The Door into Shadow (The Tale of the Five, Book 2)
In the Middle Kingdoms, the royal magics are failing. The dread Reaver armies threaten the southern passes, and behind them moves the eternal malice of the Shadow, sworn to destroy all it can of the Goddess's creation -- especially the re-established realms of humankind.
One man stands between the Shadow and its prey: Freelorn Ferrant's son, called the Lion's Child, exiled prince of Arlen. His companions are a strange crew -- from Sunspark, a fire elemental who's trying hard to understand humankind without burning anyone to cinders in the process, to Eftgan, housewife, mother of three, and warrior Queen of ancient Darthen.
And there are also the keepers of the blue Flame of Power: Herewiss, the first man in centuries to master the Fire, and wielder of the great sword Khávrinen, and Segnbora, a warrior and sorceress whose power is locked in her terrible past, and who speaks with the tongue of dragons.
Together they will face the nameless terrors of Glasscastle, where sorrow walks with madness. They will scale the awesome heights of the Bluepeaks in search of a kingdom's salvation. And they will make the first moves in the apocalyptic war that will set the true king on the throne... or see their world destroyed.
Edition note: The Door into Shadow was first published in the U.S. by Bluejay Books in 1984. That edition’s text, unchanged except for the substitution of British spellings for American ones, was used for the Corgi / Transworld Books editions of Shadow in 1992. For the book’s next U.S. edition, published by Meisha Merlin Books in 2001, various minor changes and additions were made to the original text, including the restoration of a small amount of material edited out of the 1984 edition.
This ebook closely follows the 2001 text, with some emendations -- mostly a matter of slight restructuring, rephrasing and polishing: no significant new plot or character material has been added. Future printed editions of The Door into Shadow will use this version of the text.
apparently remember ahead as well as back. Not something I ever plan on doing! “We’re not built to remember everything that happens to us,” Segnbora said. “Not consciously, anyway. Yes, I can feel the mdeihei back there remembering everything that ever happened to them, every sunset and conversation and breath of wind! But my kind doesn’t do that.” “Perhaps it makes sense that you don’t desire ahead-memory,” Hasai said. “The Marchwarders have told us that your kind even has trouble dealing with
had not once, but several times, opened and used the Kings’ Door, the dangerous worldgate in the Black Palace at Darthis, to find out more. She’d done so tonight, and now here she sat in faded woolens and patched cloak and embroidered white shirt, like any countrywoman with a pot of beer. Yet her eyes were open for trouble, and for the answers she had been promised. Her Rod was sheathed and ready at her side. Segnbora touched lightly on all these things, meanwhile letting Eftgan do what she
shook his head. “Later, Lorn.” To Segnbora he said, “How long have the people in that last grave been dead?” “Grave?” “A week or so, I think. They’re weak – they were getting along in years to begin with, I think, and shock of their death was considerable. You have the protocols—” “I have them.” “Protocols, what protocols?” Freelorn said. “For raising the dead,” Herewiss said. “Stay close, Lorn, I’m going to need you. …Oh, sweet Mother,” he added as the full force of the sour smell of murder
There’d have been no question of the succession if I had been Initiated, taken by my father into Lionhall for the Nightwalk. But he put off the ceremony, until finally it was too late. When he died, the Four Hundred split on the issue. I had been spending a lot of time out of the country, gadding about and misbehaving, and there was some question about whether I’d be a fit ruler. The army split on the issue too, and with Arlene regulars assigned to each Household the situation quickly became
mother had laughed and praised her, and told her it was fine to enhance the Fire thus, but that she shouldn’t forget to be private when she did it. The most private spot she could think of was the hiding place behind the old chicken house, where the willows’ branches hung down all around, making a dusky green cave. And that was where she had spent most of that warm spring day, delightedly touching herself in that special secret place—until Nuncle Bal came brushing through the downhanging branches