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‘A graceful, fluid style of storytelling rare in fantasy writing’
‘Nobody writes modern fantasy like Eddings’
A fabulous brand new Eddings standalone fantasy, set in an entirely new magical world: the signed, de luxe edition
A bronze-age burglar, armed robber and sometime murderer, our hero Althalus is commissioned to steal a book by a mysterious cloaked stranger named Ghend. Althalus sets off to the House at the End of the World to steal it – after stealing Ghend’s cloak, as well, since winter is coming on. (Althalus is a rogue who can get away with almost anything... maybe with everything!)
At the House at the End of the World, he finds a talking cat... in the same room as the book Ghend described. What he can’t find once he’s in the house is the door by which he entered. Only 2467 years and an ice age later does Althalus re-emerge with the cat, Emmy, in the hood of his (Ghend’s) cloak. By now he can read. He’s read the book and discovered a tool mightier than the blunt instrument he once used to disable his victims. The book was written by the god Deiwos, whose evil brother Daeva is trying to unmake the world. Emmy is in fact their sister and she’s setting out to save the world with Althalus to help her.
No easy task. First there is a quest to unearth the magical knife that will enable Emmy to assemble and command her band of essential helpers: Eliar (young soldier), Andine (leader of a small country), Bheid (black-robed priest), Gher (ten-year old orphan), Leitha (telepath/witch). Their respective commands: lead, obey, illuminate, deceive, listen. Althalus is commanded by the Knife to seek.
Battles follow against Gelta the Queen of Night and the armies of Daeva involving many devious manoeuvres in and out of the House where Doors can be opened (solely by Eliar) to any place at any time. Daeva has his Doors, too. When Daeva can’t win through battle, he tries revolution. When Dweia (Emmy) can’t win any other way, Althalus will persuade her to lie, cheat and steal – reciprocating the lessons in truth, justice and morality Emmy has been giving him for some while.
The existence of the world hangs in the balance and love cannot be guaranteed to triumph in this glorious epic fantasy.
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