The Black Dream
Thirteen years have passed since Tamsen and Brial left the shores of ancient Ilia. But the life of contentment the gods promised them ends abruptly when a threat to Ansienne lures them out from behind the magical barrier that protects the Elven Realm. A new enemy has put all they fought for in danger--including the heirs to both kingdoms. A new game, played for higher stakes. Sometimes the only way to learn about one's enemy, is to make a bargain--and hope that bargain isn't a fatal mistake.
After the Ilian War, Tamsen Ka’antira settled into ruling the Elven Realm with her husband, Brial at her side. But when a diplomatic crisis occurs between Ansienne and Hippolytos , Tamsen and Brial are lured out of Leselle into the treacherous currents of human politics.
Tamsen realizes these escalating events are driven by something inimical—something determined to bring the Elven Queen from behind the magical barrier that protects her realm. Whispers of new sorcerers and upheaval among the gods soon coalesce into a single frightening truth. The peace the gods had granted to Tamsen is over, and the rising threat will turn erstwhile enemies into allies.
Only the greatest danger could persuade the Elven Queen to serve the god that once threatened the existence of her entire race. If Tamsen becomes the servant of Dis, the peril overshadows not just the mortal realm, but the realms of the gods.
When Tamsen wakes up in an unfamiliar place with no idea of who she is, something warns her to be cautious. So she plays a game with the man who claims to be her husband, and pays attention to what is going on around her. The physician her husband calls to tend to her after her accident makes her uncomfortable with his strange allure and odd style of speech. Nothing around her seems as it should be.
While Tamsen tries to regain her lost memory, Brial Ka'breona is tearing across the continent in an enraged hunt for his lost wife and Queen. But now the gods are forbidden to walk the mortal realm, and not even the Virgin Huntress can help them. In order for Tamsen and Brial to come together again, terrible sacrifices must be made--by mortals and immortals both. When a strange new ally presents itself, Tamsen must determine if the sacrifice she must make is ultimately worth the cost.
But sometimes, it doesn't matter what the price is. When the continued existence of the mortal realms is at stake, there may not be a price too high to pay.
Tamsen is still weak and emotionally shattered when her daughter Tamarisk is abducted by her uncle, Spesialle. In order to rescue them, Tamsen and Brial must find the way to Godspring, the dream realm where once the dead god Phobetor ruled alongside his brothers. Godspring is a land of illusion, a realm where dreams and nightmares both are crafted--and when Tamsen's power meets the world of illusion the resulting explosion turns everything to chaos.
With all five realms now in conflict, the situation is deteriorating fast. The mortal realm cannot survive a full-out war between the gods. For Tamsen, a succession of personal tragedies is beginning to take its toll, amplified by the destruction of her strength and the desperation of her task. On the Plains of the Underworld, the gods give her a nearly impossible task: keep an apostate god from returning to the city of Hell and reclaiming his immortality.
Can she find another ally to bolster her quest? Or will she fall into the enemy’s trap alone? Either way, she must find a way to save everything she loves dear, even if it takes her back to the arena of the gods.
Despite her grievous injuries, Tamsen doesn’t have the luxury of waiting until her regains her strength. Although she is aware that she is jeopardizing her future and the fate of her people, she has no choice but to continue her battle against the apostate gods. She must find a way to wield the most powerful magic ever crafted while still unable to walk—and somehow keep the five realms safe from a war between the gods.
But the dream realm is sundered, and the elder gods’ power is growing. Tamsen knows the odds of her surviving this conflict are slim. Her determination to do what is right is leading her down a path of darkness—not toward death, but a fate that is far worse. She can no longer run from her fate, but she must find some way to save the fates of everyone else—mortal and immortal alike.
Can Tamsen find the strength to defeat the apostate gods? And if she somehow manages to do that, can she possibly survive it? Tamsen's final battle is on hand, and even if she must be carried into the field, she is determined to spend every last ounce of magic, every last moment of her strength to protect the world she loves...for if she fails, she will know a fate worse than death itself.