The Rune Slate

Book Four of Northern Fire

Due for release in 2023

“I’m not here to rescue you, I’m here to see you suffer.”

Thus speaks a figure from Lora and Thay’s past, and when those ominous words are spoken, the disastrous result is unmistakeable: Rulla, Mistress of Owls, has drawn a new rune slate for the Kronnogbergers and a different wyrd now lies in their future. And how can that future hold anything good?

But mortals cannot know the mind of a god. Whilst they might now doubt that a king’s acclaim awaits them, they know a  deadly reckoning with their old foe Korgash Hasselmann is inescapable.

Thay, Lora, and Cairn seize the initiative in the war against their old foe Korgash. Drawing on Sea Wolf tactics, they take the fight onto the rivers of the Northlands, harrying Korgash’s shipping, destroying his food supplies, razing the homes and temples of his home province.

And yet, such raids can bring them no closer to liberating oar mates enslaved in Straeland and they remain locked in a deadly war. Then there is the unresolved matter of avenging themselves upon Korgash for the death of their friend Lars.

Lora, prompted by the prophesy that came to her in Polgatia’s throne room, hatches a plan to humiliate Korgash and force him to accept a one-on-one duel to the death that will end the Winter War. But all plans conceived by mortals cannot stand before the will of the Gods. A fireball blazing through the sky proclaims that Rulla, Dealer of Fates, has drawn a new rune slate.

Whose wyrd has changed? What is this new fate? Does it foretell glory or spell disaster? Lora doesn’t know. But she does know all will be settled on the Night of the Bjerndyr, when the barrier betwixt mundane and spirit worlds grows thin and the mythical were-bear takes human form and stalks the world of men.

The Rune Slate continues the Northern Fire pentalogy. It takes Northern Fire’s principal characters and places them in greater peril than they have ever faced before, and disunity casts a shadow over their saga. It delves into the inevitable conflict that arises when visions clash, when science slams head-on into superstition, and when the new must overcome the old. 

Now’s the time to find out which rune slate Rulla has drawn. Hold your breath.

Here are full-colour maps of the lands in which The Rune Slate takes place.