Volume two of The Chronicles of Blood and Stone, following Newcomb’s The Fifth Sorceress (2002).
“Endowed blood” lends a certain originality to this epic struggle between wizards and sorceresses, as it does to a hero bearing a bloodline that links him to magical abilities. One notes, however, a taint of sexism as Newcomb endows his hero, azure-blooded Prince Tristan of the once peaceful Kingdom of Eutracia, with all the noble virtues while the Coven of four nasty sorceresses pillage, rape, and murder as they seek the secret of endowed blood. Wigg, head of the Directorate of Wizards, abandons these vile women in the Sea of Whispers. Then three centuries pass and Tristan arises, about to inherit the throne for a 30-year reign though his stronger desire is to join the Directorate as a wizard, with Wigg as his teacher. But he and his pregnant twin sister Shailiha are named as the Chosen Ones, even though the fifth sorceress, Natasha, lusts to mingle her endowed blood with that of the Chosen, a desire that has brought about the Coven’s forcing of Tristan to murder both his father and his mother, his losing the kingdom and now needing to regain it, though he’s branded as lawless. The crippled wizard Faegan returns from exile in Shadowland and joins Wigg, Tristan, Shailiha and her baby daughter in a vast cavern, the Directorate’s former underground stomping grounds. Can they restore peace to Eutracia? Well, not when the magic Paragon stone is depleted of its luster, as it has been. Only retrieving the lost Tome, an almost unreadable book of magic, can replenish the Paragon. And, horribly, a race of monsters has arisen, with an evil magician far stronger than Tristan. And what secret power lies lodged in scrolls in the Gates of Dawn?
Far stronger than Fifth Sorceress. Volume three to come.