Since time immemorial, the tribes of Men have lived in peace with each other. The usual quarrels have never turned into outright war, that is, until the Barbarian Wars united the five separate lands into the Empire of Nador. It is run by Emperor Makheb, who rarely is seen in public, and never without his face covered. That leads to the usual speculation that the Emperor is an alien from another land, or another planet.
One day, Makheb calls Veris, a senior member of the Senate, into his private chambers. He tells Veris, that he, Veris, has been relieved of his Senate duties, and must undertake a difficult journey to Aronia in the north, starting now. Veris is told that, in a few hours, his Senate colleagues are going to come looking for him, ready to execute him for killing Emperor Makheb. Veris is totally loyal to Makheb, so he is shocked, to put it mildly. An attempt on Makheb’s life, in his chambers, convinces Veris. At the same time, Makheb is going, alone, to the desolate Endlands, in the west, to confront Ramunak, the cause of all this.
Veris stops at his home in the city of Cosh, to grab a few things, and to try to convince his Senate colleagues that this is all a misunderstanding. Veris barely escapes with his life; Ramunak has been very busy, controlling people’s minds. His journey is extra difficult because he has to go through the Denok Forest. It used to be a nice place to visit, until it was taken over by some sort of evil. Now, it is a dark and sinister place, to be avoided at all costs.
First of a series, this is intended for younger readers, but the three authors do a very good job with it. It’s very much worth reading.
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