In the first two volumes of her acclaimed Coldfire trilogy, C. S. Friedman introduced readers to the beautiful but treacherous world of Erna, where humanity has fought a desperate struggle for survival against the fae – a force of nature which responds to the human psyche, indiscriminately bringing to life a person’s most treasured dreams or hideous nightmares.
For more than a millennium now Erna’s humans have maintained an uneasy stalemate with the fae, with adepts and sorcerers working for their own profit while the demonic creatures who feed upon such efforts rapidly gain power and ambition. Now one of these demons, a Iezu called Calesta, has declared war on all of mankind.
Master of illusion, devourer of pain, Calesta plans to remake the human species until mankind exists only to sate his unquenchable thirst for suffering, and omens of his triumph are already apparent. Even the Church of the One God seems to be in danger, the souls of its faithful corrupted by a demon whose very essence is sadism.
Only Damien Vryce, a warrior-priest of the One God, and his unlikely ally, the undead sorcerer Gerald Tarrant stand between Calesta and his triumph. Nothing short of the demon’s absolute destruction will save mankind from his unholy influence. But no one on Erna is certain just what the Iezu really are, and no man has ever succeeded in killing one.
Faced with an enemy who may prove invulnerable – pitted against not only Calesta, but the leaders of the Church and the Hunter’s last descendent – Damien and Tarrant must risk everything in a war that will take them from the depths of Hell to the birthplace of demons and beyond in a battle which could cost them not only their lives, but the very soul of all mankind.
Celia S. Friedman (born 1957) is a science fiction and fantasy author. She has been a voracious reader from her earliest days and began writing at the age of thirteen. She studied then taught costume design at university but now writes full-time and teaches a creative writing course at a local high school.