The Heart of Myrial (The Shadowleague)

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9781857239713: The Heart of Myrial (The Shadowleague)

Ever since she burst upon the world of fantasy fiction in 1994 with her first novel, AURIAN, Maggie Furey has been one of the most rapidly rising stars in the genre. Her immense storytelling skill has caught the imagination of readers across the world and have established her as one of the most popular writers in the field. THE HEART OF MYRIAL begins a spellbinding new fantasy series which will take her to new heights. The magical barriers that have held things in place for aeons are beginning to fail, and the planet is subjected to great climatic upheaval. But it is not only a natural disaster. For the boundaries have also served to keep hostile nations apart. With catastrophe imminent, the only hope of salvation lies in the hands of the Shadowleague. But first they must learn what lies within the Heart of Myrial. More information on this book and others can be found on the Orbit website at www.orbitbooks.co.uk

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Review:

This fast-moving adventure opens Maggie Furey's second fantasy sequence, "The Shadowleague"; her first was the "Artefacts of Power" tetralogy. The Heart of Myrial is set in a particularly artificial-seeming fantasyland, which proves to be not a world but a technomagical construct, divided into isolated regions by sorcerous barriers of force. Thanks to the machinations of a bad guy who may have good motives, these "curtain walls" are now failing--the first symptoms being clashes between the enclaves' different environments, leading to prolonged descriptions of truly lousy weather. In theory the barriers are guarded by and can be penetrated only by Loremasters of the Shadowleague, a secret inner circle of representatives from this patchwork world's various species: humans, dragons, centaurs, wind-sprites, insectile aliens, and more. In practice the Shadowleague is almost impotent.

Against this complex background, various characters struggle across the landscape through terrible weather. A woman Loremaster and her irrepressibly feisty firedrake companion play leading parts in the large cast (many of whom suffer death or worse). After tortuous regroupings and plot twists centered on a particular city that houses a key magical shrine, the book concludes with a gory invasion of nasties through the holed curtain wall. It reads well enough, and of course there's more to come. --David Langford, Amazon.co.uk

From the Inside Flap:

Three unlikely heroes must penetrate a land of sorcery and secrets to save a world hurtling toward chaos.
From the dazzling imagination of Maggie Furey comes an astonishing new epic of a wondrous world on the brink of collapse... and the daring trio who will risk the deadliest odds to save it.
The world of Myrial is racing toward apocalypse. For aeons, its mysterious Curtain Walls have functioned to separate realm from realm, and race from race, so that each cordoned area remains a sanctuary for its species. But now the miraculous walls that have provided order for so long are disintegrating with disastrous results.
Mingling climates are causing unrelenting rains or deadly droughts, while warlike races are preying mercilessly on the helpless and meek. And the carnage will only grow worse unless a seasoned woman-warrior, a brazen firedrake, and a venerable Dragon with amazing telepathic powers--all trusted members of the Shadowleague--succeed where everyone else has failed. For they must first locate the heart of Myrial, where the secret for undoing this disaster resides. In order to reach their goal, however, they must overcome treachery, intrigue, and evil--and a mysterious figure from the past whose actions threaten to tear the Shadowleague apart.

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