“The series as a whole seems destined to become one of the best in the genre.” (West Coast Review of Books)
“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)
“Duane has crafted an intelligent and exhilarating Swords and Sorcery adventure.” (Publishers Weekly)
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.
Reader advisory: This novel contains adult / mature themes and situations set in a sexually diverse and inclusive culture.