The Outstretched ShadowMercedes Lackey, James Mallory
fantasy > high fantasy
Kellen Tavadon, son of the Arch-mage Lycaelon, thought he knew the way the world worked. his fater, leading the wise and benevolent Council of Mages, protected and guided the citizens of the Golden City of the Bells. Young Mages in training - all men, for women were unfit to practice magic – memorized the intricate details of High Magick and aspired to seats on the council.
Then he found the forbidden Books of Wild Magic – or did they find him? The three slim volumes woke Kellen to the wide world outside the City's isolating walls. This magic was not dead, strangled by rules and regulations. It felt like a living thing, guided by the hearts and minds of those who practiced it and benefited from it.
Questioning everything he has known, Kellen discovers too many of the City's dark secrets. Banished, with the Outlaw hunt on his heels, Kellen invokes Wild Magic – and finds himself running for his life with a unicorn at his side.
Kellen's life changes almost faster than he can understand or accept. Rescued by a unicorn, healed by a female Wild Mage who knows more about Kellen than anyone out side the City should, meeting Elven royalty and Elven warriors, and plunged into a world where the magical beings he has learned about as abstract concepts are flesh-and-blood creatures... Kellen both revels in and fears his new freedom.
Especially once he learns about Demons. He's always thought they were another abstract concept – a stand-in for ultimate evil. But if centaurs and dryads are real, then Demons surely are as well. And the one thing all the Mages of the City agreed on was that practicing Wild Magic corrupted a Mage. Thured him into a Demon. Would that be Kellen's fate?
Deep in Obsidian Mountain, the Demons are waiting. Since their defeat in the last great war, they've been biding their time, sowing the seeds of distrust and discontent between their human and Elven enemies. Very soon now, when the Demons rise to make war, there will be no alliance between High and Wild Magic to stand against them. And all the world will belong to the Endarkened.
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