Tor, Mar 2008, $25.95
In Corona the magical gem enchanted with Abellican healing powers enables formerly crippled Bransen Garibond to walk with confidence; he also conceals his Jhesta Tu mystical sword made by his late mother Sen Wi that bolsters his self-assurance further. Currently, he, his beautiful wife Cadayle and his mother-in-law Callen DuWornay are on a quest to find his father, the monk Bran Dynard, whom he never met. Callen knows she can never pay the debt she owes Sen who died by removing poison from her so that she could give birth; neither female knew that the woman was carrying a child too who was born crippled by the poison she absorbed.
However, the road proves dangerous as Dame Gwydre abducts Bran demanding he become THE HIGHWAYMAN of yore to save her people from the purge of the Druid Samhaists and their leader Ancient Badden, who are ethnically cleansing the land of disbelievers. Badden has awakened a powerful malevolence who Bransen must defeat before going after the Druid, but he cannot do it alone.
THE ANCIENT is an entreating return to the world of Corona as Bransen is forced to return to his youth to fight a growing evil. The story line is fast-paced although Bransen’s doubts about his skills seem somewhat out of place with his self-confidence as described earlier in the tale and his past. Fans will appreciate his efforts and those of his new teammates to battle the evil Ancient Badden and his chosen evil one with the usual incredible final battle.