Updated Saturday, 24 November, 2012
The first book I read by Kate Elliott was King's Dragon. I read it because it was the selection of the month from the Science Fiction Book Club, and the cover art looked interesting. I'm not sure if I even read the description. This book was a wonderful read! I now look forward to reading the rest of this series, and other books by Elliott.
|In the duchy of Tira Virte fine art is prized above all things, both for its beauty and as a binding legal record of everything from marriages and births to treaties and inheritances. And although the Grand Duke is aware that there is more to the paintings of certain master limners than meets the eye, not even he knows just how extraordinary the art of the Grijalva family truly is. For certain males of their bloodline are born with a frightening, magical talent-- the ability to manipulate time and reality within their paintings, a Gift which enables them to alter events and influence people in the real world.
Always, their power has been used solely to aid Tira Virte and its ruler. Always, until the time of Sario Grijalva. Sario, driven by his own passion and ambition, has learned to use his Gift in whole new way. Obsessed with both his magic and his beautiful, adored cousin Saavedra, Sario will do anything to win her love. Unable to bear it when Saavedra gives her heart to another, he takes a first, fateful step beyond the boundaries previously placed on Grijalva spell-casting, capturing his cousin with forbidden arts. And it is this rash and dangerous act which sets in motion a generations-spanning pattern of treachery and betrayal which may cause both the Grijalvas and Tira Virte to pay a terrible price....
|The Kingdom of Wendar is in turmoil.
King Henry still holds the crown, but his reign has long been contested by his sister Sabella. There are many eager to flock to her banner, whether from belief in her cause or the hope of personal gain. Internal conflict weakens Wendar's defenses, drawing raiders, human and inhuman, across its borders. Terrifying portents abound and dark spirits walk the land in broad daylight.
Two innocents are to be thrust into the midst of the conflict ? Alain, a young man granted a vision granted by the Lady of Battles, and Liath, a young woman with the power to change the course of history. Both must discover the truth about themselves before they can accept their fate.
For in a war where sorcery, not swords, may determine the final outcome, the price of failure may be more than their own lives. (book description)
|Sanglant . . . the prince of dogs and King Henry's bastard son, is being held captive in the city of Gent by Bloodheart, the Eika warlord.
Liath . . . now one of the King's Eagles and still grieving over the loss of Sanglant, is desperately trying to unlock the secrets of her own past.
Alain . . . proclaimed a Count's heir, is increasingly troubled by visions of the enemy he befriended and the Lady of Battles whom he's sworn to serve.
And Fifth Son . . . least favored son of Bloodheart, has returned to the lands of his own people to unite the scattered tribes and build an army to do his father's bidding.
While King Henry continues his progress through a troubled realm, Sanglant, Liath, Alain, and Fifth Son fight their own individual battles. Only time will tell who will prove triumphant as all of them are caught up in the dangers and turmoil of a world at war . . . . (book description)
|The Burning Stone returns us to the war-torn kingdoms of Wendar and Varre at a crucial moment in this complex tale of war, love, and magic. Offered a haven from their enemies and the chance for Liath to study the ancient lore with those who claim her as their own, Liath and Sanglant--made outcasts by their love--flee from King Henry's camp only to discover that no place can truly be safe for them. For both their lives and their love will be at risk when they are forced to choose which pathway each will follow--lured by the equally strong demands of politics, forbidden knowledge, and family.
Liath, born with a dangerous power beyond her understanding or ability to control, is torn between her longing for Sanglant and the child they are about to have and the call of sorcery, which can open the way into the land of the Aoi, the Lost ones.
And even as Liath struggles with magic's seductive spell, Sanglant's Aoi mother returns to the mortal world in search of the son she abandoned as a babe.
As the fates of kingdoms shift with the changing fortunes of those caught up in the dangers of both civil war and continuing attacks by the nonhuman Eika and the Quman invaders, time is running out for Liath, Sanglant, King Henry, and the people of Wendar and Varre. (book description)
|Lost and alone in an unknown country, Alain struggles to survive as he is unwittingly drawn into an ancient conflict between humankind and their old enemy, the Cursed Ones.
Separated from her husband and child, Liath must undergo her greatest test in a land of exile. Only here can she hope to discover the truth of her parentage and learn the extent of her remarkable powers.
Mourning the loss of his wife, the bastard prince Sanglant seeks his father, King Henry, to warm him about the conspiracy of powerful sorcerers who wish to destroy the Aoi, the Lost Ones, once and for all ? no matter how much destruction their magic will unleash.
But King Henry's gaze is fixed on the throne of Aosta and the imperial crown left vacant for two generations. As a Quman army, sweeping in from the eastern steppes, ravages the Wendish countryside, Henry marches south, ignoring the pleas of his beleaguered subjects.
The great cataclysm, foretold in the stars, is approaching. (book description)
THE LONG DREADED CATACLYSM
In that time Sanglant has mobilized an army and jurneyed to the land of the griffins, intent on forging an alliance to stand against the forces which are determined to rework the spell that originally exiled the Aoi and their lands from the world.
Alain, caught up by Liath as she makes her way back to her own world and time, has been returned to the present bereft of all that matters to him. And though for a while he finds refuge in a monastery, he is soon condemned to a terrible fate. His only hope of rescue lies with the Eika leader Stronghand, who has begun a campaign of conquest into the human lands.
And even as these diverse forces struggle to avert total ruin, the mathematici, led by Anne and Hugh, strive to re-create the original spell which exiled the ancient Aoi, neither knowing nor caring that their magical workings could tear their world
|Heir to Empire: Tess had been cursed by an accident of birth, cursed to be the sister of the one man honored by the alien conquerors of human-run space. Her brother, Charles Soerensen, the leader of Earth's rebellion, had been given a dukedom after his defeat and now ruled over far-distant worlds. And Tess was his only heir, a position and a responsibility she was not yet willing to assume. So she fled to a world in her brother's domain, a world where -- she was soon to discover -- the alien conquerors were themselves involved in some covert and dangerous mission.
And despite herself, Tess was suddenly forced to become both player and pawn in an interstellar game of intrigue and politics, caught between protecting her brother's interests, and her own growing involvement with Ilya, the leader of the nomadic tribe with whom she had taken shelter. But it soon became apparent to Tess that whether Charles or the aliens were the victors here, Ilya and his people were balanced at a crucial point in their history -- a point at which they must either learn to adapt to the incursions of more advanced civilizations or, by remaining rooted in their own traditions, face inevitable extinction. (book description)
|Confrontation of Conquerors - In Jaran, Kate Elliott introduced us to the planet Rhui, an interdicted, low-technology, human-populated world, and to the nomadic Jaran tribes, a people on the brink of uniting under one charismatic warlord, Ilya Bakhtian.
An Earthly Crown returns us to Rhui as the Jaran tribes, led by Ilya, are sweeping across the plains to conquer the settled lands, city by city. At Ilya's side, and a partner in his victories, is his wife Tess, a woman of whose true origins Ilya himself is unaware. For Tess, born on Earth, is the sister and only heir of Charles Soerensen, leader of the failed rebellion against the alien Chapalii Empire and now a Duke of that Empire.
Charles, who has continued his subversive activities against the alien overlords, now finds himself caught in a deadly game of interstellar politics and realizes that he must go to Rhui to reclaim both his heir and knowledge long hidden there of an ancient rebellion against the Empire. But once there, Charles finds himself caught in a battle of wills with Ilya, who is equally adamant about keeping Tess on Rhui. Yet what neither realizes is that Tess has her own agenda for the future, and that this clash of powers may prove the death knell of both the Jaran tribes and the human rebellion. (book description)
|When Conqueror's clash - On the planet Rhui, the Jaran tribes, under the leadership of Ilya Bakhtiian have ranged far in their campaign to subjugate all who will not willingly yield to their rule. Yet even as they prepare to besiege the royal city of Karkand, many another battle is being waged on a far more personal -- and perhaps a more important -- scale. For Ilya is married to Tess Soerensen, a woman born not on Rhui but on Earth, and a woman, too, who is the only heir to Charles Soerensen, leader of the failed rebellion against the alien Chapalii Empire and now a duke of that same Empire.
And Charles has come to Rhui for two reasons: to reclaim his sister, and to decipher long hidden and invaluable data about the Mushai, the legendary Chapalii who once led his own rebellion against the Empire.
But Tess has no desire to become anyone's puppet, and unless the three can make their own private peace and agree upon a common strategy for conquest, what hope do they have of overthrowing an Empire that was thriving before humans learned to walk erect? (book description)
|The Game of Princes: When the human rebellion against the Chapalii Empire failed, the alien overlords did the unthinkable. They made Charles Soerensen, leader of the rebellion, a duke in their empire, granting him lordship over several worlds, among them Rhui, home to the nomadic tribes known as the Jaran. And thus the Chapalii sowed the seeds of a new and more dangerous rebellion, one fought not with starcruisers but by subtler means.
On Rhui, Charles' sister, Tess Soerensen, and her husband, Ilya Bakhtiian, expanded the territories controlled by the Jaran, even as Ilya's son inadvertently became the catalyst for what could prove a major shift of power.
While on Earth, the Jaran who had been exiled from their own planet sought to find a place in their suddenly expanded universe -- a quest which would have sweeping consequences on more than one world.
And in the heart of the Chapalii Empire, the most surprising move of all was about to occur as the Emperor added an unexpected new player to the Game of Princes . . . . (book description)