David B. Coe

Author of Fantasy Novels and the Occasional Short Story

Seeds of Betrayal

For centuries the Forelands were disputed by warring clans. Then came an invasion from the south -- the Qirsi, physically no match for their foes, but capable of mindsight, raising and controlling mists and winds, creating fire, and bending solid matter to their purpose. After a Qirsi traitor betrayed his race to save himself, the invaders were defeated and dispersed among the seven realms of the Forelands. Those specially endowed Qirsi capable of wielding the power of all Qirsi as a single weapon, the Weavers, were put to death.

Among the many realms of the Forelands, Aneira is neither the strongest nor the weakest. It has fought wars against its nemesis, Eibithar, the northern realm, and though blood has soaked the earth and great warriors have lost their lives, neither kingdom has gained much from the battles. Aneira has also seen violence within its borders, weathering a number of civil wars and rebellions. But for nearly four and half centuries, since Tomaz the Fourth led House Solkara to victory in the War of Restoration, reestablishing the Solkaran Supremacy, Aneira has known relative peace and prosperity.

Recently, however, the leaders of Aneira have watched with interest events in Eibithar. The murder of Lady Brienne of Kentigern and the civil war that nearly destroyed the northern realm, might, at some other time, have offered an opportunity to the Aneirans. But with the murder of the duke of Bistari, a leader among those nobles who oppose the Solkaran Supremacy, Aneira is thrust into its own political maelstrom. Tavis of Curgh and Grinsa jal Arriet, his Qirsi companion, journey south in pursuit of the conspirators responsible for Lady Brienne's death, only to find themselves caught up in Aneira's civil conflict and the machinations of the renegade Qirsi fomenting fear and mistrust among the noble courts of the Forelands.

An outcast from his own kingdom, Tavis must journey to the heart of Aneira, his realm's most bitter enemy, so that he might clear his name and expose the conspiracy that threatens all the Forelands. But he travels in the company of a sorcerer whose powers are so great that they themselves would be grounds for his execution, and even as they hunt the enemy, the two companions are themselves hunted.

Seeds of Betrayal is the second volume of Winds of the Forelands, the sequel to the critically acclaimed opening volume, Rules of Ascension.

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*****

Praise for Seeds of Betrayal, book II of Winds of the Forelands:

"Turmoil and deception propel Coe's second entry in his Winds of the Forelands tetralogy, maintaining the momentum of its predecessor, Rules of Ascension (2002). . .The author deftly manages a multistrand plot full of political intrigue that never flags despite the wealth of engrossing detail. A large cast of characters both old and new enliven the sword and sorcery. Readers who go for good clean fantasy fun will eagerly await the next installment." -- Publisher's Weekly

"Both action and the cast loom large; the members of the latter are well drawn; and Forelands politics are as complex as any tracked by the daily media. . . This book maintains the intelligence and complexity of Rules of Ascension." -- Booklist