This beautiful book is made up of two new, original novellas, never before published a sure cause for celebration among his fans. It is Donaldson’s first publication since finishing the Thomas Covenant series, and takes him in unexpected directions.
In The King’s Justice, a stranger dressed in black arrives in the village of Settle’s Crossways, following the scent of a terrible crime. He even calls himself “Black,” though almost certainly that is not his name. The people of the village discover that they have a surprising urge to cooperate with this stranger, though the desire of inhabitants of quiet villages to cooperate with strangers is not common in their land, or most lands. But this gift will not save him as he discovers the nature of the evil concealed in Settle’s Crossways.
The “Augur’s Gambit” is a daring plan created by Mayhew Gordian, Hieronomer to the Queen of Indemnie, a plan to save his Queen and his country. Gordian is a reader of entrails. In the bodies of chickens, lambs, piglets, and one stillborn infant he sees the same message: the island nation of Indemnie is doomed. But even in the face of certain destruction a man may fight, and the Hieronomer is utterly loyal to his beautiful Queen — and to her only daughter. The “Augur’s Gambit” is his mad attempt to save a kingdom.
Stephen R. Donaldson (US, born 1947) is one of the most successful fantasy authors. Every volume of his epic fantasy The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, beginning with Lord Foul's Bane in 1977, has been an international bestseller. Donaldson returned to the series with The Runes of the Earth in 2004. He lives in New Mexico.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons.