|About the Book|
Konad of Shiz, Knight of the Light Brotherhood and son of the Supreme Ruler of the powerful city-state of Heplon on the world of Mura, undertakes a quest to rescue his cousin Thesla, imprisoned in a labyrinth in the mountain stronghold of the rivalMoreKonad of Shiz, Knight of the Light Brotherhood and son of the Supreme Ruler of the powerful city-state of Heplon on the world of Mura, undertakes a quest to rescue his cousin Thesla, imprisoned in a labyrinth in the mountain stronghold of the rival Knighthood of Queson, ruled by Konad’s half-brother Agad.During a former insurrection spearheaded by Agad, the fifteen year old Thesla is kidnapped from her academy and taken to Ghanda as a hostage of Queson. She is destined to remain there as a bargaining tool while Agad builds his military might and plots the overthrow of his father’s hated, envied city-state of Heplon. After the rebellious uprising, in which plain greed is used as a lure to dissident aristocrats of Shiz and the social and cultural stresses within Heplon’s socio-political structure are exploited to gain support for the Queson cause, Agad flees with a third of Heplon’s population across the White Desert to the ancient Nomad city in the western mountains. He violently transforms the former Nomad Kingdom into the power base of the new city state of Ghanda. Here Agad and his revolutionaries build the tyrannical Knighthood of Queson, a Code long since abandoned by the gentler people of Heplon who practice the sister Code of Shiz. The narrative’s principal theme is thus directed by a schism of nations when a Code of Compassion comes into direct conflict with a Code of Control. Powerful monks from monasteries across Mura involve themselves in the struggle.According to the Code of Shiz every man and woman, upon entering adulthood, may be chosen by the holy powers to undergo a test of character, courage and worthiness called “Dragveldig”. This is viewed as a kind of arena in which the individual is pitted against various odds and judged afterward by his peers as having undertaken an appropriate quest or task. If judged worthy, the Knights of Shiz will be inaugurated as fully fledged subjects in their chosen order and given the two silver rings of Shiz to wear until they die or are discredited, or decide to become politicians or traders in which case they must surrender their rings to the High Priest and return to the status of citizens. Some succeed, some fail, some die and one avenges Ansalu.