Well of Darkness: Volume One of the Sovereign Stone Trilogy Hardcover – August 22, 2000

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Out of the rich material of the popular roleplaying game The Sovereign Stone, New York Times bestselling fantasists Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman have fashioned something miraculous: a masterful epic of magic and adventure, filled with unforgettable, Tolkienesque characters and plot twists as harrowing and unpredictable as a roll of the dice.

When still a child, Gareth was chosen to serve as whipping boy for the willful, yet devilishly charismatic young Prince Dagnarus, second in line for succession to the throne. It was Gareth's innocent body that bore the brutal blows that could not lawfully be inflicted on the royal person that earned them. And as Dagnarus grew to manhood, ruthlessly determined to rule at any cost, loyal Gareth remained at his side, suffering as always for the prince's sake and in his stead-even now, when misguided devotion is leading the much-bruised servant down a path of outlawed sorcery . . . and into the terrible darkness.

Yet cruel, stubborn, and prideful as Prince Dagnarus has become, he still possesses a heart like any man -- one that he has hopelessly lost to the married elfin beauty, Lady Valura Mabreton. She is a prize he is determined to win, despite her longlived, honor-obsessed race's legendary vendettas, some of which have endured for thousands of years, growing ever-stronger beneath an icy surface of impenetrable artifice.

But let the elves plot their plots! Let the dwarves and orken rise up against him! Let the Dominion Lords, led by his hated half-brother, Prince Helmos, dare to oppose him! Dagnarus will have his crown . . . and his queen! For one of the elves' own, Silwyth -- a wily traitor playing a dangerous double game -- is the prince's creature.

 And dutiful lackey Gareths blood-chilling excursions into the Void are about to bear dark, rich fruit. For the Dagger of the Vrykyl -- the malevolent counterpart to the Sovereign Stone itself and the most potent talisman in the realm will soon be in Dagnarus's hand. And then no power will be able to deter his Destiny.

The first book in the exhilarating new Sovereign  Stone trilogy, Well of Darkness is Weis and Hickman's most dazzling work to date -- a classic-in-the-making that will quicken the pulse of every true fantasy fan; a chilling, boldly imaginative, utterly addictive tale of the bloody rebirth of a much feared and denied ancient evil... and the unspeakable consequences of an unholy passion that is stronger than death.

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Harper Voyager; 1st edition (August 22, 2000)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 450 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0061051802
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0061051807
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.75 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6.13 x 1.41 x 9.25 inches

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The founding parents of the game-tie-in fantasy novel here launch a role-playing-game-related high fantasy trilogy in which game knowledge is irrelevant to reader enjoyment. This is a classic tale of the rivalry of two half-brothers, the sons of King Tamaros of Vinnengael: the virtuous elder Helmos and the frustrated and ambitious young Dagnarus. Along the way, Dagnarus wins the friendship and loyalty of his whipping boy, Gareth, who in due course trains as a mage and adept in forbidden Void magic, dangerous to the user but deadly to the user's enemies. Shortly after King Tamaros believes that he has made peace among the four races (human, dwarves, elves and orken), Dagnarus and Gareth together begin to undo all the king's work, unleashing a war of all against all made even worse by the lethal Void magic and the rivalries of potentates, particularly human and elven. This is a story assembled from archetypical elements, all at least slightly touched with originality. Dagnarus is a thug but also a heroic soldier, and his elven lover prefers to become one of the Void-spawned undead Vrykyl rather than be parted from him. Elven political institutions irresistibly recall the Tokugawa era of Japan.The dwarves are not metal-working troglodytes but horse archers, living light and traveling fast. Weis and Hickman (Dragons of a Fallen Son, etc.) are still not much more than good plain cooks as stylists, but here they are writing at an entirely respectable level. (Sept.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Chosen to serve as the whipping boy of the young Prince Dagnarus, Gareth becomes his master's friend and confidant as they grow to manhood and become embroiled in the affairs of the land. Tempted by dark powers, Gareth seeks to assist the prince in his search for love and glory, unaware of the greater paths each must follow to fulfill his destiny. The best-selling combination of Hickman and Weis have once again joined forces to create a rich and vibrant fantasy world populated with varied races and complex, believable characters. Based on the "Sovereign Stone" role-playing game, this epic series opener belongs in most fantasy collections.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Here begins the Sovereign Stone trilogy. Related to a role-playing game, it stands on its own in fine style. The protagonist, Gareth, nine when the story begins, is whipping boy to his contemporary, Prince Dagnarus, who is already frustrated because he knows that his older half-brother, Prince Helms, is to succeed their father, King Tamaris. As Dagnarus' only friend, Gareth puts aside scruple after scruple and, to aid the prince's ambitions, becomes adept in the forbidden Void magic. A singularly nasty civil war in the realm of Vinnengaelean ensues. Swords and sorcery are unleashed ruthlessly, and the kingdom's other races--elves, dwarves, and orken--join in. Weis and Hickman raise a fairly standard plot far above mediocrity with ingenious world-building touches; for instance, the dwarves are horse-archers, and the Vrykyl are a singularly gruesome variety of the undead. Moreover, they render Gareth and Dagnarus' friendship convincingly; the characters' motives are plausible and fully developed, and both retain human appeal. Consider this a high point in Weis and Hickman's partnership. Roland Green
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved


"A classic tale of the rivalry of two half-brothers...unleashing a war of all against all." -- --Publishers Weekly

"Sturdy sword and sorcery, well controlled, with good characters and intriguing developments." -- 

About the Author

Margaret Weis is a New York Times bestselling author. Her Dragonlance® series has sold over twenty million copies worldwide, and the first book in thatseries, Dragons of Autumn Twilight, is being made into an animated film by Paramount Pictures. Warrior Angel is her first venture into romance, and it has been an exciting one. She has particularly enjoyed writing with her daughter, Lizz Weis, a former novel editor.

Tracy Hickman is a bestselling fantasy author best known for his work on Dragonlance, as a game designer and coauthor with Margaret Weis, while he worked for TSR. In all, Hickman wrote more than thirty novels in collaboration with Weis. He lives with his wife, Laura, and their four children.

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