The dire threat of war...
...with the powerful, sorcerous, Eastern Empire has forced the kingdom of Valdemar into an uneasy coalition with its traditional enemy, the neighboring kingdom of Karse.
But now, mysterious mage-storms are wreaking havoc on both Valdemar and Karse, plaguing these lands not only with disasterous earthquakes, monsoons, and ice storms, but also with venomous magical constructs - terrifying creatures out of nightmare.
As Valdemar's Hearlds and Karse's Sun-Priests struggle to marshal their combined magical resources to protect their realms from these devastating, spell-fueled onslaughts, the still fragil alliance between these long-hostile lands begins to fray. Only the personal interventions of Solaris, the High Priestess and ruler of Karse, can defuse what is rapidly becoming a dangerously explosive situation.
But Solaris also confirms the worst fears of the Hearalds - that these storms come from a mysterious, unknown source. And unless Valdemar and Karse can locate and destroy the elusive and enigmatic cause of these storms, they will see their entire world demolished in a final magical holocaust.
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