The concluding volume in Sarah Ash's acclaimed fantasy trilogy 'The Tears of Artamon'.
Gavril Nagarian, Lord Drakhaon of Azhkendir, is believed dead - perished in the heat of battle. Yet he still lives, and is entrusted with a sacred mission: to rescue the aged Magus, who has been kidnapped and in whose possession are the five priceless rubies that compose the fabled Tears of Artamon. Ancient law decrees that whoever possesses the stones has the power to impose his will over the Empire of New Rossiya. But the task exacts a cost. The drakhaoul that destroyed his forebears has penetrated Gavril's psyche and is gaining power over his soul. As these dark forces seek immortality inside him, so Gavril must feed on the blood of innocents - or die.
Toppled by the loss of the Tears of Artamon, Emperor Eugene of Tielen is tormented by his own daemon, but he must defend his lands against King Enguerrand of Francia who claims ownership of the Tears. Yet both men share a common goal: to destroy Gavril Nagarian and the Drakhaoul that lives within him once and for all.
Ingenious and unforgettable, Children of the Serpent Gate delivers a thrilling conclusion to the epic trials of a man of honour in a world in chaos - one that can only be laid to rest by an Emperor's Tears.
“'This is no run-of-the-mill good-versus-evil fantasy potboiler....this is complex, ambitious writing with an engrossing plot'”
“'Ash does it in style...she has given us a superb interweaving of character and context, seamless enough to carry us past the threshold of disbelief into a world both magical and firmly, unwaveringly human'”
“'Darkly delicious...takes elements from Eastern European folklore and combines them with vampirism, dragons and politics to create an unusual and rich new landscape...filled with surprises and exciting twists. It is a deeply textured read that I found utterly entrancing”
“'A gem of a fantasy novel that shouldn't be missed. From the moment I read the first page I was hooked and couldn't put it down. She has breathed new life into the familiar scenario...it makes for a very exciting read'”
“Ash's rollercoaster plot never lets her reader get comfortable...This book has everything - dragons, werewolves, thaumaturgy and alchemy, vengeful wraiths, secret passages, poison, unnatural weather, adultery, treachery, revenge, and (common to Ash's books) music. An excellent start to a promising new series”
“Excellent...Fascinating and unpredictable, Gavril's tale gains richness from the grand scope of Ash's narrative, with its echoes of Russian history under the czars. Enhanced by supporting characters who are living, breathing individuals, this book will leave readers drooling to get their hands on the sequel”