"The culminating battle will disappoint nobody. Imaginative, well-handled magical affrays, plus plotting that provides enough twists and turns to keep things interesting." (Kirkus Reviews)
In the third and climactic volume of the Tale of the Five, Freelorn, exiled prince of Arlen, heads home to battle for his lost throne at last... but the odds are stacked against him. His land has achieved an illusion of stability under the reign of his usurping half-brother Cillmod, and not everyone is convinced that Freelorn's rule -- even though he is the rightful heir and chosen successor to the half-divine White Lion of Arlen -- would be that much of an improvement.
But some have no doubts at all, and will do whatever it takes to keep Freelorn from retaking his throne. One of these is the sorcerer Rian, Cillmod's chief advisor, who has helped Cillmod twist to his use the royal magics that have preserved Arlen and its throne for centuries. And though Freelorn has the aid of Herewiss, first man in centuries to possess the dangerous Power of the blue Fire, and Eftgan, Queen of Arlen's neighbor-country and immemorial ally Darthen, even their combined power may not be enough to break the deadly grip of the shadowy force manipulating Cillmod and Rian to Its own ends.
Freelorn and his friends and allies -- human and otherwise -- must now put their lives on the line in a final campaign in which he and they discover they have become tools in the hands of the Goddess against Her most terrible and ancient enemy. And for Freelorn, the final sacrifice to save his land from the triumph of an age-old evil will confront him with a choice more terrible than anything he could have imagined: death with those he loves... or immortality without them.
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About the Author
Besides the 1980s creation of the Young Wizards fantasy series for which she's best known, the "Middle Kingdoms" epic fantasy series, and numerous stand-alone fantasy or science fiction novels, her career has included extensive work in the Star TrekTM universe and many scripts for live-action and animated TV series on both sides of the Atlantic, as well as work in comics and computer games. She has spent a fair amount of time on the New York Times Bestseller List, and has picked up various awards here and there-most recently the "Faust" Grand Master Scribe award of the International Association of Media Tie-In Writers.
She lives in County Wicklow in Ireland with her husband of thirty years, the screenwriter and novelist Peter Morwood.
A more complete biography can be found at DD's website, dianeduane.com.
Her favorite color is blue, her favorite food is a weird kind of Swiss scrambled-potato dish called maluns, she was born in a Year of the Dragon, and her sign is "Runway 24 Left, Hold For Clearance."
Online she can be most frequently be found on Twitter (@dduane), on Facebook (facebook.com/diane.duane/), and on Tumblr (dduane.tumblr.com).
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
It's a Duane, so of course it's saving the world from the Darkness by figuring out who you are and surrendering to truth. She's about as formulaic as Andre Norton - amazing what variety you can get from something that can be described with a simple formula! The Doors series is somewhat frustrating - been waiting for the fourth one for...16 years now? Ah well, it's a good re-read anyway. It does actually come to a reasonable sort of closure - in fact, if she hadn't _said_ there would be a fourth book, this one could be an end. After all, everyone gets married and settles down...for some definition of settles down. And I do mean everyone gets married - all in one marriage! You don't have to worry about how everyone's going to pair off in this one.
This brings Duane's epic fantasy saga to its sweeping conclusion, and epic and sweeping are the right words for it. The King of Arlen and the Queen of Darthen take their people to war against the Shadow and his minions.But she just does it so *well*.And the characters keep derailing this from turning into Just Another Fantasy Novel by being intelligent and mature and capable of *communicating effectively with each other*. And *real*. You come out of it, for all the gloriously happy ending, feeling like it was all a tragedy. Because it was. It was a war.And yes, all seven of the main characters do have a group marriage at the end. You believe that they'll actually be able to pull that through, too, though it may be even harder than the war.