The Phoenix Transformed (Enduring Flame Series #3)

The Phoenix Transformed (Enduring Flame Series #3)

by Mercedes Lackey, James Mallory

Hardcover(First Edition)

$26.16 $27.99 Save 7% Current price is $26.16, Original price is $27.99. You Save 7%.
View All Available Formats & Editions

Overview

In The Enduring Flame trilogy, Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory have given readers a new view of the complex and fascinating world they originally created for The Obsidian Trilogy. Jumping one thousand years in time, Lackey and Mallory have told the compelling story of Harrier Gillain, the first Knight-Mage in a thousand years; Tiercel Rolfort, the first High Mage in hundreds of years; and Shaiara, the young leader of a desert tribe who takes both boys under her wing but finds that she has a special affection for Harrier.

These three young people are their world's main defense against the evil called up by the rogue Wild Mage, Bisochim. Bisochim's conviction that he was restoring the balance was shattered the moment Ahairan took her first breath. Now, in The Phoenix Transformed, Bisochim joins forces with Harrier and Tiercel and the three mages search desperately for a way to destroy Ahairan as she sends her magical forces against them and the desert nomads under their protection.

With more than one twist in the telling, centering on a magic-plagued journey across a blistering desert, The Phoenix Transformed is the stunning conclusion to The Enduring Flame.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780765315953
Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates
Publication date: 09/15/2009
Series: Enduring Flame Series , #3
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 512
Product dimensions: 6.46(w) x 9.64(h) x 1.63(d)

About the Author

Mercedes Lackey is the author of the bestselling Valdemar series, the Tales of the Five Hundred Kingdoms, and the Diana Tregarde Investigation mysteries. Her many other books include Trio of Sorcery, Sacred Ground, and The Firebird. Lackey is the co-author, with Andre Norton, of the Halfblood Chronicles; and, with Rosemary Edghill, of the Shadow Grail series.

James Mallory is author of the three-part novelization of the Hallmark Merlin miniseries: The Old Magic, The King's Wizard, and The End of Magic.

Together, Lackey and Mallory are the authors of the Obsidian Trilogy, the Enduring Flame Trilogy, and the Dragon Prophecy Trilogy.

Read an Excerpt

The Phoenix Transformed

Book Three of the Enduring Flame


By Mercedes Lackey, James Mallory

Tom Doherty Associates

Copyright © 2009 Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4299-8892-6


CHAPTER 1

A Terrible Beauty


THE BINRAZAN WERE one of the largest and wealthiest tribes to make their home between Sand and Star. Fully ten double-hands of tents could Phulda their Ummara number when he counted that which the Binrazan held — and swift shotors, and flocks of fat sheep, and goats as well — for Binrazan wealth lay not in its hunting skills, as did the Khulbana's, nor yet in its ability to wrest gold and gems from the secret places of the desert, as did the Kadyastar's, nor in its trade in rare spices, like the Hinturi, nor in its harvest of salt, as the Kareggi did. The Binrazan were master rug makers and weavers, whose carpets graced the floor of every tent of every tribe, and the homes of the soft city-dwellers as well, who paid in cloth and glass and kaffeyah and glittering sugar from distant lands, in cakes of xocalatl and in medicines and in good steel knives and even in gold. Gold bought little among the Isvaieni, but it bought much in the Iteru-cities, and so the Binrazan accepted it in trade, for it could be held for a season or full turn of seasons and then exchanged for as much value as on the day it had been given.

For these reasons, and for the need of their flocks, the Binrazan had always kept to the edge of the Isvai, traveling between the Border Cities known even in the Cold North as the String of Pearls for their fabled wealth.

The first time Narbuc of the Binrazan had gone to Elparus'Iteru to say that the Binrazan had come to Rulbasi Well, he had seen eight Gatherings and had just begun his apprenticeship to Curam, master rug maker of the tribe. Then, he had not believed that any people could live as he saw these living, and his elder cousin had laughed, and had told him there were many strange sights to be seen between Sand and Star. Years passed. Master-weaver Curam went to lay his bones upon the sand, and Lacin became the new master, and still Narbuc practiced and learned. His life — as his father's and his father's before him — seemed as unchanging as the Isvai itself.

Then, in the depths of one summer's heat, all changed. At first it was no more than unrest and rumor, and then it became something that Phulda must go and see for himself, and so the Binrazan came to Sapthiruk Oasis when the next Gathering of the Tribes was more than six moonturns away, and there Phulda heard the words of the Wildmage Bisochim, who told them all of the terrible danger they faced.

And when Phulda returned to the tents of the Binrazan to speak of the warning that the Wildmage Bisochim had come to give, Narbuc discovered he had walked all unawares of peril all his days, as the foraging sheshu browses unawares of the towering falcon, for Bisochim had come to warn all the Isvaieni that the people of the cities had long ago given up their hearts to false truths, and, as a fool will envy a man who possesses riches that the fool cannot use, the city-dwellers now hated the Isvaieni for having kept faith with the Balance and meant to enslave them.

And so all the tribes — thousands of men and women, and all that belonged to them, down to the last herd-dog and hunting-hound and fat sheep and weanling kid — followed Bisochim into the depths of the Barahileth, upon a journey that was hard, but not as hard as the yoke of enslavement that their enemies prepared for them.

From Sapthiruk to the place called Telinchechitl, that journey was the work of three moonturns to accomplish, and without Bisochim to guide and sustain them, many would have died. But at last he brought them to the place where — so Phulda had told the Binrazan — they would wait and prepare for the day they might fall upon those who held to the False Balance. And if Sapthiruk had been a garden of impossible splendor, Narbuc did not know how he should name the Plains of Telinchechitl, with its tall date palms, its orchards of figs and naranjes and limuns, its fields of green barley and sweet green grass and devices which cast water upon the very wind to slake its fierce heat, just as if water were something as infinite as the sands of the desert itself.

Yet here, in this place where there was nothing but soft cool breezes and sweet grass and sweet fruits and endless water, there came anger and bloodshed between tribe and tribe before two moonturns had passed. It seemed, despite Bisochim's wise words, that there would be no end to the strife, for how could any man avoid a quarrel if there was nowhere he might go that he could not look upon the face of his enemy? And it was true that Telinchechitl was the strangest and most beautiful place any of the Isvaieni had ever seen, but beyond its boundaries there was nothing but the stark waterless desolation of the Barahileth. Paradise penned them in as closely as the walls of the Iteru-cities closed up their inhabitants, and such confinement chafed.

And so it was that when Bisochim spoke to them of a thing they all knew well — that of all the tribes numbered among the Isvaieni, one was absent from the Great Ingathering — all the young hunters were eager to turn their skills to seeking out the Nalzindar wherever they might be.

All, perhaps, save Narbuc.

He was not alone among his age-mates in staying behind when the men and women of the Isvaieni rode forth, but nearly all of the others were women with infants too young to leave. Of all the rest — youths who had barely seen a dozen Gatherings, grizzled elders of two-score years who might have chosen to remain within their tents — all rode forth. They went in bands of fifteen or twenty — no more — nor did it matter that this one might be Adanate and that one might be Fadaryama, for before they had gone, each who rode had sworn a blood-oath of fellowship to hold all the others as dear as the kin of their own tents.

Had he been needed to defend the people, Narbuc would have gone with the others without question. But Narbuc had no proficiency with geschak or awardan — or even spear or bow. All his life, Narbuc had honed his skills in the direction that would most benefit his tribe — to gain skill with the loom so that perhaps one day he might win Master-weaver Lacin's place as Master-weaver for the Binrazan. And one more pair of eyes would make far less difference upon the sands of the Isvai than one more pair of hands in Lacin's weaving tent. With the other young men of the Binrazan tents gone, only Narbuc and the elders remained to work the looms and knot the rugs. And there were many rugs that must be made.

It was nearly half a year before those who had gone forth from Telinchechitl returned ... those who did. Eight thousand had ventured forth. Half that number came back.

To discover that the true wealth of the Isvaieni had been wiped from the face of the future, as the Sandwind scoured the tracks of the hunter from the desert itself, was catastrophe enough. To hear the news that the young hunters returned with made that disaster as small and meaningless as a pot of spoiled dye when one's tent was ablaze. Those who had ridden forth now called themselves warriors — not mere hunters — and claimed they had struck the first blow against the False Balance. They spoke of Demons with the faces of children, of discovering proof that the False Balance had slain the Blue Robes upon whom the Isvaieni depended for protection, of riding in vengeance to pull down the walls of the String of Pearls and burn the Iteru-cities to the ground.

It was this last boast which caused words to sit beneath Narbuc's tongue like a burning coal, for many of those who had ridden with Zanattar — who named himself chief-of-warriors without being master of any tent — had never walked the streets of an Iteru-city before the day upon which they had entered it to bring fire and death. And the proudest boast of all the new warriors was that they had left none alive behind them — but could all, all, down to the unweaned child rocked in its mother's arms, be guilty of fealty to the False Balance?

It was a question for which Narbuc had no answer, and as day followed day another question took its place beside the first: how could Bisochim, the most powerful Wildmage ever seen between Sand and Star, able to call upon the power of a dragon as other men whistled hawks to their hand and ikulas-hounds to heel, have let such events come to pass? If this was truly the will of the Wild Magic, there must be some deep truth that Bisochim might reveal to ease Narbuc's mind.

It was with this hope in his heart that Narbuc set out toward Bisochim's fortress at the top of the cliffs of Telinchechitl. Narbuc had never been inside Bisochim's great fortress. He did not know anyone who had. He did not know why it should be that a Wildmage — servant of the Wild Magic, an individual who belonged to all tribes and none of them, one of those who by custom called no tent their own — should possess a vast stone house larger than the largest house of the greatest city-dweller. Narbuc did not like to presume to enter such a place. But Bisochim had not been seen upon the Plains of Telinchechitl for many days, and if Narbuc wished to have words of him, Narbuc must ascend to Bisochim's dwelling.

The tents of the Isvaieni were as far from the cliff upon which Bisochim's dwelling perched as a man might walk in the time it took for the sun to turn from gleam of light upon the horizon to a full disk, and Narbuc was grateful for the grass beneath his feet and the decadent waste of water that vanished so quickly into the air, for his journey was made beneath the brutal heat of the noonday sun. He had waited to slip away upon his errand until the people rested quietly in their tents. Only madmen and fools ventured forth at the peak of the desert day. Madmen — or those who were desperate.

In his desire to speak privately with Bisochim, Narbuc's many visits to the Iteru-cities served him well. Had he been born to the tents of the Tunag or the Zarungad, he would not have recognized that which led to Bisochim's fortress, or their purpose. But in the Iteru-cities he had seen stairs many times, and sometimes even walked up and down them, though in all his visits to the Iteru-cities, never had Narbuc seen stairs that climbed so high. After the first few minutes, his legs began to ache at the unfamiliar exercise, and there was still a very great distance to traverse.

His discomfort was only increased by the intense and unfamiliar heat. The Isvaieni were a desert people, used to the desert's merciless heat, but here there was nothing but stone and sun. The air around him shimmered with heat, and the stone beneath his feet was hot enough for him to feel through the soles of his desert boots. The sun of the Barahileth beat down upon his chadar as if he wore nothing upon his head at all.

And still he climbed.

At last Narbuc began to feel faint bursts of coolness upon his face — a sensation he was now familiar with — and knew them for welcome droplets of cool water, borne on the wind from fountains in the fortress above. His dry mouth ached with the desire to quench his thirst at such a fountain, and not so many more stairs would bring him to his goal.

But when he reached the top of the pale sandstone stairs, instead of turning left to refresh himself at the fountain he could see beyond the low wall, Narbuc found his steps turning right, and leading him forward across the wide flat area at the top of the stair, toward a second staircase cut into the wall of the black cliff itself. His mind screamed with terror, but he could not give voice to his fear, any more than he could command his body to turn back. He was as helpless as the sheshu in the fenec's jaws, and his limbs did not obey his will. Within his thoughts Narbuc wept and begged for whatever power that had taken possession of him to release him, but all he could do was climb higher along the face of the cliff. The heat he had felt before was nothing to this. That had been the heat of the sun. This was the heat of fire.

When Narbuc had unwillingly reached the top of the second stair, he understood. This was no solid cliff as he had thought, but an open bowl filled with molten rock. Never had he thought to see such, nor did he wish to see it now, for the wind of it blew toward his face, causing his skin to tighten and ache with heat. Far below — perhaps nearly level with the desert floor — rock glowed orange and yellow with heat, and flames of fire danced over it as if it were burning charcoal. To touch it would be a death more horrible than death by burning.

But even as his mind framed that thought, Narbuc found his hands clutching at the rock which lay before him, and found himself clambering up and over. To touch the rock was as if he laid his hands upon a cooking stone prepared for flat cakes, yet he could neither cry out nor draw back. The terror that he felt at having his body move without — against — his will nearly overwhelmed the pain of his injuries. First one leg swung itself over the lip of the caldera, then the other, and for one hideous moment Narbuc thought his traitorous body meant to leap into the lake of fire. But then it turned itself and began to lower itself carefully down the sloping inner wall.

It was such a cliff as a man might indeed climb, were he careful and lucky. Narbuc had done such things himself many wheels of the seasons before, near the southernmost of the String of Pearls, Orinaisal'Iteru, where the desert was edged by tall cliffs. But those cliffs were smooth stone warmed only by the sun, not a crumbling slope of sparkling jagged shards that tore at his robes and at his seared and burning flesh. Narbuc's hands were work-hardened, calloused from years working with loom and awl, yet they were cut and torn now by his descent as if they had been the soft hands of a child. He was bleeding from a hundred cuts when his hands and feet finally lost their purchase upon the wall and he tumbled the rest of the way to the bottom.

Had he possessed voice, Narbuc would have screamed then, for the stone he fell upon was as hot as fire, searing him even through his robes, and the stone beneath him was ... yielding. Though his volition had been plucked from him as easily as he might take a toy from a child, he retained all his ability to feel. Every breath he took seared his lungs with its heat and caused him to choke and gag, for the air was foul with the scent of strange burning. Then, as suddenly as the terrible compulsion had come upon him, it was lifted. His shriek of anguish burst from his throat even as Narbuc lunged to his feet to batter at his smoldering clothing with burned and bleeding hands. He scrambled backward to the narrow ledge at the very bottom of the cliff, where the stone was burning hot but at least it was solid.

That was when he saw Her. A woman stood upon the surface of the boiling rock. She wore no clothing, and her skin was as pale as if it had never been touched by the sun. It shone with the reflections — orange and gold and white — of the fires she walked through untouched. Her hair was long enough that it might have fallen to her knees, unbound and uncovered as a young girl might go in her mother's tent. It was of a color Narbuc had never seen, and in its golds and pale reds it made him think of metal and fire, though it lofted on the wind like a veil of softest finest linen upon the desert breeze.

And though the rock beneath his feet seared him, though the agony of standing so close to the scorching cliff wall was only exceeded by the agony of moving away from it, still Narbuc must stop and see.

The woman held her arms out to him, beckoning: Come.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from The Phoenix Transformed by Mercedes Lackey, James Mallory. Copyright © 2009 Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory. Excerpted by permission of Tom Doherty Associates.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

The Phoenix Transformed (Enduring Flame Series #3) 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 80 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Once again Mercedes and James' writting did not disappoint me. Great series.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Once Harrier Gillain and Tiercel Rolfort thought they would spend their entire lives in Armerthalieh, but that was prior to the latter receiving the power of high magic and visions of the Dark returning. Harrier had doubts about his best friend's sanity, but not since their trek into the Elven lands where they learn that Tiercel was chosen by the Light to fight the Dark. Harrier leaves the lands of the elves a Knight-Mage. Wildmage Bisochim believes the Dark must enter the world to bring balance. Through experiments, he creates the body of a woman imprisons the dark demon Aharin, released from the dimensional prison where her fellow demons reside. Her goal is to find a mage and create a new race of demons and release her fellow demons where she was imprisoned. Bisoschim used the trust of the Isvaieni trines of the Isva desert to kill the people in the border cities because he believed falsely they have given themselves over to the Dark thus creating the Unbalance. Once he realized he was manipulated by Aharin, he repents and does all he can to save the tribes with the help of Harrier and Tiercel. They travel the land seeking the demon in order to prove to the armies that demons walks the earth again. Aharin sends her walking dead Isvaieni, goblins and other magical beasts to destroy the Isvaieni .Harrier and Tiercel use their power to try and stop her and prevent the dark from coming bacl. THE PHOENIX TRANSFORMED is an exciting sword and sorcery epic which will remind the audience of the Jews in Exodus as the Isvaieni tribes roam the desert hoping to find the way home by defeating the Dark. Harrier and Tierce are great characters and buddies who have matured considerably since THE PHOENIX UNCHAINED and THE PHOENIX ENDANGERED; each understands they may die for the better good. Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory provide adult and teen readers a strong epic fantasy. That is enthralling and a joy to read. Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a great series and id read again anyday.
cheryl_anne More than 1 year ago
As a long time fan of the Lackey and Mallory team, I found the last book and in particular this Enduring Flame Series to be their best yet. The friendship and interactions of the protagonists are endearing. They did not seek nor ask for the "magik" to enter their normal lives, catapalting them into the roles of saving mankind from the "darkness". The vile antagonist with her dirty bag of darkness beasts and tricks is truly frightening. The descriptions of the plot environment, characters and actions are vivid and riveting. The "wild magik" had me entraced from the start. I felt as if I were living with the characters! Bravo and thanks for many entertaining evenings.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have already bought and read this book!
SunnySD on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In which lots and lots of people die, zombies attack, Harrier comes into his own, Ancaladar finally reappears, and the day is saved in the nick of time.Endless trekking back and forth across the desert complete with soul-searching, misery, bugs, death and unexpected relatives.I was very grateful for the occasional insertion of Liatha's humor, because there certainly wasn't much else to cheer about. Well-written and enjoyable, but it's heavy reading.
SnarkyWriter on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Full disclosure: I am a Mercedes Lackey fanatic. She could write a user manual for an original Nintendo system and I'd read it. And probably love it.That said, I loved this book. The pacing was spot-on, leading inexorably to the climactic final battle, which ended in a way I totally did not see coming, which always impresses me. (It's hard to do that anymore. I've read so many books I generally have the ending figured out by the middlish of the book. For example, I'm reading Storm Front by Jim Butcher right now and I'm pretty sure I know who killed those two people, if not why. If it turns out I'm wrong, I'll be very happy.)However, while I can see now that the pacing is perfect, in the middle of it sometimes it dragged. By page 500 I was starting to wonder if we even needed this book. Couldn't we have summarized all this? Perhaps, if plot's all we're going for. But Lackey is about more than plot; she crafts her characters with a purposeful, delicate hand. In order to get the characters to the point that they could do what they needed to do during the climactic battle, they had to go through all the stuff they went through in this book. And in order to understand them, we had to see them do it.**SPOILERS BEYOND THIS POINT**You have been warned.I did find myself a bit annoyed by Alacandar's disappearance. Other than making everything entirely more difficult than it would have been otherwise, there didn't seem to be any purpose to it. Even the explanation that he'd fallen through a door that was supposed to allow dragons and Bonded to live forever--therefore making Bisochim into even more of an idiot than he had been anyway--didn't satisfy me. It was too convenient. As was his reappearance--right when the climactic battle is underway. Of course.Other than that, the book was wonderful. I love Harrier's character and dialogue; I often stopped to read bits of it out loud to W.E. so we could giggle over it together.At some point, I need to read back through both trilogies involved in this story so I can get a larger view of everything that's happened. The wait time between books has been so long that I'll forget exactly what happened, but the books are so long I don't want to reread two of them before reading the brand new 3rd one. Bleh.I know I've raved about Lackey a lot in this review, but that's only because I don't know any of Mallory's solo work. If any of the stuff I've loved is one of his touches, I apologize for ascribing it to Lackey.
marcocanov on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Hoping for a good ending that never came. The obsidian trilogy is very good. I had high hopes for this series as it is set in the same world but it fell short. This whole book drags a race across the a huge desert and back. Thats it. A lot of them die. It was hot.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So I found this series uninspiring and just a bit too gruesome for me. I never came to really care for any of the characters and found their constant adolescent angst just a bit too annoying. Not my favorite.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Liked it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Read the entire series and it is fantastic. A great epic tale I would recommend to fantasy lovers.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of th best fantasy books i have ever read. You feel like you r walking every step of th way wth th characters. I thought i would never read a book as good as "When Darknesss Falls" th last of th first trilogy in this world but this was incredible. I hav already read it three or four times already since I bought it and though Mercedes has been my one if my favorite authors for years she n James outdid themselves on this one. Kudos to you both
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Scouts
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago