"I read slowly, 'tis true, but I stayed up until 2:30 to finish The Spellsong War.... That's a good indication for any reader that Modesitt tells a damned good tale. Even if you're a tenor." --Anne McCaffrey
"One of the premier voices in fantasy... A highly original new series that promises to enthrall us as much or more than the popular Magic of Recluse collection of books.
"Mr. Modesitt is a fabulous world builder who once again creates a milieu so compelling that it seems like we actually go there with the plucky heroine." --Romantic Times Magazine
"The gritty details of this world make it as real as any in science fiction. As usual, Mr. Modesitt's sense of power makes the fantastic background more plausible." --Philadelphia Press & Review
"Resplendent feminist fantasy with an inventive and expertly handled scenario, life-sized characters, and flawless plotting." --Kirkus Reviews
About the Author
L. E. MODESITT, JR. is the bestselling author of more than seventy novels encompassing two science fiction series, the Ghost Books and the Ecolitan Matter, and four fantasy series, the Imager Portfolio, the Saga of Recluce, the Spellsong Cycle and the Corean Chronicles. He lives in Cedar City, Utah.
Read an Excerpt
The Spellsong WarThe Second Book of the Spellsong Cycle
By Modesitt, L. E.
Tor FantasyCopyright © 1999 Modesitt, L. E.
All right reserved.
The heavy gong sounds, and the two women in the uniform of the Council turn and open the lacquered double doors, each bearing the ancient symbol of the Council of Wei. Each wears twin black-lacquered scabbards at her hips, and the scabbards contain the infamous short swords of the Nordan Guard.
Ashtaar moistens her lips and steps through the doors, then down the black carpet toward the dais.
The black-lacquered Council table is also ancient, and behind it sit seven figures. The woman in the center wears a silver-and-black seal on a heavy silver chain. Her dark eyes hold Ashtaar as the spymistress walks down the dark green carpet toward the space below the dais holding the table.
"The mist-world sorceress now holds Defalk. The Council has read your report, and would like to inquire further."
"Yes, Ancient One." Ashtaar bows.
"Please summarize the major events that led to the current state of affairs. Briefly."
"A travel sorceress and a player summoned the lady Anna from the mist worlds. Both are dead now. The sorcerer Brill spirited her away and tutored her in the ways of both Darksong and Clearsong. The Dark Ones tried to kill her and failed. She supported Lord Barjim against the Ebrans at the Sand Pass. Barjim and Brill were killed, and she collapsed, but not before she destroyed two-thirds of theinvaders. She somehow found her way south and recovered in Synope, in the lands of Lord Hryding. Lord Behlem of Neserea then marched into Defalk and took Falcor, but not before Lord Jecks rescued the heir, his grandson Lord Jimbob. Lord Behlem offered his support to the sorceress, and she accepted it and went to Falcor. The Dark Ones gathered another army and marched toward Falcor. The sorceress used water magic and song to destroy the entire Ebran army and all the darksingers in Defalk. The Evult responded by flooding the Fal and destroying half of Falcor. Lord Behlem attempted to remove the lady Anna, and she used her sorcery to kill him and his consort and enlist the support of many of the Neserean troops in Falcor. Then she proclaimed a regency for young Jimbob. Shortly, almost at the dawn of winter, she marched a small force through the Ostfels and used her sorcery to destroy the Evult, the city of Vult, and most of Synek. She almost died, but the lords of Defalk, especially Lord Jecks, rallied behind her. So did the people. She has a reputation for being good and fair, and vindictively just." Ashtaar bows once more.
"The rains now fall on Defalk, do they not?" asks the red-haired woman to the left of the Council leader.
"Yes. The sorceress removed the chains on the clouds when she destroyed the Evult."
"Will the sorceress attempt to rule directly and put young Jimbob out of the way?" asks the dark-haired Council leader.
"That does not appear likely. She can have no children and has, in effect, adopted the boy."
"And Lord Jecks has not objected?"
"He publicly supports the sorceress. As do the lords Birfels, Nelmor, Hryding, Geansor, Clethner, and the lady Gatrune, and the Rider of Heinene. There are doubtless others, and none of the thirty-three have raised voice or hand against her."
"With her powers, I doubt any of sound mind would do so," suggests the Council leader. "Are there any whispers of discontent?"
"Almost none that we have been able to track. She holds but one hostage, and that is Wendella, the consort of Lord Dencer of Stromwer. Dencer is rumored to be less than happy."
"None that we know or can scry."
"What of Ebra?"
"The land has been flattened, mostly by the floods she unleashed down the river Elha, and Vult lies buried under the fire peak the Ebrans are calling Zauberinfeuer. Hadrenn has claimed the ruins of Synek. He is the one of the sons of an ancient lord, and several pretenders are struggling over Elawha. A lord named Bertmynn is raising armsmen in Dolov. He wishes to be lord of all Ebra." Ashtaar waits.
"We have received a scroll from the Liedfuhr. He protests our interference in Defalk. He also informs us that young Rabyn is the Lord of Neserea and under his protection and regency. What beyond that do you know?" The dark-haired Council leader smiles faintly.
"He has dispatched fiftyscore lancers to Neserea. They were delayed by the snows in the Mittpass, but travel the south road through the Great Western Forest."
"Spymistress of Nordwei...is it fair to say that a year ago we faced possible threats from the Prophet of Music and the Dark Ones, and both have been destroyed?"
"Yes, Leader Tybra."
"Is it also fair to say that you chose not to remove the soprano sorceress?" asks Tybra.
"I waited to see whether the Dark Ones and the Prophet were successful in their attempts. The Dark Ones failed in four attempts. The Prophet and his consort failed as well. We have been able to trace at least two attempts by Neserea." Ashtaar inclines her head. "I thought it best not to turn the sorceress's wrath against Nordwei."
"So...now we have a strong and united Defalk on our southern borders, and this is your doing?"
"We have a united Defalk, ruled by a woman for the first time in recorded history, and a Defalk that will take a decade or longer to recover from the drought and depredations of the Dark Ones and the Nesereans."
"That is what you say. For now...for now, we shall see. You may go, but do not hesitate to inform the Council should this sorceress take any action that could possibly affect Nordwei."
"Yes, leader Tybra." Ashtaar bows a last time, then turns. She does not wipe the dampness from her forehead.
Copyright 1998 by L. E. Modesitt, Jr.
Excerpted from The Spellsong War by Modesitt, L. E. Copyright © 1999 by Modesitt, L. E.. Excerpted by permission.
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.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I thought the Soprano Sorceress was pretty decent, but this second book of the series was a bit of a step backwards. Frequently when reading Modessit (both the Recluce series and this) I have felt that he typically creates interesting worlds, but can't come up with a fresh plot lines. The protaganists may change, and the villains may change, and the geopolitical situation may change, but essentially it's like reading the same story over and over again. By the end of this second book my interest level had dropped to the point that I have never bothered to pick up book 3.
What a great series. This is a wonderful set of books for those who loved the Recluce series. Modesitt is a magical writer and he sets a story in this series that is impossible not to like. I read the first 3 and then had to go back and read them all again before I started on the 4th book. I can't wait to finish it and start the 5th!!
realy nice work modesitt!! good book, anna is awesome, and secca later too!!! thoroughlly enjoyed it, recomended for those waiting for more from salvatore. it's a good filler!!!
This book was alright I suppose. It seems like it is the same repetitious thing over and over again tho. The author uses great emphasis on how Anna's beauty and youngness is astounding, how she always has to eat and drink, and how everyone is enthralled with her beauty. To tell you the truth, in the time period that this was set there really isn't anyone that beautiful...they were all pretty much dirty and had teeth falling out but here it is played up to seem clean and like the 21st centrury. A bit more realism in the story would be helpful.
another fabulous book from the author of the Recluce novels. This book continues the adventures of the lady out of time and place. Anna once again must deal with idiot males and scheming females. a must have.