Release Date: 03/02/11
As plague and famine scourge the Winter Kingdoms, a vast invasion force is mustering from beyond the Northern Sea. And at its heart, a dark spirit mage wields the blood magic of ancient, vanquished gods. Summoner-King Martris Drayke must attempt to meet this great threat, gathering an army from a country ravaged by civil war. And neighbouring lands reel toward anarchy while plague decimates their leaders. Drayke must seek new allies from among the living - and the dead - as an untested generation of rulers face their first battle. Then someone disturbs the legendary Dread as they rest in a millennia-long slumber beneath sacred barrows. Their warrior guardians, the Sworn, know the Dread could be pivotal as a force for great good or evil. But if it's the latter, could even the Summoner-King's sorcery prevail?
A new publisher for a new cycle in Gail’s Winter Kingdoms and one that can be started by new readers without any worries about what has gone before. Personally speaking, I like the fact that the reader can jump straight in, but with the fact that the original series was such an eye opener then it would be a great shame to miss it.
As usual with Gail, the writing is wonderful, she has a masters touch with pace, a cracking understanding of prose and knows how to lead the reader a merry dance to a tune that only she can hear. Finally add to this a great sense of character and a startling assembly of cast members within the world and you know that the title is going to be something that will make you pay attention especially as you await the next instalment with baited breath.