The Cutting Edge

The Cutting Edge

Dave Duncan

Book 1.0 of A Handful of Men

Language: English

Publisher: Del Rey

Published: Jan 1, 1992

Words: 118679
Pages: 482


**The Aurora Award–winning author of the Man of His Word novels returns to the magical realm of Pandemia with the first in his Handful of Men series.** For fifteen years, Queen Inos and King Rap—the former stable boy and secret sorcerer—have ruled Krasnegar wisely and happily, raising a family and prospering in their remote little kingdom. But a darkness is encroaching, foreshadowed by prophecies of unimagined cataclysms across Pandemia. Prince Emshandar, better known as Shandie to Krasnegar’s royal family, is engaged in several conflicts along the Impire’s borderlands, as armies of djinns, gnomes, and other races declare and wage war. His grandfather, the aged imperor himself, continues to behave more erratically and tyrannically with each passing hour. Rap dismisses the warnings as superstitious nonsense and the borderland battles as far from home and none of his kingdom’s affair. But on the night of the birth of his fourth child, Rap is visited by a god who regales him with a cryptic tale of Pandemia’s impending doom. Once upon a time, a young sorcerer made an error, an error that now threatens to nullify the Protocol, the treaty that has controlled the use of magic for a millennium. Without the Protocol, the realm will fall into chaos and certain destruction—unless Rap embarks on a dangerous quest to right his long ago wrong . . . The beginning of a new series by the author of the Seventh Sword novels and many other acclaimed works of fantasy, *The Cutting Edge* is “deftly woven and set forth with a refreshingly unpretentious clarity and directness: imagine David Eddings rewritten by Kate Wilhelm. Grab this one” (*Kirkus Reviews*). ** ### From Library Journal The world of Pandemia seethes with tension as imperial troops wage war along its borderlands and omens predict disaster. When the Protocol which restricts the use of magic begins to break down, only a few handpicked people have a chance to preserve the balance of their crumbling society. Set in the same world as the four-volume "A Man of His Word" series, Duncan's latest series opener promises an action-packed fantasy quest that should have wide appeal. Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. ### From Kirkus Reviews Book one of a projected four-part series, A Handful of Men, which itself follows Duncan's previous paperback series, A Man of His Word: lively, ingenious, disarming fantasy set in a well- realized land of sorcerers, gods, and numerous contending human varieties (`imps,''`fauns,'' ``elves,'' etc.). Now, at the end of the third millennium, the compact that prevented the world's four supreme warlocks from meddling in human affairs is breaking down. In the city of Hub, the old Emperor Emshandar stubbornly refuses to die, while heir prince Shandie and his rakish, self-serving assistant Ylo are preoccupied with the incessant military threats to the empire, many stirred up by sorcery. Elsewhere, King Rap of Krasnegar, once a sorcerer of godlike power, suspects his son has acquired sorcerous powers, is told by a god that one of his children will die, and realizes that the world-order is about to change for the worse. For the first time in a thousand years, the mysterious pixies intervene in human affairs. Finally, as old Emshandar dies, the sorcerers' compact dissolves: an insane dwarf sorcerer makes a bid for supreme power; Shandie--with a few loyal companions, Rap, and Raspnex the dwarf warlock--is driven forth from his palace, one step ahead of total disaster. Deftly woven and set forth with a refreshingly unpretentious clarity and directness: imagine David Eddings rewritten by Kate Wilhelm. Grab this one in the fervent hope that Duncan will maintain the same high standard throughout. -- *Copyright ©1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.*