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The Fifth Sorceress

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In the tradition of Terry Goodkind and Robin Hobb, a thrilling debut fantasy novel and the first book in a sweeping, epic trilogy full of magic, adventure and wonder...

About the Author

Robert Newcomb travelled widely in his youth as a member of the American Institute for Foreign Study. He now lives in Florida. The Fifth Sorceress marked his debut and is the first book in 'The Chronicles of Blood and Stone' trilogy. The second volume, The Gates of Dawn, is also published in Bantam paperback and the concluding novel, The Scrolls of the Ancients, in Bantam Press trade paperback.


Newcomb may be a newcomer to fantasy writing, but it doesn't show in this surprisingly original doorstopper. After wreaking all sorts of havoc in the kingdom of Eutracia, the evil sorceresses of the Coven were overcome and exiled by the wizards of the Protectorate. Now, 327 years later, Eutracian females are forbidden to practice magic, and males are made to swear a solemn oath to stay on the side of light and good. Across the ocean in Parthalon, the sorceresses still live, plotting to kidnap Princess Shailiha from Eutracia and use her to complete an incantation that will make them all-powerful or destroy the world. Prince Tristan, Shailiha's brother and our protagonist, is perhaps the most cookie-cutter of the characters, a classic reluctant hero who'd rather wave a sword than sit on the throne. But the wizard Wigg, Tristan's companion and adviser, is no caricature of the omnipotent magical sidekick: he makes incorrect guesses and poor decisions and often fails to keep the headstrong prince in check. This isn't done for comic relief, but to put Newcomb firmly in the George R.R. Martin camp of realistic fantasy as he creates a world where fully realized characters die, everyone is in the dark about something and sometimes things simply go wrong for no reason at all. Thanks to the author's passion for tying up loose ends, the finish is neat, but it leaves you wanting more. Fortunately, the planned sequels (at least two) will provide that, as well as ample room for further character development. Agent, Matt Bialer. (Aug. 1) Forecast: The publisher is set to make a big push for an author who could in time scale the same sales heights as Terry Brooks and David Eddings. In addition to national advertising, media and store appearances in Florida and author participation at major SF conventions, there will be copromotion with Palm Pilot, since the novel will also be released as a Ballantine e-book. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

As his 30th birthday approaches, Prince Tristan, heir to the throne of Eutracia, prepares to take his father's place as king following a ritual abdication. The forces of prophecy, however, intervene to change Tristan's life and the future of his kingdom forever, as an ancient line of sorceresses long thought to be dead is exerting its malevolent influence upon the land. Newcomb's first novel portrays its hero's transformation from a self-centered heir apparent to a man worthy of the title of king. Explicit sex and graphic violence may limit the audience for this well-written and compelling epic fantasy to mature readers. Recommended for libraries where fantasies reminiscent of the novels of Terry Goodkind and Storm Constantine are in demand. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

"'Beautifully and vividly drawn ...impressive'" * SFX *
"'A complex and sweepingly conceived adventure...Newcomb's impressive narrative skill is such that the pages turn very quickly indeed'" * Good Book Guide *
"'A fantastic read. Fantasy novels can be hit or miss but this one is a definite hit ...Newcomb writes with a boldness and originality rarely seen in first novels'" * Outland *

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