The Dawn Star (2006) is the third novel in the Misted Cliffs series, following The Misted Cliffs. In the previous volume, Princess Melody Dawnfield of Harsdown was married to Prince Cobalt Chamberlight of the Misted Cliffs. Cobalt and Varqelle -- the former king of Harsdown -- led the Misted Cliffs army against Blueshire and Shazire and conquered these lands.
Varqelle was felled in the final battle against Shazire. Mel used her magics to try to heal him, but failed. Still, Varqelle died knowing that Cobalt loved him.
In this novel, Drummer Headwind is in trouble again. He has been abducted by foreign agents. They take him to the Topaz Palace in Taka Mal and install him in a suite. Drummer is now a hostage against the good behavior of Cobalt Chamberlight, the husband of his niece Mel.
Vizarana Jade is the queen of Taka Mal. She inherited the throne as her father's only child, but she has rivals for the position. Her cousin Baz loves her and wants to marry her, but believes that a woman has no business being the head of state. The Atajazid D'az Ozar of Jazid also wants to marry Jade, but he too would take away her throne after becoming her husband.
Meanwhile, King Stonebreaker of the Misted Cliffs dies from a stroke and Cobalt is now King and Mel is Queen. After receiving the news about Drummer, Cobalt wants to invade Taka Mal immediately and totally raze every village and town. Mel talks him out of this course, but he tales most of his army with him to the border for the negotiations.
Naturally, Ozar has the Jazid army arrayed along the border when the Misted Cliffs troops march toward Taka Mal. The armies of Aronsdale and Harsdown also march toward their border with Taka Mal.
In this story, Jade visits Drummer in his guarded quarters after his arrival in the Topaz Palace. Drummer greatly admires her beauty and Jade admires his music. But she derides the honeyed words of his songs.
Drummer starts to love Jade and she loves him. She presents him with fine clothes and invites his to a feast, where he meets the leaders of Taka Mal and Jazid. Then she comes to him in the night and they make love. Jade offers him a Topaz Pact and he accepts it. But he doesn't really understand the agreement.
Drummer is very confused. When he find his door unlocked, he leaves the room and goes to the stables. He buys a horse with a ruby on his clothes and rides away from the palace.
When an embassy from Aronsdale and Harsdown arrive in the Topaz Palace, Jade lacks a hostage to trade for a treaty. She sends troops to find Drummer and stalls the negotiators. Her troops follow Drummer into the Rocklands, a waterless waste.
This tale introduces the inhabitants of Taka Mal. Two hundred years before, these people had broken the empire of Misted Cliffs and taken away the lands of Blueshire and Shazire. Now that the Misted Cliffs have retaken their lost territory, the people of Taka Mal believe that they will be the next conquest.
Drummer learns that he has the family talent for shape magic. He has always been able to do minor magics, but he finds himself able to do much more under the stress of his capture and love. Enjoy!
Highly recommended for Asaro fans and anyone else who enjoys tales of exotic magics, political intrigue, and headlong romance.
-Arthur W. Jordin
- Paperback: 440 pages
- Publisher: Luna (1 July 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0373802382
- ISBN-13: 978-0373802388
- Product Dimensions: 13 x 3.1 x 20.3 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 358 g
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