237288First in the loosely related Harper series, the Parched Sea reintroduces us to a character we met in the Return of the Archwizards saga, the Bedine Harper witch Ruha.

Ruha is a member of the tribal desert dwellers called the Bedine, shunned because she is a magic user.  We met here as she followed a Chosen of Cyric around the Anarouch, a character that crossed paths eventually with the anti-hero of the Archwizards saga.  Here in the Parched Sea we are told the story about what inspired Ruha became the Harper we met earlier.

The Zhentarim have come to the Anaraugh desert, hoping to conquer it by enslaving the Bedine with the aid of a race of cannibalistic desert dwelling lizard men, and whatever tribes are swayed by them.  But Ruha and a Harper named Lander are determined not to let that happen.

Side by side they fight the desert, the Zhentarim, and the tribes themselves who’s strict laws and inherit distrust of magic make everyday a struggle.  However despite these hold backs, the duo persevere ad are able to overcome the Zhentarim, albeit at the cost of Lander’s life.  And with his death so too dies the fragile hope Ruha had of escaping the desert world and make a new life for herself in the Realms.  Instead she resigns herself to a life among the tribes, serving them and the Harpers as best she can.

So bit of a sad start to this series.  We’ll just have to see how the rest go.

Next up, finishing off the Godspeaker trilogy with Hammer of God.  Sooooo looking forward to this…

3961451In Ethrea, Rhian sits upon a precarious throne. Defiant dukes who won’t accept her rule threaten the stability of her kingdom. Dexterity has been banished from her court in disgrace. The blue-haired slave Zandakar, man she thought was her friend, has been revealed as the son of a woman sworn to destroy her world. And Rhian’s husband, King Alasdair, is unsure of her love.

The trading nations refuse to believe Mijak is a threat, and promise reprisals if she dares protect her realm. Only Emperor Han of mysterious Tzhung-tzhungchai knows that the danger from Mijak is real.

But is he an ally, or an enemy in disguise? As she struggles to learn the truth, and keep her embattled crown, the murderous warhost of Mijak advances …