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The Merchant and the Menace (The Seraphinium, #1)
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The Seraphim. Beings of power, created to guide the world in times of trouble. They live their lives of near immortality in servitude to a lesser creature, man. One rebelled. Amird, the Hand of the Creator, bridled at the sovereignty of his lord. In defiance he murdered a brother and was cast into the Mists of Chaos. Millennia passed as the Deceiver plotted his return. Backed by the might of a seemingly unstoppable army of Ulrog Stone Men and their fire-eyed Malveel Lords, Amird plans to wrest control of the world from the Creator and rain violence on the humans he once served. All that stands between Amird and his triumphant return are the remnants of battered human armies and the hope that Seraphim, loyal to the Creator, still roam this world. Kael knows little of this struggle. His quiet village lies deep in the Southlands, unchanged and unchallenged by the wars raging in the frozen North. In fact, the boy longs for a bit of adventure and freedom from the boring routine at his father's inn. Freedom comes at a cost. Kael's first journey outside his secluded village results in a tragedy so deep it destroys the boy's sheltered world and immerses him in the struggle. Revelations surface. Kael uncovers a past linking him to legends, grapples with a present that resembles nothing he knows, and confronts a future that demands he tap long dormant power to stake a claim in the defense of the human races. Kael's first step toward that future lies through the darkness of the Nagur Wood, and rumor has it something prowls the Nagur!