Mysterious runes appear scratched into doors all over Castle City, Colorado, just before the equally mysterious Jack...

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BEYOND THE PALE: Vol. I of The Last Rune

Mysterious runes appear scratched into doors all over Castle City, Colorado, just before the equally mysterious Jack Graystone summons his friend, bar owner Travis Wilder. Jack gives Travis an iron box, and somehow inscribes a rune on his palm before falling beneath the onslaught of a horde of unearthly creatures. Travis escapes and, pursued by the creatures, falls through a magic billboard into another world. Meanwhile, ER doctor Grace Beckett treats a gunshot victim who turns out to have an iron heart; he doesn't stay dead, either. And soon Grace too falls into the world of Eldh. She's rescued from the snow by a knight, Durge, and taken to Castle Calavere. The inhabitants think she's a fairy princess, while their king, Boreas, puts her to work winnowing the castle's many intrigues and conspiracies. She also develops witchcraft, or Weirding, abilities. Later, Travis and companions show up. Somehow, Jack has given Travis the capacity to work rune magic; the stone in the iron box is a magical Great Stone. The evil-rune Raven Cult are attempting to free the Pale King, imprisoned in Imbrifale behind the Rune Gate. Travis must master the rune magic in order to lock and secure the Gate, while Grace's Weirding talents keep a lid on the troubles within the castle. Intermittently intriguing and gripping, with frequent plot wobbles and irritatingly dysfunctional leading characters: imagine a Robert Jordan/Stephen R. Donaldson hybrid and you'll get the idea.

Pub Date: Nov. 9, 1998

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: 576

Publisher: Spectra/Bantam

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1998