Exile's Honor) and classical scholar Mallory (Merlin: The Old Magic) i"/>

THE OUTSTRETCHED SHADOW: The Obsidian Trilogy: Book One

Mercedes Lackey, Author, James Mallory, Joint Author . Tor $25.95 (604p) ISBN 978-0-7653-0219-9

In the captivating world conjured by veteran Lackey (Exile's Honor) and classical scholar Mallory (Merlin: The Old Magic) in this first of a high fantasy trilogy, there are three types of magic, each of which has its own rules, limits and variables. But it is the Wild Magic—anathema to Armethalieh, "the Golden City of the Bells," and considered by its residents to be heresy and truly evil—that has the most unusual aspects, for its practitioners must bargain for what they need and pay an often high price for power. Kellen Tavadon, son of Arch-Mage Lycaelon of Armethalieh, has been raised (indoctrinated, actually) to believe that High Magick is the only true magic and that his father and the Council of Mages have the final word. But Kellen isn't so sure. He's always been a bit suspicious of the council's tight control over the city. One day, while playing hooky from his lessons in magery, Kellen finds a set of books about Wild Magic. He knows he shouldn't touch them. To open the books and read them is to court a death sentence, no matter if your father is the Arch-Mage. But Kellen can't resist. And thus, after a bit of a slow start, Kellen sets down a road he never expected to take, on a journey of dire importance to both humans and nonhumans (the latter including elves, unicorns and other enchanting creatures). The narrative speeds to the end, avoiding a jarring halt while leaving the reader satisfied and wanting to know more. (Oct. 22)

Reviewed on: 08/11/2003
Release date: 11/01/2003
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