someone happens to be him. Beyond politics and plots, goblins and trolls, mercenaries and magic, the Soulless and the shamans, Censors and secret orders, for Minalan there is only the thought that his child is to be born in a world with such dangers, and that is something he cannot permit.
It is time for the Spellmonger to pick up his mageblade, summon his allies, and go to war again . . . as a Warmage!
Release date: January 19, 2012
Print pages: 747
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