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He reveals himself and renounces his service, joining his friends once again. The bandits join with Khaavren, Piro, and the rest out of necessity and manage to outfight the troops. Realizing that they are surrounded by enemies, the group sets out for Dzur Mountain. Morrolan's construction is progressing so well that he decides to build a castle instead of a temple. His retainers discover that the Orb has returned.

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Morrolan learns of the existence of sorcery and throws himself into its research while his construction continues. He decides to call his new home Castle Black, after the color symbolizing sorcery. Though he is not sure if he holds any loyalty to this new Empire , Morrolan needs no order to defend his land. He enlists the help of his most experienced Dragonlord retainer, Fentor, to see to the county's defences. While preparing for battle, Morrolan learns of the existence of Sethra Lavode, who is technically his vassal due to her home, Dzur Mountain, residing within Southmoor county.

Insulted that she has never sent him a tribute, he rides to Dzur Mountain and demands his due at swordpoint. Sethra quickly realizes that Morrolan does not comprehend the scope of her power, and refrains from killing him. After her servant calls her attention to a certain prophecy, she gives Morrolan a Great Weapon called Blackwand to stand for her tribute.

She also lends him the services of the Necromancer, a demon sent by the gods to help Zerika's cause, to assist in the defence of Southmoor. Khaavren and Piro's company ride in and are admitted into Castle Black, but they can provide little help. Fentor's hastily assembled defences and small conscripted army are no match for their opposition. Morrolan's various magical allies, including the Necromancer, the Warlock, and his circle of witches all lend their aide to the struggle, but it is still not enough.

After consultation with his guests and various retainers, Morrolan decides to have his circle of witches levitate the Castle and his troops up to safety. He then has most of his army, which becomes the new Imperial Army, teleported to Dzur Mountain.

Sethra Lavode

Piro tells his father that he has fallen in love and wants to marry Ibronka, who is a Dzur. Having lived his life during the Interregnum, Piro does not appreciate the serious taboo of marrying outside of one's House in the Empire. Khaavren is mortified, and categorically refuses to consider such a breach of protocol. Piro leaves home with Ibronka and his friends and together they take up banditry. The necromancer who receives her soul is Loraan, who serves as an antagonist in Athyra and Taltos of the Vlad Taltos series. Sethra Lavode is the third volume of The Viscount of Adrilankha , a three-volume novel by Steven Brust that collectively serves as the third novel in his Khaavren Romances.

Zerika, the new Empress of the newly restored Dragaeran Empire, struggles to win the support of all sixteen noble houses. As a first step, Grita spreads her knowledge that Zerika keeps the Warlock, an Easterner , as a secret, taboo lover. Because Zerika has only knowingly shared this secret with Pel, her royal confidant, Grita hopes this will discredit the crafty Yendi.

Khaavren speaks on Pel's behalf, however, and Zerika pardons him. Reunited with his eternal companions once again, Khaavren requests a leave from duty to find his wayward son, Piro. Having fallen in love with Ibronka, who is not of his House , Piro has become a legendary bandit dubbed the Blue Fox. Khaavren locates Piro's band with the help of Pel and partially reconciles with Piro, though the issue of Piro's love remains unsettled. After Khaavren leaves, bounty hunters ambush Piro's band and kill one of his companions. Piro vows to return his slain friend's heirloom to his sister.

Sethra Lavode informs Aerich that Tazendra has disappeared. Aerich finds that her manor has been scorched and a Teckla squatter has taken residence in the abandoned building. Eventually Aerich notes a spot marked on one of Tazendra's maps and deduces that it marks Tazendra's location. Realizing that the mark was most likely planted as bait in a trap, Aerich nonetheless prepares to make the journey. She prepares her defenses and sets the Necromancer, the Warlock, and Morrolan's witches to repeat the magical help they gave in the previous battle.

As the battle begins, however, all magic stops working. Meanwhile, Khaavren and Pel foil an assassination attempt on the now-helpless Zerika. Sethra Lavode defends the city, and ultimately all the major characters are briefly reunited to see the Jenoine forced away from the gate into the world. The price for victory is very high. Tazendra is able to destroy Illista , bettering the Jenoine in a sorcerous engagement. She and Aerich are murdered by Grita, as are Kytraan and several other members of Piro's band.

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Not only that, but countless soldiers in the military battle for the city are also killed. Khaavren's story is completed by Zerika's gift to him of his ancestral lands and title, the lack of which had originally propelled him on his first adventure. The novel and trilogy end at Deathgate Falls. All copyrights Steven Brust , quotes for review and enjoyment only. I have been looking at him from beneath my eyelashes for a year, and it is as if I addressed a wall. I promise you will get his attention. The horseman frowned. Then, sheathing his sword and unbuttoning his breeches, he made certain, in a way that was as old as Eastern tradition itself, that no man or god could have the least doubt about his feelings towards Tri'nagore.

Dragon : Vlad finds himself in the last place any self-respecting assassin wants to be: the army.

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Worse, he's in the middle of an apocalyptic battle between two sorcerous armies, and everyone expects him to perform a role they won't explain. All he's got to rely are his wits - and a smart-mouthed winged lizard. Issola : Morrolan and Aliera have disappeared. According to Sethra Lavode, they may be in the hands of the Jenoine, the mysterious beings who made the world of the Dragaeran Empire and its surroundings.

Not really the sort of people Vlad wants to get into a fight with before his morning cup of klava, but what's life without the occasional cosmic battle between beings who control time and space? The rackets he used to run are now under the control of the Left Hand of the Jhereg, his ex-wife needs his help, a goddess seems to be playing tricks with his memory, and his old friends aren't sure whether they want to kill him, or talk to him and then kill him.

And the Great Weapon he's carrying appears to have plans of its own. Why aren't her powerful friends coming to her rescue? Why does she utterly refuse to do anything about her own defense?

The Phoenix Guards (Khaavren Romances Series #1) by Steven Brust, Paperback | Barnes & Noble®

Now he's back in the Imperial capital, where his family and friends are. He means to stay there this time - whatever happens, and whatever it takes. There are corridors that double back, rooms that look out over other worlds, and, just maybe, answers to some of Vlad's questions about his world and his place in it.

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  7. The members of a millennia-old secret society cheat death, share lives and memories, and communicate with each other across nations and time. Dedicated to improving the world a little bit at a time, their ongoing argument about how to do this is older than most of their individual memories. Now an unstable member has changed the rules, and not for the better. The Incrementalists will bring him back, but first they need to know what happened.

    Their investigation leads down unexpected paths in contemporary Arizona, but the key may lay in Kansas and the fate of John Brown. Phil has been shot dead.