by David D. Friedman
Baen Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 1416520562
Date: 28 March, 2006 List Price $24.00 Amazon US / Amazon UK /
Book Description: Harald: A simple family man, a teller of tales, who happens to be the most powerful general of his people, home of the cataphracts, much feared warriors. Some, like the young king of the neighboring kingdom, James of Kaerlia, might underestimate him because he doesn't bother to bedeck himself in the court garb to which he was entitled. No one underestimates Harald twice. A hundred years earlier another young king, dreaming of brave deeds and rich plunder east of the mountains, brought a force from the Kingdom to take the Vales. An army three thousand strong tried to force the pass at Raven Stream. A thousand men of the Vales and their allies the Westkin held them. After three days the King's men gave up and went home. It wasn't water the ravens drank. Four times in the past twenty years the Empire has invaded Kaerlia's land, seeking to bring it under their rule. Four times were they sent home with their tails between their legs. Now the Empire is sending its best legions again to the north. Only by a return to the grand alliance of Kingdom, Vales and Ladies of the Order can they hope to withstand the disciplined and blooded invading army. But young James has picked a fight with the Order, picked a fight with Harald himself. Young men are not always wise, nor fond of peace. The new king wants war again. And again, the ravens will drink.