Echoes of the Great Song
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“A HUMDINGER . . . A MASTERLY TALE TOLD WITH CLARITY AND VERVE.”
–The Times (London)
The Avatars are immortal and live like kings–even though the empire is dying. Their immortality is guaranteed by magic crystals whose influence is now waning, overwhelmed by the sheer power of a great flood and a sudden ice age. But when two moons appear in the sky, and the ruthless armies of the Crystal Queen swarm across the land bringing devastation and terror, the Avatars unite with their subjects to protect their universe.
As the cities face imminent destruction, three heroes emerge. Talaban, a warrior haunted by tragedy; Touchstone, the mystic tribesman seeking his lost love; and Anu, the Holy One, the Builder of Time. And when all seems lost, two others enter the fray: Sofarita, the peasant girl who will inspire a legend, and the madman, Viruk, who will become a god. . . .
Talaban returns with the recharged chests.” “Questor Ro succeeded? There’s a surprise. A nice one, admittedly.” “It is double-edged,” said Rael. “They have four chests charged, one lost and one still empty. Worse news is that a volcanic upheaval destroyed the site, and unless we find another we will be powerless within a few more years.” “Much can happen in a few years,” said Viruk. “But tell me, sir, how you wish Judon’s mind changed?” “In whatever way suits you,” snapped the General.
whims of a father who believed women were of little worth, nor of a husband she had liked and respected—but never truly loved. No longer chained within a close-minded village society. The river of dreams at least offered excitement. Sofarita lay down upon the bed, her head upon the pillow. Drawing the blankets over her shoulders she closed her eyes. There were no visions, no haunting scenes. She was in the cellar of the tavern. Baj was sitting at a narrow table, his head in his hands. He was
man fell to the ground. The leader placed his hand on the man’s brow. Noise burst into Ro’s brain like sudden thunder. “Can you hear them now?” asked Sofarita. “Yes. A little warning would have been helpful. I almost died of fright.” The leader was speaking to the prisoner. “Now do you understand me? Am I speaking your tongue?” he asked. “I hear you,” responded the prisoner sullenly. He was young, and a gash to his face was leaking blood. “My men have seen a palace built near a lake of ice.
turning it over and over in his grimy hand. His face was smeared with dirt and sweat, and upon his neck was an inflamed boil. Had he been anywhere else in the city the Watch would have arrested him, for no Outland beggars were allowed in the streets of Parapolis. But the Temple was the acknowledged center for the world’s religions, and all were free to gather here. Vagars, tribesmen, nomads, all journeyed to Parapolis. It was as much a political decision by the Avatars as a spiritual one. For the
inside his purple gown and produced a small, but heavy, pouch. “Lead on, lady,” said Ammon. “You are a strange one and no mistake,” she said. With a wink to a man standing in the shadows she moved off. Ammon passed the sleeping toddler to Anwar and followed her. He seemed uninterested in the slim man who followed them. Anwar cast nervous glances in the man’s direction and kept close to the king. They walked for almost half an hour, passing through foul-smelling alleys and several derelict