The enthralling story of the reclusive elvenlord Kyrtian, who emerges as a hero in a world torn by politics and war. When his cousin, Aelmarkin, tries to prove that Kyrtian is unfit to run his estate, the plan backfires, and soon Kyrtian, who doesn't share the venal, greedy nature of his cousin, finds himself with more power than he ever wanted.
Like his father before him, Kyrtian has always treated the humans on his estate like servants, instead of enslaving them as other elvenlords do. His father's legacy also leads Kyrtian to learn ancient military skills long since lost to elvenkind through the carelessness of the elvenlords. Kyrtian's rediscovered knowledge piques the interest of the current elvenlords, and soon Kyrtian finds himself appointed the new commander of the army, to the relief of his ruling peers.
For the sons of the most powerful elvenlords, the Young Lords, have rebelled against their fathers and are waging war. But by taking advantage of both the privileges of his new command and the help of some unexpected new friends, Kyrtian finally gains the resources to embark on his own, personal quest - resuming his father's search for the Great Portal, the magical doorway through which the original elvenlords entered this world.
As war rages between some sons and fathers, Kyrtian searches desperately for his own lost father, hoping to uncover not only the mystery of his disappearance, but also the secret behind the origin of elvenkind.
Mercedes Ritchie Lackey (born 1950) is an American writer of fantasy novels. Many of her novels and trilogies are interlinked and set in the world of Velgarth, mostly in and around the country of Valdemar. Her Valdemar novels form a complex tapestry of interaction between human and non-human protagonists with many different cultures and social mores.
Her other main world is one much like our own, but it includes clandestine populations of elves, mages, vampires, and other mythical beings. The Bedlam's Bard books describe a young man with the power to work magic through music; the SERRAted Edge books are about racecar driving elves; and the Diana Tregarde thrillers center on a Wiccan who combats evil.
She has also