The Demon Queen sends her forces against her human and elven enemies, sowing distraction and death. In the human City, the Queen's agents work to divide the Council and foment rebellion among the City's citizens. In the countryside, they target the most vulnerable and valuable – the young Elf Prince and the Wild Mages who might be the Demons' most dangerous enemies.
To his own surprise, young Kellen, once the disappointing son of the great Mage who leads the City's Mage Council, has become a powerful Knight-Mage. Valued for his bravery and his skills as both wizard and warrior, Kellen joins the Elves' war councils. Yet he cannot convince the City of his birth that it is in terrible danger.
Kellen's sister Idalia, a Wild Mage with great healing ability, has pledged her heart to Jermayan, a proud Elven warrior. Someday Idalia will pay a tragic Price for a world-saving work of Wild Magic, but until then, she will claim any joy life can offer her. Jermayan, who has learned much while fighting at Kellen's side and loving the human Idalia, finds that everything changes when he Bonds with a dragon while rescuing the Elf Prince and becomes the first Elven Mage in a thousand years.
Furious at her enemies' success with the dragon, the Demon Queen attacks in force. Light struggles against Dark, like flickering candleflames buried deep in the shadow of Obsidian Mountain.
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