At the Queen's Command by Michael Stackpole

At the Queen's Command

byMichael Stackpole

Kobo ebook | November 1, 2010

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The colonies of Mistria are in turmoil. They face wars between the competing empires and and insurrection from natives and colonists alike. Prince Vladamier is a Norillian noble, and Nephew to King Richard. He has little political power, but struggles to ensure the colonists interests are represented back in the court. The one thing he does have is a wurm... one of the few existing "dragons" from a clutch of eggs discovered in the old world, hundreds of years ago. As Mistria swirl into chaos, Vlad is married off to an old world princess. This new alliance is supposed to help supply money and mercenaries to put down the various insurrections. But, nobody suspects that Vlad's wurm is about to undergo a change that will impact the worlds delicate political balance...

Title:At the Queen's CommandFormat:Kobo ebookPublished:November 1, 2010Publisher:Night Shade BooksLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1597802778

ISBN - 13:9781597802772

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Rated 5 out of 5 by from An epic world, close to home I've never been a big fan of alt-history speculative fiction, even as i've always been a fan of Michael Stackpole's fantasy. I was thus pretty sure that i would enjoy "At the Queen's Command," but i was pleasantly surprised by how much i loved it. Stackpole's take on North American colonial history explores the alt-continent of Mystria, colonized by Norisle (the book's monarchist Britain) and Tharyngia (a darkly post-Enlightenment France). A nascent nation of Norillian colonists are caught up in the military and political machinations of both great powers — and find themselves creating their own sense of purpose and destiny. "Magick" stands at the heart of the story and the struggles of the colonists, and of the Norillians whose contempt the colonies must weather alongside a host of natural threats. Stackpole's alternate New World is a land in which ice-age fauna continue to stalk the wilderness, even as dangerous spirits of the natural world feed on the bodies and souls of unwary mortals. The soldiers of the Old World channel magick in order to fuel the weapons of their endless wars. The native Twilight People of the New World treat magick as a more integral part of their lives, and access its power on a level that the colonial Mystrians are only beginning to understand. Captain Owen Strake is a Mystrian officer of Norisle who stands at the center of the story. However, he's often overshadowed by Prince Vlad, an eager scientist and colonial governor, and the frontier scout Nathaniel Woods, the deadliest marksman in the New World or the Old. When they discover that Tharyngian general and scientist Guy du Malphais has created a magickal process to raise the dead, the three are thrust into leadership roles they never sought for themselves, facing off against treacherous Tharyngians, armies of unkillable zombie "pas-morts", and a Norillian nobility that treats its colonials with derisive contempt. "At the Queen's Command" weaves its story with layers of intrigue, human drama, and subtle fantasy, even as Michael Stackpole brings the grandeur of Mystria to life with well-wrought description and a sense of wonder at a world that might have been. At the same time, the relentless and graphic darkness of the battle scenes o which the novel's climax is built starkly lay out the life-and-death stakes for which the colonials and their allies are fighting.
Date published: 2011-09-26