Sword of the Deceiver
By Sarah Zettel
(Tor Fantasy, Mass Market Paperback, 9780765343208, 448pp.)
Publication Date: April 1, 2008
Other Editions of This Title: Hardcover
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For five hundred years, the great southern empire of Hastinapura has flourished, ruling the world of Isavalta with an iron fist. But nothing lasts forever… The day of her womanhood ceremony finds Princess Natharie of Sindhu happily celebrating with her family, joyfully awaiting her marriage to a prince of another realm. However, when the Empire demands that her family send someone to court, Natharie realizes that she is the only one who can satisfy the Emperor’s wishes. As Natharie spends time in the Hastinapura court, she learns of the Empire’s bloodthirsty worship of the Mothers, and that their High Priest, Divakesh, is intent on spreading their worship beyond the Empire, including into neighboring Sindhu, at any cost. At the court, Natharie learns of plots that threaten to pit her homeland against Hastinapura in a disastrous war. Appalled by the power and brazenness of Prince Samudra, she realizes, as each day brings war ever nearer, that the powerful prince may be her only hope to prevent a war that could destroy them all.
Sarah Zettel is the author of three other Isavalta novels: The Firebird's Vengeance, A Sorcerer's Treason, and The Usurper's Crown. Her five science fiction books have garnered her a Locus Award for Best First SF Novel, nominations for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, and a citation as runner-up for the Philip K. Dick Award for best paperback original SF novel. Author also of the romantic Arthurian "Camelot" trilogy, she lives in Ypsilanti, Michigan.
“I can guarantee you won't regret venturing into Sarah Zettel's world." --Sara Douglass on Sarah Zettel
“Characters leap off the page with heart-wrenching emotions and daring choices. Zettel’s world-building continues to be faultless, blending Chinese, Indian and Russian folklore and magic into a cohesive and compelling whole. This is the touching tale of a mother’s love, a journey of self-discovery and an enthralling adventure rolled into one.” --Romantic Times on The Firebird’s Vengeance
“A finely drawn portrait of a strong woman’s devotion to those who love her.” --Library Journal on The Firebird’s Vengeance
“Zettel has enjoyed creating this multi-layered world, packed with inventive ideas and characters. Detailed descriptions of spell-weaving, gods inhabiting men inhabiting gods (honest) and a vixen goddess make for memorable images. Similarly, scenes of a city burning beneath a shrieking fire-god while its people flee in terror are punchy and vivid.” --SFX on The Firebird’s Vengeance
"Complicated court intrigue is brought alive in a setting, enriched by research in Russian folklore and magic lore, for a very cleverly woven fantasy. A good read indeed." --Andre Norton on A Sorcerer's Treason
"Ms. Zettel's confident treatment of her ambitious material shows just how entertaining the "grand tradition of Heinlein and Asimov" can be in sympathetic hands." --Gerald Jonas, The New York Times on Fool’s War