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.
better land for all of us. “I wish their sacrifice had not been necessary, but prosperity and harmony have always required dedication and hard work, and sometimes armsmen and even ordinary people die to maintain harmony. For doing what needed to be done, they will be remembered. For their sacrifice, they will be remembered. And for their inspiration, we must and will go forward with the gift of life they gave the rest of us. “In the name and the cause of harmony, now and ever.” The last part
words with two bold lines. … and left me no alternatives but to destroy them and their lancers. I wish it had not been so, but Defalk is not rich in skilled lancers and armsmen, and I could not afford to be generous with a commander who had not listened to reason or to the orders of his own Liedfuhr … The sorceress paused. Now what? Because the Prophet Rabyn left no heirs, I have taken the liberty of suggesting that the ruler of Neserea be the most senior officer left to that poor land—one
of the seas. Lord Behlem insisted he was but the manifestation of the will of harmony. The Ranuans purchase their power with golds … .” He’s right … money is a kind of force—economic force. So is trade … so even is the ability to logically persuade—you could call that intellectual force. Avery was great at that … . Anna found her nails clicking together and clasped her hands under the table to stop the mannerism. “The great lords talk of harmony and of the need for agreement and peace, but all
gold, signifying the Regency as strong and bold. Clink! As the last note died away, a single coin rested on the table, next to the drawing. Anna reached for it, then stopped. Her fingers could feel the heat radiating from the metal. She bent down and looked. The coin, not even quite the size of an American nickel, bore on the upper side the emblem of crossed spears. “Now all you need is a few thousand more,” she murmured, setting aside the lutar and reseating herself at the small worktable.
crude brown paper, his eyes flicking from the mirror to the paper. “If the glass is correct,” Anna said, “that will bring us out on the higher south side of the valley.” “The last part of the way is narrow.” Himar kept sketching. “There are trees on both sides. We would not see any lancers until they were upon us.” “Let me know when you have it drawn out.” Anna could feel the heat building around her, and within the mirror and its frame. After a short time, Himar lifted his head. “I have