285259Well.  This was completely not what I was expecting when I picked up Blackstaff.

The Blackstaff is supposed to be the greatest wizard the Realms has ever seen.  Older than most every other creature alive, Chosen of the goddess of Magic herself, Mystra, Khelban Blackstaff is a staple character of the Realms and the stuff of legends and nightmares within that world.

So the revelations within the book came completely out of left field.

Khelban Blackstaff and his associates are on the cusp of one of the greatest feats of magic the Realms has ever known, bringing back a long forgotten and long hidden city of the past.  But in order the generate enough magic to complete the ritual, certain sacrifices must be made.  Khelban, the closest thing to a demi-god that the Realms had ever seen, husband to one of the Seven Sisters and soon-to-be father of twins destined for greatness, sacrifices himself to fuel the ritual and has his most promising apprentice wear his face for the rest of her days so no one knows the difference.

Yeah.  Just a bit of a shocker.  Everything else I have read of the Realms never even hinted at this, and I think this is one of those revelations I’ll just kinda ignore so my happy little world isn’t too badly rocked.  Naive, I know, but what can you do.

The Iron Grail, second in the Merlin Codex, is up next.  Been a while sine I read the first one, so let’s see how this one turns out shall we?

280709After long travels, Merlin has returned to Alba, the future England. Likewise, Urtha, High King of the Cornovidi, is coming home as well. And Jason is sailing in on the Argo, to seek his son who hides somewhere in the kingdom.

But Urtha’s stronghold has been taken by warriors from Ghostland. They claim it as their own. Now there will be war–against the Otherworld.

In this sequel to Celtika, myth and history weave together into a tale of honor, death, and magic. At the core of the story is Merlin himself, the enchanter in the prime of his life, reckless, curious, powerful, yet a stranger to his own past–a past that is catching up with him.