A Secret Atlas
by Michael A. Stackpole
Category: Fiction / Fantasy
0 pages; ISBN: 0553352373
Rating: 9/10 (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner
A Secret Atlas
Michael A. Stackpole
Bantam, March 2005, $15.00
The Nine Principalities are recovering from the Cataclysm that allowed Wild Magic into the world and brought about The Time of Black Ice. Weather patterns changed, killing millions of people and mutations occurred where the wild magic was heaviest. Explorers find out what is beyond on the known horizon and give details to Cartographer Qiro who puts the new knowledge on the world map. His goal is to fill the entire map so that the entire world is explored and the map has no empty spaces.
Qiro sends his two grandsons on very different voyages; Jorim to fill in part of the map and find new trading partners and Keles is to explore the waste lands where wild magic remains in abundance. Someone seeks ancient weapons and magic powder and Qiro’s grandson is to learn who is behind this while also finding out if the Spice Road can be traveled to lands that were trading partners before the cataclysm. While they explore new lands, lost civilizations, strange monsters and mutations, Prince Cyronen, the ruler of Nalenyr where Qiro resides, is besieged at home from his inland lords who want to topple him from the throne and the ruler of another Principality who want to conquer and rule the rich and thriving Nalenyr.
A SECRET ATLAS is a fascinating, fulfilling and fantastic epic fantasy that takes the reader on journeys to strange unexplored lands populated by people who have never even heard of the Nine Principalities because they are so isolated. The explorers battle strange and deadly monsters while trying to fulfill their missions and the prince fights a battle of a different kind, one in which if he loses, he dies and a usurper will take the throne. Michael A. Stackpole can always be counted on to give readers a refreshingly unique and utterly absorbing tale.
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