Margaret Weis & Robert Krammes
Daw, May 3 2011, $24.95
On the world of Aeronne, the Kingdoms of Rosia and Freya have been enemies for centuries. Both nations have engaged in arms race as each tries to produce a more powerful weapon to topple their adversary. Freyian patriot master spy Sir Henry Wallace believes he has the means to defeat Rosia. A Journeyman knows how to merge magic into metal, which makes the alloy impenetrable by artillery. Sir Henry goes to Rosia to bring the Journeyman and his family to Freya.
Lord Captain Stephano de Guichen detests his powerful mother who is the advisor to King Alaric of Rosia. The Counte Cecille de Morjolaine orders her son to find a missing Journeyman who was experimenting on a new weapon when he vanished. She thinks Sir Henry kidnapped him. Stephan and his friends the Cadre of the Lost follow Sir Henry’s trail and meet up with Father Jacob of the dreaded Arcanium and the godfather he never met, Sir Arder Martel is a knight protector to the priest. They join forces at the Abbey of Saint Agness where one hundred nuns were massacred. Demon riders attack them, but they use counter magic to eliminate the horde.
Also seeking Sir Henry is Grand Bishop Girard who has Agent Dubois searching for the master spy and the Journeyman he escorts. Dubois knows he must prevent Sir Henry and his retinue from reaching Freya as all parties converge on Westfirth.
Margaret Weis & Robert Krammes have written a grand epic fantasy reminiscent of the early Shanarra books. Magic is emboldened in objects and large percentages of the populace can use it. Readers will feel they are visiting another world mindful of the English French medieval war period; but also filled with paranormal creatures; some are allies of mankind while a few are indifferent and the rest are belligerent. The key characters are fully developed, but most important is the magic of the first Dragon Brigade saga seems real.