The wild magic...
...is taking its toll on the land. Many Heralds and Herald-Mages have died fighting to preserve the peace. Even Vanyel, the most powerful of the Herald-Mages is almost at the end of his strength, in need of a respite from the dual threats of war and dark magic.
But for Vanyel, there can be no rest. Not when his Companion Yfandes, receives a summons wshich can't be ignored - a desperate cry for help which draw them both into the heart of a magical holocaust in the neighboring kingdom. Almost overwhelmed by the devastation they discover there, Herald-Mage and Companion must try to unravel this tragic mystery. Is the young Prince Tashir, a newly Chosen Herald who can't control his own magic, responsible for the destruction? Or is Tashir a pawn in a deeper, more deadly game - and, if so, will Vanyel be able to find and defeat the true destroyer before this master of dark powers can strike again?
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