Award-winning author Tim Lebbon takes fantasy to new heights in his thrilling new epic as unlikely allies struggle to keep the light of hope burning against a tide of unending darkness...
Noreela teeters on the brink of destruction, but at its center pulses a magic grown stroner than ever before. Now the Mages have raised an army of terrifying warriorsand unstoppable war machins. Their goal: the annihilation of all Noreela through a reign of bloodhsed and death unlike any ever imagined.
But Noreela's last survivors will not go quietyly into the never-ending darkness. One man will lead a desperate band of rebels, including a witch, a fledge miner, and a dreaming librarian. For an ancient prophecy predicts that the future of magic will emerge in a child still unborn--if only our heroes can stay alive until dawn.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
In this flawed follow-up to Dusk (2006), a genre-bending amalgam of horror and fantasy that saw the ascendance of the vengeful Mages, Angel and S'Hivez, the dark powers continue their rampage across the land of Noreela, which they condemned to eternal darkness after killing Rafe Baburn and devouring his seed of magic. The fellowship that helped Rafe on his flight across Noreela-Hope, Alishia, Kosar and Trey-is left with one small hope: Alishia's conviction that Rafe passed her a small bit of what he carried; Noreela can be saved if Alishia reaches the mystic city of Kang Kang. Dusk was a revelation as a shocking, vital tale of a dying land, but Lebbon overplays his hand in this sequel. No longer dying, Noreela is essentially dead and in need of resurrection, and all but the few main characters appear resigned to destruction at the hands of the two-dimensional Mages. Not even Lebbon's wild inventiveness-bio-metal-stone war machines and rolling sentient balls of bone and flesh-can compensate for the hopeless scenario and wooden villains. (Apr.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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March 26, 2007
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Excerpt from Dawn by Tim Lebbon
Soaring high above Noreela, it was easy to believe that the world had ended again.
The evidence of scared, scattered communities lay spread out below, all of them illuminated against a darkness that should not be. Ten thousand faces would be searching for the sun but seeing only this unnatural dusk, and Lenora wondered what they would think were they to spy the hawk. Would they know? Would they have any inkling of what they were looking at?
She thought not. But soon that would change.
For most of the night, Lenora had been trying to avoid the Mages' attention. She sat motionless and silent, as far back on the hawk's tail as she could go, two short swords buried in the creature's hide to provide precious handholds. She watched her masters with a sense of fear the likes of which she had never felt before. The Mages had changed so much. They were strangers to her now.
For the past three hundred years, Angel and S'Hivez had existed bitter and angry, given to lengthy musings on revenge. Lenora had served them and listened-their trusted lieutenant-and over time they had become shadows of themselves: mad old things who showed only occasional flashes of their former brilliance and brutality. Ensconced in their volcano retreat on Dana'Man, they had been fading away, though they had still retained a certain power. Things that once ruled a land could never lose that. But their glories had been vanishing into history, and the more time passed, the more Lenora's impressions of them had been dictated by memory. The Mages' power had become a self-perpetuating myth in her own mind.
Now that they had taken back their own, Lenora no longer had to rely on memory.
Angel still clasped the body of the farm boy to her chest, like a mother mourning her dead child. She had cut open his skull, then she and S'Hivez had torn into his torso, searching for something vital amongst his brains and flesh. From that moment, Lenora had felt the raw power surging from them, and they became true Mages for the first time in three hundred years. They had moved bones and organs aside, found what they sought and eaten it.
Then they had seemed to grow, though their size never changed. They remained silent, contemplative, and everything suddenly seemed to flow through rather than around them. And later, when dawn should have been ushering away the night, Angel and S'Hivez had cursed the sky.
Angel had been holding the boy's tattered corpse ever since.
The hawk had died moments after they finished rooting through the boy's insides, and Lenora thought they would fall. But then S'Hivez had buried his arms in the creature's neck, delving inside just as he had probed the dead boy's carcass, and the creature had risen again, bearing them northward.
Going away, a voice said. Lenora looked around, squinting against the wind. She had heard that voice intermittently since the fight with the Monks and machines, and she knew what it was: her dead, unnamed daughter's shade still craving the comfort of her mother's arms. Lenora buried her face in the hawk's stiffening hide and cried tears tainted with anger. She lifted her head slightly and her tears were caught on the wind, blown into Noreela's skies. She hoped they would spread and fall with the next rains, casting her sorrow across plains and valleys, mountains and lakes, where vengeance would be hers. They were a long way from Robenna, and it was falling farther behind with every heartbeat. But now that she knew she would return, the heat of revenge was growing brighter within her heart.
The people of Robenna had driven her out, poisoned her and murdered her unborn child. Given time, their descendants would pay.
"Dreaming of death and vengeance, Lenora?"
Lenora looked up into Angel's eyes.