Ralph Lister

Tongue Eater - strange new worlds abound in Mage Errant Book 6

Posted by Sevhina on Sat, 04/29/2023 - 05:52
Tongue Eater Book Cover

Hugh's world has been completely shattered. His teacher Alustin betrayed him and turned Hugh's pact with Kanderon into her downfall. He also stole the cruelest weapon their world has ever produced, the Tongue-Eater, which is capable of stealing a language and rendering its speakers mute for one or more generations. Sabae always suspected that they were a means to an end for Alustin, but not even she predicted his quest for revenge against the Empire would lead to such blatant treachery. With Kanderon presumed dead, and only one injured council member left, Skyhold is broken and leaderless. Hugh is convinced that Kanderon isn't dead and he is willing to do whatever it takes to help her, while his friends concoct a desperate plan to stop Alustin before he unleashes the Tongue-Eater. It's a plan that will literally expose them to multiple new worlds in the process.

The Siege of Skyhold - epic battles in Mage Errant, Book 5

Posted by Sevhina on Sat, 04/15/2023 - 04:41
The Siege of Skyhold Book Cover

Hugh and his friends survived the City of Ithos but Hugh was badly injured in the process. Kanderon's enemies are coming for her, the Splinter, and the Tongue-Eater, which she's had since she originally used the Splinter. She keeps it in the Skyhold Vault with the other things that should never be used. That is, after all, the true purpose of the Librarians Errant of Skyhold, to collect dangerous items and remove them from the world. Back at Skyhold they are preparing the defenses but with most of the Council killed by Bakori there is one wounded councilor, one admitted traitor, and Kanderon who has been gone dealing with Ithos. They may be weaker than usual but Kanderon built Skyhold with strong defenses and she has strengthened her alliance with the other Powers of the Erg desert even if many of them cannot leave their territories.

The Lost City of Ithos - its return might be the end of the world (Mage Errant 4)

Posted by Sevhina on Sat, 04/01/2023 - 03:27
The Lost City of Ithos Book Cover

Sabae thought that Kanderon and Alustin used her and her friends as bait for the demon Bakori, but it turns out that Bakori was not really considered a serious threat. Kanderon and Alustin admit they were wrong about that but they were actually busy preparing for a far worse threat. Given that hundreds of students and most of Skyhold's powerful council died to Bakori, that's saying something. No one knows why the ancient Ithos Empire that once conquered the entire continent suddenly fell apart hundreds of years ago. It fell because they killed the mate and children of a young sphinx named Kanderon who then used her crystal and planar affinities to create what she calls the Splinter, which exiled the capitol of Ithos to a far distant world. She knew it wouldn't last forever but hoped the population would die before the Splinter ran out of power and the city returned. There's no way of knowing when it will reappear, but more than one faction wants to be there when it does. An Empire that opposes the Great Powers like Kanderon wants both the Splinter as well as the Ithos weapon known as the Tongue-Eater. Unfortunately Ithos poses a far greater danger than those powerful items. Kanderon later learned of a race known as the Cold Minds, that devour whole worlds in an effort to escape death. When Ithos returns there is a good chance it will bring the Cold Minds with it, and they devour whole worlds.

A Traitor in Skyhold - the Mage Errant series delves deeper

Posted by Sevhina on Fri, 03/10/2023 - 22:08
A Traitor in Skyhold Book Cover

Hugo not only survived his summer travels with Alustin but stories of their accomplishments preceded them home to Skyhold. Thus, his fellow students have now dubbed Hugo "Stormward". Alustin is being cagey about the purpose of that trip but Sabae suspects that he used her and her fellow students as a cover to spy on the dragon Idris. There is no doubt that Alustin has been a remarkable help to Sabae, helping her make the most of her strange magic, so she is keeping her distrust to herself for now. Her doubts only grow when they get home and the four friends are tasked with ferreting out a traitor on the Skyhold Council. Kanderon has known for years that someone on the Council has been working against her but she was angered when the traitor made sure a vote to protect Hugo from Bakori, the demon in the labyrinth below Skyhold, went against Kanderon. The Council claims to believe Kanderon is exaggerating the danger to ensure an easy test for her "Pact"ed student, but she is certain this is a direct attack against Hugo because of their Pact. Hugo and his friends are uncertain how much help they can be, but except for Sabae, they trust Alustin and Kanderon implicitly.

The Mage Errant series - a unique magical world, books 1 and 2

Posted by Sevhina on Sat, 02/25/2023 - 00:40
Into the Labyrinth Book Cover

The blurb for Into the Labyrinth is hardly unique; an awkward insecure student of magic must somehow find his talent before entering a monster filled maze at the year's end. This is really the story of four students, three of which have unusual parameters to their spellcasting, and their enigmatic mentor who is determined to turn those challenges into opportunities that will make them effective battlemages. In a multiverse world where most of the population has at least some magic, and every mage's abilities are unique based upon their affinities and casting style, the characters have more in common with the average superhero than Harry Potter or other "kids studying magic" books. Also, despite what the blurb says, the Labyrinth isn't the focus of the first book, which would be better described as the adventures of a young team of superheroes as they face epic villains, traitors, and mysterious named Powers, all while trying to avoid becoming the pawns of interplanar politics.

We Lead - the conclusion of the 3rd Ark Royal trilogy

Posted by Lore on Fri, 01/10/2020 - 10:15
We Lead Book Cover

The latest interstellar war has been a back and forth affair so far, but an advancement in technology on the human side of the equation offers up a unique opportunity. So far the enemy has had the tech advantage due to their faster-than-light (FTL) communications, which allows them to react much faster than the humans or tadpoles, but now FTL travel without a tramline is becoming a reality. This means that ships will no longer need to take a predictable path from one star system to another and humanity can strike directly at the home world of the enemy. There is a catch though: it is a one way trip, which means it is a win or die mission for every ship involved.

Fear God and Dread Naught - things heat up in the war.

Posted by Lore on Fri, 01/03/2020 - 11:36
Fear God and Dread Naught Book Cover

Ark Royal book 8 picks up right after the events of book 7, Vanguard. The first engagement of the war is now over and both Susan Onarina and Georgina Fitzwilliam find themselves in very different situations based on their decisions during that conflict. Vanguard barely survived to make it home under Susan's leadership and upon return to Earth she finds herself taken into custody for relieving Vanguard's former commander. Although she is quite certain that he was unfit for duty, Susan knew at the time that taking such a drastic step would have consequences and now is the time to find out just what those consequences are. On the other hand, Georgina is now in the uncomfortable role of being first middy in charge of four new midshipmen and she is not certain that she is ready for this new responsibility.

Vanguard - the start of the 3rd Ark Royal trilogy.

Posted by Lore on Fri, 12/27/2019 - 09:00
Vanguard Book Cover

Each trilogy within the larger Ark Royal series centers around a single ship and an associated alien contact story line. The initial trilogy featured an outdated carrier class ship, Ark Royal, and first contact with the race that became known as the tadpoles, which led to an interstellar war. The second trilogy featured a heavy cruiser class ship, Warspite, and first contact with the planet Vesy that contained a reptilian race not as technologically advanced as humanity. The Warspite trilogy had us fighting amongst ourselves and it just wasn't as good as the original. This third series features the first ship from a new class of battleship, Vanguard, and another story of interstellar war that hopes to recapture the glory of the initial series. Does it work?

The Summoner Trilogy

Posted by Sevhina on Fri, 01/13/2017 - 09:24
Novice Book Cover

The Summoner trilogy, by Taran Matharu, is a YA series that combines classic rpg video game elements, a Hogwart's like academy, and the teen vs teen survival trials of the Hunger Games. Fletcher is an orphan who finds, and successfully uses, a demon summoning scroll in a world where the human battlemage summoners support the army in an endless conflict with the orcs. 

Warspite - a follow on series to Ark Royal

Posted by Lore on Fri, 12/09/2016 - 11:13
Warspite Book Cover

The war with the aliens that was the backbone of the Ark Royal series is over and it's now time to deal with the aftermath. Humanity knows it is not alone in the universe and only a fraction of Earth's infrastructure and space navies remain intact. Heavy losses were suffered by many nations and the balance of power is changing. It is within this turbulent time of rebuilding that Warspite, the first of a new class of heavy cruiser produced by the Royal Navy, is created from a combination of alien and human technology. The series begins by following Captain Naiser on Warspite's maiden voyage and it is composed of all new characters that are basically the next generation after the main characters from the Ark Royal series.