Icefalcon's Quest (Darwath)

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9780345397249: Icefalcon's Quest (Darwath)

While chaos reigned in the Eastern Lands, the Keep of Dare stood as a bastion against war and bandits and the spawn of unnatural sorceries. Then twin blows rocked the citadel: the fearsome Alketch army mounted siege, even as young Prince Tir was snatched from the heart of the Keep. Behind the terror was the depraved, hook-handed general Vair na-Chandros. He had learned that the royal child possessed forbidden wisdom: a secret with which the bloodthirsty Vair intended to conquer the world.

One single man posed a threat to Vair's vaunting ambition: the legendary warrior known as the Icefalcon. Banished by his own people and scorned as a barbarian by others, only he could hope to free the boy from Vair's clutches. With his sister Cold Death--a sorcerer whose magic was as sharp as her tongue--the Icefalcon embarked on a dangerous mission of rescue and redemption.

Braving nightmare demons and the endless hordes of Vair's inhuman soldiers, he shadowed Vair and his small captive beyond the reaches of the known world. And when the boy led Vair to the forgotten Keep of the Shadow at the End of Time, the Icefalcon would face his greatest battle . . . for his prince, for his honor, and for all eternity.

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Review:

Hitherto, Hambly's books about Darwath, a world menaced by awakened malign sleepers and an ice age, have been classic portal fantasies, in which the emphasis is on two transplanted Californians, Gil and Rudy, who are learning to cope with a world of magic and swordplay. In the original Darwath trilogy, the menace is the Dark, hivemind beings with a taste for human flesh who wreck civilization in a matter of weeks when their brainless hominid herds die; in the singleton Mother of Winter, it was devouring fungi and the old cold mind behind them. This new book shifts emphasis to Icefalcon, the exiled plains nomad who has come to value civilization without feeling a part of it, and to the corrupt magus who kidnaps Rudy's young royal stepson for his ancestral memories. Lost in the wastes of the North is another refuge against the cold and the Dark, a Keep which has, rather literally, a mind of its own. Icefalcon has to cope with the cold and the vividly evoked claustrophobia of old dark places; he also has to comprehend the rejection of his barbarian clan. This is an intelligent fantasy thriller about choices, particularly the ones you never knew you made. --Roz Kaveney, Amazon.co.uk

From the Publisher:

I've always been a Hambly fan, but I must confess that a number of us who've been reading Hambly from the very start are also rabid Icefalcon afficionados. The Icefalcon is sort of a cross between Rutger Hower and Mad Max: pale, dangerous, and (we might as well admit it) sexy--kind of an ice-prince thing. Well, Barbara obviously agrees, and she finally gave the Icefalcon his own book. Yum! And the Icefalcon's sister, Cold Death, was an especially nice touch.
                        --Veronica Chapman, Senior Editor

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