Judith Tarr: The Author
Red William, the eldest son of William the Conqueror, has inherited the throne and a kingdom free of Saxon Christian influence. But his decision to leave magic out of his rule causes the land to wither and die.
Now the fate of Britain lies in the hands of Edith, princess of Scotland, and Henry, the youngest son of the Conqueror. Both are highly gifted in magic, but only the blood of a king will cleanse the land from the evil and pestilence that infects it.
For five hundred years the Saxons ruled England, crushing the ancient powers with cold iron and the weight of Christianity. But now the old ways are rising once more. Across the Channel in Normandy, William is born--the bastard son of a duke and a magical woman of Druid descent--whom history will name the Conqueror.
As William grows to manhood, his battle skills earn him respect, but his brutal temper and disregard for his innate magical abilities hold him back. He needs a teacher, whether he wants one or not, and is fortunate to find her in the beautiful French noblewoman Mathilda. But William is resistant to the very idea of magic, and unless he can accept Mathilda's help--and her love--his imperfectly controlled abilities may destroy him.
In an epic battle that spans worlds and ages, magical forces and earthbound armies will be drawn together by William as he fights to achieve his destiny and reign as king of England...
Hippolyta was Penthesilea, or Queen of the Amazons. She ruled as war leader and high priestess of a scattered tribe of women warriors who had dwelt on the high plains to the north and east of Persia from time out of mind. They were not isolated--travelers came and went through their territory, bringing news from the west and carrying tales of the warrior women back home with them.
"But the Queen had a great grief in her life: her daughter and heir was a strange child. The girl had been born, so the Priestesses said, without a soul. And it was true that she was like no other child alive. She did not speak, and often seemed not even to see the people around her. She could not dress or feed herself, but she could ride and hunt like no other woman of the tribe. Many of the Amazons believed that the child must never be Queen, but that was a problem for a later time--Hippolyta was young and strong.
Selene, the niece of the tribe's Seer, was put in charge of the child, to be her nursemaid and guardian. And it was a good, though sometimes difficult, life for many turns of the years. But then one day news came from the west of a new Conqueror, a young man who came out of Macedon with a spirit like flame, intending to rule the whole world. The Queen's daughter responded to the tale as a woman in the desert would to the sound of falling water. That very night she stole out of the camp and rode west. Selene could not stop her, and so she must follow praying that the Queen would understand. Hippolyta herself followed the next day, and so they rode together, controlled by the child's compulsion, until they had crossed the mountains and entered into Alexander's Empire, and came under the sway of Alexander's powerful personality.
Here in single volume is the second trilogy of Judith Tarr's novel about the world of Avaryan, and the Sun God's children who rule it. The Sunborn's heirs have ruled the two empires for four generations, but the newest Emperor of Endros and Asanion does not sit easily. The Golden Palace is full of plot, intrigue, and conspirators who plan to kill Estarion, as they killed his father, and take the throne for their own.
The Emperor Estarion's willful granddaughter, and heir to the throne, has wheedled permission to travel with the Master of the Mage Guild to a high mountain kingdom at the end of the chain of World Gates. But once inside the Kingdom of Heaven, mere magery will meet its match. The power of the Sun Lords will be needed to counter the Breaker of Gates.
A chill of dark sorcery sweeps across a thousand worlds, turning souls without number into mute, blind slaves. In a desperate attempt to halt the shadow's relentless spread, the Sunborn's heir must join her formidable powers with those of a wild and untrained young mage who has stolen her heart.
It is the dawn of the thirteenth century, and Richard the Lionheart has grown in strength and wisdom since he was crowned King of Jerusulem--and dispatched the scheming sorcerer Sinan, who once endangered his very soul. But now the Old Man of the Mountain has returned...
Sioned, illegitimate half sister to the king and newly wed to an infidel sultan, has defeated Sinan before. Heir to both the faery Sight of ancient Wales and the demonic powers of the Devil's brood of Anjou, Sioned battled the sorcerer with the help of an army of the jinn. But this time Sinan is striking at the heart of his enemies by attacking their most beloved. And Richard will be forecd to call upon a magic he is only just begining to understand....
A wild, spoiled princeling of the house of Han-Gilen, Indaros Karelios is handsome, arrogant, a seducer and tavern crawler with little regard for the noble line that spawned him. But Daros is also a mage, unruly, untrained, and unbound by the constraints that block other workers of magic.
Caught violating the mages' gravest prohibition, crossing through the forbidden gates between the worlds, Daros is brought to judgment before the Lady Merian, ruler of the Golden Empire, Lady of the Gates, and heir of Avaryan. But in Daros' eyes, Merian sees something no one else has seen--a power that far exceeds any she has ever known, and a burning passion that kindles her own restive desires.
Unable to take his life, Merian exiles Daros to serve the one person who might tame him, the Emperor Estarion, the near-immortal who relinquished his rule to live a simpler life in the lands to the north. As Daros learns to control his dawning powers under Estarion's discipline, he discovers a hideous truth: a vast, inexorable wave of darkness is approaching, devouring world after world. Recklessly seeking its limits, Daros vanishes into the chill night, and Estarion, too, is swept up by the shadow, landing on the shores of darkness, where he begins a new life in an ancient land plagued by demons of the night.
Embattled and alone, Lady Merian calls upon her circle of mages to summon the power that will burn back the darkness, as Daros descends to the deepest heart of the darkness, risking his own life and soul to turn back the endless night.
The year is 1191. The place is the Holy Land, where the knights of Christ are embroiled in a war with the armies of Islam. The prize: the holy city of Jerusalem.
Led by Richard the Lionheart, King of the English and Count of Anjou, the armies of the West are conducting a Crusade against the sultan Saladin. In Cyprus, the king's mother, Eleanor, has struck a devil's bargain with the sorcerer Sinan, the Old Man of the Mountain, to grant Richard victory at any cost. Only Sinan knows that victory will cost the king his immortal soul.
Sioned, an illegitimate child of a princess of the Celts and the late King of England, is heir to twofold magic: the faery Sight of ancient Wales and the demonic powers of the Devil's brood of Anjou. Summoned by her brother, Richard, to save both the Crusade and his soul, Sioned receives help from two unlikely allies - a prince of the infidels and an army of the jinn - as she races against time and the powers of the darkness. But with the extent of her abilities still untested and only her instincts to guide her, will she be able to swing the sorcerous struggle back toward the powers of the light?
Watch this space!
HOUSE OF WAR
PRIDE OF KINGS
KINGDOM OF THE GRAIL
HOUSEHOLD GODS (with Harry Turtledove)
The Hound and the Falcon
THE ISLE OF GLASS
THE GOLDEN HORN
THE HOUNDS OF GOD
THE DAGGER AND THE CROSS (OOP)
Other medieval historical fantasy
A WIND IN CAIRO
ARS MAGICA (OOP)
HIS MAJESTY'S ELEPHANT (YA fantasy)
THE HALL OF THE MOUNTAIN KING
THE LADY OF HAN-GILEN
A FALL OF PRINCES
ARROWS OF THE SUN
SPEAR OF HEAVEN
TIDES OF DARKNESS
AVARYAN RESPLENDENT (omnibus)
THRONE OF ISIS
PILLAR OF FIRE
KING AND GODDESS
THE SHEPHERD KINGS
THE EAGLE'S DAUGHTER
QUEEN OF SWORDS
QUEEN OF THE AMAZONS
LORD OF THE TWO LANDS
The Epona Sequence
WHITE MARE'S DAUGHTER
LADY OF HORSES
DAUGHTER OF LIR
(with Stirling, Shwartz, and Turtledove) Baen, 1993
(with Pournelle, Stirling, Shwartz, and Turtledove) Baen, 1993
The bibliography turned out to be long enough to deserve its own page. Come take a look!