LE. Modesitt, Jr.
Tor, Jan 2005, 27.95, 480 pp.
After saving the life and the throne of Lord Ghrant of Austra, former cooper and sailor Kharl is made a Lord and given an estate. He barely settles in when Kharl's friend lord, Chancellor Hagen, whisks him to the capital. Lord Ghrant needs his help in quelling rebellious lords, abetted by the Hamorian Empire, who wants to make Austra a part of their dominion. After Kharl defeats the mages and the rebellious lords he returns home but once again his rest is short-lived.
Hagen tells him that Lord Ghrant wants him to be the envoy to Nordla, Kharl's former homeland, the place he fled because Lord West and his son Egen wanted to kill him. He accepts the job realizing that he has changed so much his enemies will never recognize him. He is to report on the activities of Hamorians reputed to be there in large numbers. In Nordla, Kharl realizes that Egen is allied with the Hamorians who want to overthrow his father and place the son Egan on the throne. Kharl refuses to let this happen because Egan is so evil he will destroy Nordla. In the upcoming battle Kharl must destroy four powerful white wizard masters of chaos magic before they try to kill him.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner