David B. Coe

Author of Fantasy Novels and the Occasional Short Story

Shapers of Darkness

War has come to the Forelands.

Throughout the seven realms nearly nine centuries of mistrust and suspicion between the white-haired Qirsi sorcerers and their Eandi masters have finally brought the land to the brink of crisis. Age-old conflicts among the various Eandi courts have erupted into armed conflict. Betrayals and treason, threats and assassinations; the machinations of the shadowy Qirsi conspiracy have taken their toll at last. The future of all the Forelands is balanced on the edge of a blade.

Tavis of Curgh, an Eandi prince falsely accused of murdering the princess to whom he was pledged, has endured torture and exile in his effort to prove his innocence. And at last he has avenged her death. Still, the murder and its aftermath have weakened his realm, just as the Qirsi conspirators who bought his love's blood had intended. Now Tavis and Grinsa, a Qirsi gleaner with more powers than he reveals, who saved Tavis when no one else would believe in the boy's innocence, venture across the Forelands, risking all to save the land they love.

A powerful Qirsi Weaver -- a man who can wield the magic of many sorcerers as a single weapon -- has brought this terrible war to the land, bending the minds of ally and foe alike in his single-minded drive to destroy the Eandi. With magic and cunning he estranges lovers, sunders alliances, foments treason, and wreaks murder and death throughout the land. But even this Weaver, with his malign intelligence, makes the mistake of underestimating the mettle of those who would oppose him. In a psychological duel with Grinsa, the Weaver's formidable powers are sorely tested. Grinsa withstands the Weaver's assault at nearly the expense of his own life, and in the process he discovers the Weaver's identity.

Will Grinsa's challenge to the Weaver spell the end of the dark conspiracy spreading over the land? Or has Grinsa's discovery come too late to help the Eandi cause? The answers lie in the growing war that may sunder the Forelands forever.

Shapers of Darkness is the fourth volume of Winds of the Forelands, the sequel to the critically acclaimed opening volumes, Rules of Ascension, Seeds of Betrayal, and Bonds of Vengeance.

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*****

Praise for Shapers of Darkness, book IV of Winds of the Forelands

"In the fourth but obviously not final volume of the Winds of the Forelands, the war between the Eandi and the rebellious, magic-working Qirsi is rising to new heights. The Eandi prince Tavis is the focus of conflict here, and he suffers considerable anguish--physical by means of torture by his enemies, and mental over the fate of his beloved princess. The Qirsi are also unleashing a secret weapon, as it were: a powerful weaver who can affect and even destroy minds from vast distances. This all implies that nothing and nobody is going to be safe in the fifth book. If the series continues to maintain its present level of imaginative world building, superior characterization, and sound prose, that book too will be as welcome an addition to fantasy collections as this one is." -- Booklist

"....Those familiar with previous events will welcome the increasingly complex plot....Fans of Terry Goodkind's brand of fantasy intrigue will be pleased." -- Publisher's Weekly