Fortress of OwlsBook - 1999
There is a vast difference between wizardry and sorcery, a difference embodied in the conflict between the shadowy immortals Mauryl and Hasufin.
Tristen is a weapon in the at ancient war. A summoning and a shaping, brought to life by the wizard Mauryl, Tristen has yet to see his first winter, though he has the shape and the memory of a young man.
And the sword is a weapon as well. Its keen blade, marked Illusion on one side and Truth on the other, helped the young king Cefwyn secure the throne of Ylesuin and gained Tristen the stewardship of Amefel, a country that has paid dearly for its resistance to the barbarism of wizard war.
Tristen's rule in Amefel is blessed with two extraordinary friends: one a stalwart and simple warrior, the other with more than a drop of aetheling royal blood. But the scarlet banners of war are unfolding again, and far more than a kingdom is at stake.
Cefwyn's dream of a united Ylesuin and a love match with Nivévrise is threatened by ambitious lords and narrow religionist to whom all magic is evil. The "sparrows" of Elwynor are gathering on the border, pitiful refugees from the gathering storm.
And Tristen must take up the sword and the Sihhé magic he has forsworn. For he is destiny's own, created a combatant in a far older and more fearsome conflict than any ever imagined by mere mortal man.
Following her acclaimed Fortreess in the Eye of Time and Fortress of Eagles, C. J. Cherryh's newest high fantasy triumph continued the soaring tale of the primordial struggle between darkness and light. Fortress of Owls is a worthy and essential addition to this awesome fantasy epic, set in a world as rich with wonder, as plagued by violence, and for those with eyes to see, far more real than our own.
The Blade, Illusion, Flashed in the Dim Light...
Naked, sword in hand, Tristen faced the window into the shadowed night and saw all the town of Henas'amef flared up in Lines. There were al the wards, all the magic of craftsmen and householders warding their own doors and walls; the common magic of parents and homekeepers and the pure trust of children...all these things Unfolded to him in that unworldly glow, block by block, house by house, outward toward the great defensive wall of Henas'amef itself, a bright blue Line often retraced and constantly tended. Something had challenged them
But they held. For now, they held...