David B. Coe

Author of Fantasy Novels and the Occasional Short Story

The Outlanders

Much of the action in The Outlanders takes place in Lon-Ser, Tobyn-Ser's neighbor to the west. Unlike Tobyn-Ser, which is served by the magic of the Children of Amarid, Lon-Ser is entirely devoid of magic. Instead it possesses a dazzling and deadly technology that influences every aspect of its people's daily life. Rather than the small farming villages and towns that dot Tobyn-Ser's landscape, Lon-Ser is almost completely covered by three enormous cities or Nals, as they are called there.

The three, Oerella-Nal, Stib-Nal, and Bragor-Nal are economic and political rivals. They do not share technology, and though an uneasy peace has survived for many years, they have fought wars. Bragor-Nal is the largest and most powerful of the three. It is a violent place, ruled by a feudal-like system of Break-Laws, Nal-Lords, and Overlords, all of whom are accountable to the Sovereign. Oerella-Nal, Bragor-Nal's chief rival, is a Matriarchy. It is less violent and hierarchical than its giant neighbor, but it too is ruled by an iron-fisted Sovereign, a woman named Shivohn. Stib-Nal is by far the smallest and weakest of the three Nals. It exists solely because the leaders of Bragor-Nal have decided over the years that they need an ally in the Council of Sovereigns who can be counted on to vote with them against Oerella-Nal.

The Gildriites constitute a fourth constituency in the political landscape of Bragor-Nal. Little is known about them, for they are exiles who have fled persecution in the Nals to live in the high mountains at the northern extreme of the land. They are also called Oracles because they possess the ability to divine the future.

Into this strange, fractured land, comes Orris, a mage of Tobyn-Ser, who seeks an end to the violent attacks on his homeland. Armed only with his magic, he is thrust into a world whose language he does not comprehend and whose technology he can barely fathom. Together with Gwilym, a Gildriite whose vision of Orris has lured him out of the mountains and into the violence of the Nals, and Melyor, a beautiful Nal-Lord who harbors a secret that could cost her life, Orris must end the threat to Tobyn-Ser without getting himself and his companions killed.

The Outlanders is the second volume of The LonTobyn Chronicle, David's Crawford Award-winning debut series. It is the sequel to the opening volume, Children of Amarid..

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"The Outlanders is an unusual, excellent novel of triumph and redemption. Very well done!" -- David Drake

"The Outlanders by David B. Coe is a well worked out story of magic and politics that doesn't sugarcoat either; both are brutally realistic." -- Piers Anthony

"Set in a world where magic and technology battle one another for supremacy, Coe's sequel to Children of Amarid explores the difficult choices individuals must make in the name of loyalty, love, and honor. The author's skillful storytelling and subtle characterizations make this tale of fantasy and intrigue a good selection for most libraries." -- Library Journal

"The world building here is distinctive and impressive." -- Publisher's Weekly

"Innovative and engaging." -- Kirkus Reviews

"Although there is plenty of violence and death, it is refreshing to see Coe give his characters some intelligence and let them use it. The mind games played by the evil Overlord and Orris and other characters both advance the plot and make it more intricate, and the language is appropriate to a world so cleverly crafted. As always, the mind-connections between bird and man is a well-thought-out and intriguing concept. The final volume is eagerly awaited." -- VOYA