Bound by honor, Ehomba has traveled through many exotic and perilous lands on a quest to save a beautiful princess he has never met from the hands of the evil Hymneth the Possessed. Through all their travels Ehomba has ignored the warnings he has heard from seers and psychics, foretelling of disaster and death if the quest was completed. Now that Ehomba and his traveling party have finally reached the destination of their epic journey, the kingdom ruled by Hymneth, will they be able to defend themselves against Hymneth's powerful and evil magic? Will they be able to rescue the princess and bring her safely home with their lives intact?
The fantastical Journey of the Catechist series Foster began with Carnivores of Light and Darkness continues, as the plucky herdsman Etjole Ehomba carries on his search for a mysterious woman who has been kidnapped by the necromancer Hymneth the Possessed. In this installment, Ehomba and his two companionsAthe great black half-lion/half cheetah Ahlitah and the itinerant swordsman and treasure-hunter Simna ibn SindAseek a boat that will take them across the infamous Semordria Ocean. In Lybondai, a shifty, cigar-smoking merchant tells them the only place they can find such a ship is in the legendary port city of Hamacassar, far to the north. To get there the trio must cross many strange lands, including a dangerous marsh overrun by wild horses and a place where flowers fight for superiority. In Tethspraih they are arrested for having improper thoughts. In Phan City they barely escape with their lives when attacked by otherworldly spirits after the "witching hour," and in Netherbrae they free an intelligent beast named Hunkapa Aub from his human torturers. Though every obstacle falls a bit too neatly to Ehomba's native wit and his grab bag of enchanted items, the story's swift pace and Foster's boundless imagination deliver something very different from the usual fantasy quest saga. In these magical lands, Foster shows that character and common sense can be as important, and as powerful, as any magic.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
There are no customer reviews available at this time. Would you like to write a review?
January 31, 2000
Number of Print Pages*
Adobe DRM EPUB
* Number of eBook pages may differ. Click here for more information.
Excerpt from Into the Thinking Kingdoms by Alan Dean Foster
The most powerful man in the world couldn't sleep.
At least Hymneth the Possessed thought of himself as the most powerful man in the world, and since those few who might have contemplated disputing him were no longer alive, he felt comfortable with having appropriated the title to himself. And if not the most powerful man, then he was certainly the most powerful mage. Granted that there might be a handful of imprudent individuals foolhardy enough to stand before him as men and women, there were none who dared confront him in the realm of the arcane and necromantic. There he was the Master of masters, and all who dabbled in the black arts must pay him homage, or suffer his whims at their peril.
Yet despite the knowing of this, and the sum of all his knowing, he could not sleep.
Rising from his bed, a graven cathedral to Morpheus that had taken the ten finest wood-carvers in the land six years to render from select pieces of cobal, redwood, cherry, walnut, and purpleheart, Hymneth walked slowly to the vaulted window that looked out upon his kingdom. The rich and populous reach of Ehl-Larimar stretched out before him, from the rolling green hills at the base of his mountaintop fortress retreat to the distant, sun-washed shores of the boundless ocean called Aurel. Every home and farm, every shop and industry within that field of view acknowledged him as supreme over all other earthly authorities. He tried to submerge his soul in the warmth and security of that understanding, to let it wash over and burnish him like a shower of liquid pleasure. But he could not.
He couldn't shake the accursed dream that had kept him awake.
Worse than the loss of sleep was his inability to recall the details. Nebulous, hazy images of other beings had tormented his rest. Awake, he found that he was unable to remember them with any degree of resolution. His inability to identify them meant it was impossible to deal with their condition or take steps to prevent their return. He was convinced that some of the likenesses had been human, others not. Why they should disturb him so he could not say. Unable to distinguish them from any other wraiths, he could not formulate a means for dealing with them directly. The situation was more than merely irritating. Priding himself as he did on the precision with which he conducted all his dealings, the persisting inexactitude of the dream was disquieting.
He would go out, he decided. Out among his people. Receiving their obeisance, grandly deigning to acknowledge their fealty, always made him feel better. Walking to the center of the grandiose but impeccably decorated bedroom, he stood in the center of the floor, raised his arms, and recited one of several thousand small yet potent litanies he knew by heart.
Light materialized that was solid, as opposed to the feeble sunbeams that entered through the tall window. Taking the form of small yellow fingers that were detached from hands, it set about dressing him. He preferred light to the hands of human servitors. The feathery touch of commandeered glow would not pinch him, or forget to do up a button, or scratch against his neck. It would never choose the wrong undergarments or lose track of a valuable pin or necklace. And light would never try to stick a poisoned dagger into his back, twisting it fiercely, slicing through nerve and muscle until rich red Hymneth blood gushed forth over the polished tile of the floor, staining the bedposts and ruining the invaluable rugs fashioned from the flayed coats of rare, dead animals.
So what if the digits of congealed yellow light reminded his attendants not of agile, proficient fingers but coveys of sallow, diseased worms writhing and twisting as they coiled and probed about his person? Servants' flights of torpid imagination did not concern him.