Grisly fantasy debut and first of a trilogy from Fultz.
Immortal necromancer Elhathym appears, seemingly from nowhere, to claim the throne of Yaskatha. When proud King Trimesqua refuses to yield, Elhathym invokes a legion of the dead and slaughters everyone in the palace save for young Prince D'zan and his bodyguard, Olthacus. The pair journey to New Udurum to seek help from King Vod, a giant and sorcerer. But, tormented by guilt over an evil deed in his past, Vod has disappeared, leaving the kingdom to his wife, Queen Shaira, his sons Fangodrel, Tadarus and Vireon, and daughter Sharadza. Elhathym, it emerges meanwhile, has formed an alliance with another ancient evil sorcerer, Empress Ianthe of Khyrei. Olthacus is slain by assassins sent by Ianthe, but Tadarus and Vireon side with D'zan, while Fangodrel develops a taste for blood-magic and joins the evil allies. Rounding out the seven will be Tyro and Lyrilan of Uurz and Andoses of Shar Dni. Sharadza runs off to learn sorcery and find some magical help. Non-stop action at a blistering pace, decorated with piles of corpses, spurting blood, ghastly tortures, mayhem, monsters and assorted butchery, not to mention the requisite heroics—you get the picture. Fultz sustains it for hundreds of pages, which is a feat in itself. Inevitably, though, it ends up numbing rather than horrifying.
Vigorous and vibrant, with no claim to any serious purpose—a computer game that somehow shook out as words.