A wizard and a computer programmer from opposite sides of an interdimensional portal must work together to save their worlds from destruction....
In a world where wizards are relegated to ghettos, it is no surprise to see one murdered in the street. But for Stonne Caris, a young warrior monk who sees the killing and gives chase to the culprit, there is nothing ordinary about seeing a murderer disappear into a black, inky portal. The Archmage sends him in search of Antryg Windrose - a half-mad mage who understands the nature of these passages between dimensions.
On the other side of the Void is Joanna, a programmer as mild as Caris is deadly. She has spent her life in cubicles, staring into computer terminals, as far from heroism as she can get. But when the power that is crossing between dimensions draws her through the Void, she finds herself battling to save a world she never even knew existed.
©1986 Barbara Hambly (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
Barbara Hambly has published works in almost every genre of fiction---and the Windrose Chronicles is one of her best series. In fact, I have been waiting for this series since I first started listening to audiobooks years ago.
Originally written in 1986, the series fetures Antryg Windrose, a renegade wizard who has been held prisoner by the Council of Mages and the Church in Ferryth. Antryg is locked in the Silent Tower where he cannot use any of his magic powers---and he is insane. One of his powers was his ability to open the Void and travel to other worlds. The Archmage, Salteris, and his sassenna, Stonne Caris (also his nephew) travel to the Silent Tower to question Antryg about recent disturbances in the Void. But Antryg manages to escape, Salteris disappears, and Caris follows Antryg through the Void to recapture him.
Joanna Sheraton is a computer programmer in Los Angeles who lives a fairly solitary life. She was attacked in her office while working late one night by someone wearing robes and using a candle for light. After encountering Antryg at a party hosted by her sometime boyfriend Gary, she is kidnapped by Antryg and taken to Ferryth, still pursued by Caris.
Antryg, Joanna, and Caris travel through Ferryth, searching for evidence of Suraklin, an executed evil wizard, and Antryg's former master. Along the way they are pursued by officials of the Church, the Mages, and the Prince Regent who all want Antryg dead or recaptured. Strange disturbances continue to occur, including periods of where all magic seems to disappear. Antryg is convinced that the dead Suraklin is somehow behind these events, the disturbances in the Void, and the rise of Abominations across the countryside.
Be aware that this is a twenty-something year old book which features a computer programmer. While the references to DOS programming, dot matrix printers, etc., were cutting edge then, they will seem very simplistic now. In spite of that, the story is excellent and overcomes the "old-school" computer information. Hambly's characters and plots are first-rate and really deserve a listen.
I first read these tech/magic crossover books as a teen in the 80's, but it still translates quite well. While the computer tech is a bit dated, those of us who grew up in the dawn of the computer age can still appreciate it, and it's a minor aspect of these mostly-fantasy/mystery books anyway. Great character development, and a very good mystery plotline to pull it all together. Don't expect a tremendous amount of detail in the workings of magic in her universe, but what there is holds together very well. Well worth the read.
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