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Corfu in the sixteenth century. Key to Asia. Repository of a magic older than history itself. No wonder the demon Chernobog must possess the island - for with it in his grasp, Chernobog can finally crush Venice and defeat his immortal enemy, the Lion of San Marcos, who thwarted his previous bid for absolute power. Now all hope depends on the derring-do of the small band of heroes who fought against the demon before - and the inner strength of one reluctant young heroine. For the ancient powers of Corfu care nothing for either Chernobog's lust for power, nor the human desire for freedom. And anyone who would wield the island's primordial magic must pay with a piece of his - or her - soul.
Mercedes Lackey, author of the bestselling Heralds of Valdemar and Bardic Voices series, began life as a child and has been attempting to rectify that error ever since. Named for actress Mercedes McCambridge, she has been trying with no success to get the Benz automobile authorities to recognize the natural link between her name and theirs, and offer her the use of an M100 or some variety of high-end sports car for gratis. This, too, has had a distinct lack of success. Other than writing she can be found at various times prying the talons of the birds of prey she is attempting to nurse back to health out of her hands, endangering her vision by creating various forms of Art Beadwork, and cross-stitching dragons, gryphons, and other semi-mythological fauna. At the moment, her hair is red, her favorite color is green, and she is covered by various members of her flock of pet parrots, cockatoos and macaws, all of which are trying to help her type8shgalal-akejbejks9ife. Eric Flint is a popular new star of military and alternate history SF. His first novel for Baen, Mother of Demons, was chosen by Science Fiction Chronicle as a best novel of the year. His second novel, 1632, a major novel of time-travel adventure, was a commercial and critical success. He has also shown a powerful gift for humorous fantasy adventure with The Philosophical Strangler, which Booklist described as "Monty Python let loose in Tolkien's Middle Earth." His collaborations include 1633, a sequel to 1632, with David Weber, and five novels in the Belisarius series with David Drake, the latest being The Tide of Victory. A longtime labor union activist with a degree in history, he currently resides in northwest Indiana with his wife Lucille. Dave Freer, author of The Forlorn (Baen), coauthor with Eric Flint of Rats, Bats and Vats and Pyramid Scheme (both Baen), and writer of many articles in scientific journals, is an expert on sharks, an accomplished rock-climber, a wine-taster, and was an unwilling conscript in the "undeclared" South African-Angolan war. He lives in Southern Zululand, South Africa with his wife Barbara, two sons and a large number of Old English Sheepdogs.