Book Three of Northern Fire
“Thwarting Straelish spies is my interest, not yours.”
“When they seek to capture and drag me back to Straeland so that animal can torture me, I have every interest.”
“Granted. But it distresses me that so many of them have died recently. Were they all trying to kidnap you? And did you kill them all?”
Thus the dangerous dance begins between a Straelish outcast and the Dark Prince, the notorious spymaster who keeps his brother safe on the Polgati throne. One has information uncovered by an unconventional network of informants, the other worries that war is brewing between his country and Straeland, and he needs all the information he can get … because he fears Korgash Hasselmann.
Korgash has become the overlord of North Straeland and he rails against Polgatia for harbouring necromancers and Thorn People who spread evil in Straeland. He calls for war, but will he defy his Queen and call in his bannermen? For all the Queen’s sister-in-law, Princess Oda, might shuttle between capital cities to calm tensions, war looms.
Polgatia’s ruler reaches out to the Drovers of the taiga for three hundred of their famous horses to bolster his cavalry. Just as the nomads arrive in the Polgati capital with their horses, the Dark Prince uncovers a campaign to murder Korgash’s spies in Polgatia’s capital city. Could it be that there really is a necromancer bringing death to Korgash’s agents in the alleyways and under the darkened bridges of Sar Danskaya? Could it be that the “Thorn People” against whom Korgash rails could be some Wicked Westmen, vile Fjordlanders, who arrived in Polgatia some years previously? Could the woman amongst them have seduced a young scion of a junior branch of the royal family?
When events spiral out of control, with assassins and armies unleashed in one fell stroke, a war band formed by these same Fjordlanders arises to confront the menace. Will its determined commanders and its valorous actions turn the tide against Korgash? Or, will it be offered up to the Straelish noble in exchange for peace? When the time comes to settle scores, who will do the settling, and against whom?
The Winter Wars continues the Northern Fire pentalogy. In addition to introducing unforgettable characters from new cultures, it delves into the costs of personal growth. Can bonds, once broken, be healed? Can new bonds replace those that are beyond repair? When do the things we want most in life become our greatest peril? When we take up arms, do we defend our ideals, or, do we advance our personal interests?
Now’s the time to find out … make sure your armour’s buckled.
“Mr. McKinley’s writing style is solid and detailed, yet pleasurable to read. He has concocted a mythopoeic story of the first rank and one that will have you highly anticipating … The Winter Wars.”
“I read a previous novel by Ian and was hooked. I wanted to read more of his work and it led me to Harbinger which I truly enjoyed as much as his earlier book. I am looking forward to his next one and will be first in line to pick it up.”
Here are full-colour maps of the lands in which The Winter Wars takes place.