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Wit'ch Gateby James Clemens
Synopses & Reviews
Elena found her throne an uncomfortable seat. It was a chair meant for someone harder and more age-worn than she. Its high, straight back was carved in twining roses, the thorns of which could be felt through her silk robe and dress. Even its seat was flat and unforgiving, polished ironwood with no pillow to soften its hard surface. For ages past, it had been the seat of power for A'loa Glen. Both kings and praetors had sat here in judgment, sea-hardened men who scowled at the comforts of life.
Even its size was intimidating. Elena felt like a child in the wide and tall chair. There were not even armrests. Elena did not know what to do with her hands, so she ended up simply folding them in her lap.
One step below her, though it might have been a league away for as much as they paid her any attention, was a long table crowded with representatives from every faction willing to fight the Gul'gotha. Elena knew what the majority here in the Great Hall thought of her. All they saw was a slim woman with pale skin and fiery hair. None noticed the pain in her eyes, nor the fearful knowledge of her own dread power. To them, she was a pretty bird on a perch.
Elena brushed aside a strand of hair from her face.
All along the length, voices cried to be heard in languages both familiar and strange. Two men on the far end were close to coming to blows.
Among the throng, there were those Elena knew well, those who had helped wrest the island of A'loa Glen from the evil rooted here. The high keel of the Dre’rendi Fleet, still bearing his bandages from the recent war, bellowed his demands. Beside him, the elv'in queen, Meric’s mother, sat stiffly, her long silver locks reflecting the torches’ radiance, a figure of ice and fire. At her elbow, Master Edyll, an elder of the sea-dwelling mer'ai, tried continually to force peace and decorum amid the frequently raucous discourse.
But for every familiar face, there were scores of others Elena knew only by title. She glanced down the long table of strangers-countless figureheads and foreign representatives, all demanding to be heard, all claiming to know what was best for the war to come with the Gul'gotha.
Some argued for scorching the island and leaving for the coast; others wanted to fortify the island and let the Dark Lord destroy his armies on their walls; and still others wanted to take the fight to Blackhall itself, to take advantage of the victory here and destroy the Gul'gothal stronghold before the enemy could regather its scattered forces. The heated arguments and fervid debates had waged now for close to a moon.
Elena glanced sidelong to Er'ril. Her sworn liegeman stood to the right of her seat, arms crossed, face a stern, unreadable mask. He was a carved statue of Standish iron. His black hair had been oiled and slicked back as was custom along the coast. His wintry eyes, the gray of early morning, studied the table. None could guess his thoughts. He had not added one word to the countless debates.
But Elena noticed the tightness at the corners of his eyes as he stared. He could not fool her. He was growing as irritated as she at the bickering around the table. In over a fortnight, nothing had been decided. Since the victory of A'loa Glen, no consensus had been reached on the next step. While they argued, the days disappeared, one after the other. And still Er’ril
Elena's allies are dispatched to the far corners of the world to destroy the Dark Lord's Weirgates while Elena herself must travel to her enemy's lair.
The dazzling epic of The Banned and the Banished has established James Clemens as an exciting new voice in fantasy fiction. Now his remarkable skills reach their peak withWit'ch Gate, as one girl remains her realm's only hope against the forces of darkness . . . In a spectacular feat of daring and magic, Elena and her army of outlaws and rebels have defeated evil's minions and released the mystic secrets of the Blood Diary. But the malevolent Dark Lord has unleashed the Weirgatesblack wells of ferocious energy that are his greatest source of power. Now Elena's bravest allies are sent to find and destroy the Gates, as windships carry the fight north to the frigid woodlands, south to the burning desert sands, and east to the blasted regions of dread Gul'gotha. Along the way, they will face their own personal demons as well. The twin brothers Mogweed and Fardale race against time to break the curse that has stolen their shapechanging birthright, and Elena's brother Joach must evade the desert sandsharks if he is to master his own elemental power. The trail will lead them even to the fabulous el'vin homeland of Stormhaven. None of the rebels will come back unscathed, some never returning at all . . . And Elena herself must journey to Gulgotha. Daring the enemy's own lair, she must emerge victorious if she is to reveal the secret of the Dark Lord's frightening identityand the shocking nature of his vast powers.
About the Author
From the eBook edition.
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