"On this day of days there was an unfamiliar stirring deep inside the dozing heart of the Hayholt, in the castle's bewildering warren of quiet passages and overgrown, ivy-choked chambers."
"A war fueled by the dark powers of sorcery is about to engulf the peaceful land of Osten Ard -- for Prester John, the High King, slayer of the dread dragon Shurakai, lies dying. And with his death, an ancient evil will at last be unleashed, as the Storm King, undead ruller of the elvishlike Sithi, seeks to regain his lost realms through a pact with one of human royal blood. Then, driven by spell-inspired jealousy, prince will fight prince, while around them, the very land begins to die.
Only a small, scattered group, the League of the Scroll, recognizes the true danger awaiting Osten Ard. And to Simon -- a castle scullion unknowingly apprenticed to a member of this League -- will got the task of spearheading the quest for a solution to a riddle that offers the only hope of salvation, a riddle of long-lost swords of power...and a quest that will see him fleeing and facing enemies straight out of a legend-maker's worst nightmares!" -- from the back cover
Like other epic fantasies, this book was slow to start as the world and characters were introduced in detail. Once things started going wrong with the land, and Simon had to flee his comfortable home to face the unknown, the story started picking up. I liked meeting all the characters, though sometimes I had trouble keeping them straight as the names are often similar to each other. I look forward to reading the next book in the series, Stone of Farewell
Date read: 2/9/2008
Book #: 8
Series: Memory, Sorrow and Thorn #1
Challenges: Chunkster Challenge, Winter Reading Challenge
Rating: 3*/5 = good
# of Pages: 766
Binding: Mass Market Paperback