David Drake has long been one of the foremost names in fantasy and science fiction adventure. For years the majority of his work has been in the popular military SF genre, but his origins lie in fantasy. He is widely respected for the detailed accuracy of his fiction: "He does his homework intelligently; his books are marked by factual research, and then by insight into what those facts add up to," says Fantasy & Science Fiction.
Now, in Lord of the Isles, Drake returns to fantasy with a towering and complex epic of heroic adventure filled with passion and magic, and set in an extraordinary and colorful world where the elemental forces that empower magic are rising to a thousand-year peak. Into this world, survivors from the last magical peak intrude: Tenoctris, a quiet and scholarly sorceress swept out of the past at the moment of final catastrophe as her civilization sank beneath the sea; the ghost of the greatest ruler, King Carus of the Isles; and the great magician known only as The Hooded One, who actually caused that ancient catastrophe.
In the days following an unusually severe storm in a tiny seaport town, life is disrupted. First, young Garric rescues the castaway Tenoctris; then, amazingly, a huge galley lands, bearing a court envoy searching for the lost heir to a dukedom – and finding her in Sharina, Garric's sister. Immediately after the galley departs with Sharina to seek out her destiny, another party arrives by coach, led by a merchant sorcerer eager to hire Garric – who sets out with his party, accompanied by Tenoctris and by the shepherd Cashel and his sister, Ilna, both of whom are discovered to have some magical power.
Garric and Sharina, Cashel and Ilna, all travel toward romance, danger, and astonishing magic that will transform them and their world. So begins the first volume of a continuing saga to rival the greatest epics of contemporary fantasy adventure.
"David Drake's work here is original, engrossing, and instantly credible. After all the hackneyed, repetitive fantasy I've read recently, Lord of the Isles seems quite wonderful." – Stephen R. Donaldson
"True brilliance is as rare as a perfect diamond or a supernova. Lord of the Isles is truly brilliant. There is a lot of fantasy out there, but there is only one Lord of the Isles." – Morgan Llywelyn