Master of the Cauldron
by David Drake
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Garric or-Reise was born the son of an innkeeper in Barca's Hamlet on the Isle of Haft, but through valor and determination became first a prince and then the Regent and successor to the feeble Valence III, King of the Isles. But the Kingdom is weak, its rule barely extending past the island of Ornifal.
The Isles need a strong king to bring unity, because danger is coming. Magic is stronger now than at any time since the fall of the Old Kingdom in a cataclysm of uncontrolled magic. Evil is growing in the spaces beyond the world, waiting to complete the destruction begun a millennium before. Only if the Isles are united into a strong New Kingdom can humanity survive.
Garric has sworn to become a true Lord of the Isles. Standing with him are his sister, Sharina; his friend and Sharina's lover, the shepherd Cashel; and Cashel's sister, the weaver-witch Ilsa. They have been to Hell and back together in their quest.
The four friends and the armies of the Kingdom have undertaken a Royal Progress to renew the bonds of fealty among the Isles. Now they come to Sandrakkan, which fought a long and bloody war with Haft less than a generation ago.
On Sandrakkan, Wilduf's Countess, Balila, schemes with her court wizard to destroy the boy king from the hated isle of Haft. Strange evils lurk on demon-haunted Volita, and she will wake them all if necessary to make her husband the new King of the Isles.
Rich with action, guile, and heroism in the face of dangers both physical and moral, Master of the Cauldron stands alone or as part of a ground-breaking fantasy epic.
- Tom Doherty Associates, March 2006
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