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Owlknight(Darian's Tale, #3)
In Owlflight and Owlsight, the first two novels in Darian's Tale, best-selling authors Mercedes Lackey and Larry Dixon told the moving story of a rebellious orphan boy who escaped the sacking and burning of his village by barbarians and found sanctuary with the mysterious Taledras Hawkbrothers, deep in Pelagiris Forest. During Darian's stay with the Hawkbrothers, he discovered his magical Gift - to be a Healing Adept - and began to forge a diplomatic alliance between these exotic, magical people and his own people of Valdemar.
When Owlknight opens, six years have passed since Darian's fateful flight into the forest. This once-troubled youth has grown into a mature, responsible adult. Not only is he a Master Mage, but he is the head of a new community - the Vale of k-Valdemar, located near Darian's home village of Errold's Grove - which houses a diplomatic council comprised of Hawkbrothers, Valdemarans, and representatives of the more peaceful barbarian clans of the north.
The once-obscure community of Errold's Grove has now grown in stature as well as size, due largely to Darian's efforts, and a veteran Hearald of Valdemar - along with his young Herald-trainee - has been sent from the capital city of Have to join the council.
But despite Darian's glowing success, life is not completely rosy. For though he has found the woman he hopes will be his life-mate - a young Healer, Keisha Alder - she repeatedly refuses to marry him. Keisha is wedded to her work - caring for the people of Errold's Grove - and worries about what might happen in the future as Darian becomes more and more involved in negotiating the disputes and policies of k'Valdemar Vale. At some point surely Errold's Grove and the Vale could have conflicting interests, and wouldn't that cause discord between herself and Darian?
However, his romantic problem is not the only issue plaguing Darian. For he is haunted by the pain of not knowing what happened to his parents - not even knowing if they are alive or dead. Now that he has become a Master Mage, his skill is finally sufficient to try to resolve this mystery. And when clues lead Darian to hope that his parents may indeed be alive, he mounts a small search party to try to locate them. But the trail leads deep into little-known territory, rife with hostile barbarian tribes. And though Darian is desperate to know what became of his praents, he can't be certain that they are alive or totally confident that he can find them. Is it worth risking his life and the lives of his companions to chase what could be a dream?