Starting in Lord of the Isles, and continuing in Servant of the Dragon, Queen of Demons, and Mistress of the Catacombs, David Drake has told the continuing, interlocking story of Garric and Sharina, Cashel and Ilna, young brother and sister pairs who journey together from a small town to the capital, whose destiny is to reunite the island kingdoms of the Isles into one empire for the first time in a millennium. They seek to do this at a moment in history when the cosmic forces upon which magicians draw are at a thousand year peak. Wizards of even small learning are immensely powerful. Human greed and evil are reinforced by supernatural energies. In Goddess of the Ice Realm, as Garric and his retinue reach the island city of Carcosa, his benign wizard Tenoctris perceives a powerful supernatural assault directed against them. Ilna and her beloved, Chalcus, are sent to investigate a magical threat to shipping in the north. Cashel is translated into another world by evil magic, and Sharina to yet another. All of them face deadly dangers and overcome them before they are again united during the terrifying and dramatic climax. Goddess of the Ice Realm has an action-filled and complex plot filled with surprises and startling revelations, romance and sorcery. It is first rate fantasy. At the publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management software (DRM) applied.
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September 10, 2003
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Excerpt from Goddess of the Ice Realm by David Drake
I think the rain's going to hold off after all," said Garric, eyeing the sky to seaward where clouds had been lowering all day as the royal fleet made its way up the western coast of Haft.
If it didn't, well, he wouldn't shrink. For most of his nineteen years he'd been a peasant who herded sheep and worked in the yard of his father's inn, often enough in the rain. But now he was Prince Garric of Haft, making a Royal Progress from Tisamur, through Cordin, and to Carcosa on Haft. He was here to convince the folk living in the West that there was a real Kingdom of the Isles again and that they were part of it. It's hard to impress people in a downpour; all they really care about is getting under cover as soon as the foreign fools let them.
"Ah, you can believe that if you wish, your highness," said Lobon, the sailing master of the Shepherd of the Isles. His voice mushed through a mouthful of maca root, which oarsmen claimed gave them strength and deadened the pain of their muscles. "What I say is that we'll have a squall before we've settled half so many ships into their berths."
He nodded glumly toward the harbor mouth ahead. "That's if Carcosa even has berths for a hundred warships. We're at the back of beyond!"
"Carcosa can berth a hundred warships," Garric said, a trifle more sharply than the sailing master's comment deserved. "A thousand years ago when Carus was King of the Isles and Carcosa was his capital, the harbor held as many as five hundred."
Lobon was a skillful judge of winds, currents, and the way to get the best out of even a clumsy quinquereme like the Shepherd, but he'd been born on the island of Ornifal. He was just as much of an Ornifal chauvinist as a landowning noble like Lord Waldron, commander of the royal army.
Garric came from Barca's Hamlet on the east side of Haft. All the time he'd been growing up, Carcosa was the unimaginably great city that held all the wonder in the world. And besides Garric's own background--
"Aye, lad," said the ghost of King Carus, alive and vibrant in Garric's mind. "Five hundred ships in harbor -- but only when I wasn't off on campaign with them, smashing one usurper or another. And that was most times, till the Duke of Yole's wizard smashed me instead and the kingdom with me. But you'll do better, because you know not to solve all your problems with a sword!"