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About the Author
Robert G. Ferrell is an information security geek, percussionist, bass guitarist, recording engineer, Ham radio operator (KF5SAR), calligrapher, graphic artist, and mostly author. You can find him on Facebook, Goodreads, the Blogosphere, Twitter, and Scribd.
Petty thieves, robbers, trespassers, burglars, streetwalkers, and the occasional backstreet gambling ring formed the backdrop of Tol's life. He was a veteran cop in the most unsavory neighborhood of the largest city in the realm. It was a predictable existence with scattered relatively minor excitements; rarely a firefight would break out, but Tol's marksmanship, aggressive tactics, and extraordinarily thick hide usually put the kibosh on these rapidly. In fact, his most onerous daily challenge was the wise-cracking departmental-issue pen he was forced to carry.
When Tol gets wind of a plot involving one of his small-time hoodlums, Pyfox, which is far beyond the petty criminal's accustomed scope, he suspects some hand-in-the-puppet action going down. His chain of command isn't interested in a ghostly transcendent mage's crackpot reports of threats against the magical reservoir known as The Slice, so Tol takes personal leave and pursues Pyfox and his band of minions into a vast lair located in Mt. Astflanar, the tallest mountain in the nation of Tragacanth.
To the southeast a magically-triggered storm known as a hurrarcane is playing havoc with the schedule of a pretty young reporter and her intrepid news crew as they struggle to stay high and dry after covering a protest by strange new hybrids that have emerged from a toxic sludge pit known as The Effluent. While waiting for the news desk editor to make the trek down to rescue them after their conveyance gets stuck in the rising mud, they spot what appears to be a moving mountain. Seeing in this a sensational story, the crew sets off in pursuit. They are separated, assaulted by needlefish and lacerated by pincer ants, and at last reunited with each other and their editor inside the magnificent underground mansion of a legendary archmage.
Meanwhile, Tol's nerdy computer-obsessed brother has, with the aid of a mysterious benefactor who hails from a long line of elite hackers, managed to wrest control of part of the Royal Network in a Crown Tournament and thus won for himself the throne of Tragacanth. He hires that hacker, Boogla, who turns out to be a she, as one of his cabinet. She travels to the four corners of the kingdom to meet and establish a working relationship with the most powerful mages in each district. Shortly after she returns to the Royal Palace the quakes begin.
The evil transcendent mage Namni manipulating Pyfox has orchestrated a plan to bring about the destruction of all access portals to The Slice except for one controlled by him. In order to destroy the magical talismans holding open the twenty-four portals, he must channel tremendous energy through them-supplied by major, destructive quakes triggered in waves all across the kingdom.
As Namni and his former compatriot Oloi battle in The Slice itself, the news team, the ancient archmage Ballop'ril who enchanted the moving mountain, and Tol confront Pyfox and his minions in a long-abandoned temple at the heart of Mt. Astflanar. At the last moment before the evil plan becomes reality Tol grabs an enchanted figurine containing the essence of Namni and smashes it against a cavern wall, scattering the mage's vital energies in all directions.
Tol is made a Knight of the Crimson for his achievement, the first civilian ever to hold that distinction. His brother, King Aspet I, and Boogla discovers that their admiration and respect for one another has blossomed into something greater, and are wed with-Tol serving as Second to the Groom.
Here are two of my favorite bookstores. Visit them whenever you're in town. Before they disappear. :-( BookPeople (Austin) The Twig (San Antonio)