The Darkening Storm by L. J. Hutton
(The Islands Quartet)

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The DeÁine have rediscovered the locations of their ancient Treasures, hidden in the Islands, and this time they won’t let anything stand in their way of getting them back! Their arcane leaders, the Abend, have plots afoot and are manipulating events within their own court and those of the Islands.

Working against them in the heart of the Islands at Lorne Castle in Ergardia, Grand Master Brego is about to send the trusted few out on dangerous quests.

Going west, friends Ruari and Will will be in pursuit of the dangerous war-mage Quintillean who holds Ruari’s young cousins hostage. Can they reach them before Quintillean makes arcane sacrifices of them? Labhran, a former spy within the DeÁine court, with more of their friends will take a second route into enemy territories to attempt to ensnare the mage. Yet unforeseen events are moving fast to overtake them and none could anticipate what lies in wait for them.

For young Queen Alaiz there are trials of a different sort as she guides Talorcan and his men back south to her home island of Kittermere in search of two of the Island’s lost Treasures. Meanwhile her husband, Ivain, is in hiding and needs to lead his people to take back Prydein, but first he needs to learn how to be his own man. Can the Knights help him?

Friends Matti and Kayna are to return east to the political chaos of Rheged in search of a third Island Treasure, finding new dangers closer to home. Who of their old friends are still trustworthy?

Heading north, Maelbrigt must return to active service and leave the woman he loves, to journey in the company of his old friend Sioncaet to retrieve a fourth Treasure, despite the dangers of lurking DeÁine Hunters. Yet without these ancient weapons the Islanders’ chances of fighting off the DeÁine will be slim at best.

Already Berengar, Cwen and Swein are caught in the turmoil which engulfs Brychan, where King Edward’s insane actions are blinding others to the impending danger. Who is friend and who foe in an Island falling into chaos? Can they unite Brychan, or will the DeÁine make their first conquest?
With winter coming on hard all will find their courage and endurance tested to the limit, but no-one can fail without dire consequences!

About L. J. Hutton

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L. J. Hutton was born and brought up in Birmingham (UK). In her mid teens she suffered from exposure to Tolkien from which she has never fully recovered! After leaving school she did a variety of jobs until redundancy threatened, at which point she escaped to university to do the degree she'd always wanted to do and discovered Tolkien's academic work as well. As a (very) mature student she first acquired a BA in Medieval Studies, then followed it with an MPhil in Anglo-Saxon History. Old English remains a fascination and one day - when and if she ever gets the time - she'd really love to learn Old Welsh. By this time anything and everything medieval had become a bit of an addiction, as proven by the ever expanding bookcases of reference works, (one day they might just take over the house!) and innumerable trips to old castles and ruins. All this, coupled with a life of avid reading of fantasy, spurred her into writing about a fictional world as a way of exploring the ideas about the bits of history which remain obscure, or how things might have turned out differently. She currently lives in Worcester with one husband and several recued lurchers, but would like to relocate to the Islands if a) someone would find a way to get her there, and b) provide the computer up-link so she can carry on writing!
Published May 27, 2013 619 pages
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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