The Blackwood Saga
Layton’s “must read take on classic fantasy.”
Thrust against their will into an alternate reality of New Orleans ruled by wizards, three brothers are forced to hire a deadly adventuress to navigate their dangerous new world and find a portal home.
—Book Reader’s Heaven
—Girl Who Reads Book Blog
Volume 4 is on the top of my “Waiting impatiently for” list—just under Jim Butcher and Patrick Rothfuss.
—The Irresponsible Reader
—O.D. Book reviews (November Pick of the Month)
One of my favorite fantasy series in a while.
—The Irresponsible Reader
The Brothers Three
All Will Blackwood ever wanted was a little adventure. A fantasy addict and apprentice builder in New Orleans, struggling to make ends meet, he has long wished for an escape from the real world.
Late one night, he and his brothers receive a surprise inheritance: a staff with a mysterious stone on top, a pair of rogue’s bracers, and a sword that Will can barely lift. A man with strange powers shows up to take the sword, and the three brothers barely escape with their lives. Searching for an explanation, it is not until a magical key whisks them across time and space, into a terrifying version of New Orleans ruled by wizards, that Will accepts the truth about his family’s past.
It seems Will Blackwood has found his adventure. But this isn’t one of his fantasy novels, or a gaming campaign with friends. In his father’s world, magic and monsters are real. Choices are life and death. And they have no idea how to get home . . .
The Spirit Mage
Valjean thought about how impossible it seemed that there was another world out there from which he had narrowly escaped. A world of manticores and cave fiends, magic swords and potions, spirit mages and necromancers. Wizard-monks who could shatter walls with their fists, a city of colored spires so beautiful it took his breath away . . . and a world in which Val’s brothers were still trapped.
Desperate to help his brothers, high-powered attorney Val Blackwood manages to find a way to return to the world of Urfe. After landing in the dangerous underbelly of New Victoria, he concludes that the only way to find Will and Caleb is to enroll in the Abbey—the school for wizards—and somehow gain access to a portal called the Pool of Souls. Yet to succeed, he not only has to pass the entrance exam and survive the rigors of the school, considered the most demanding in all the Realm, but also avoid a lethal assassin targeting students.
As Val struggles to survive, his brothers undergo an even deadlier trial. Reeling from the loss of Mala, an adventuress lost in the mysterious Place Between Worlds, Will and Caleb and Yasmina are captured by slavers and taken to the mines beneath Fellengard Mountain. Even if they manage to escape, a feat no one has ever accomplished, they must still find their way out of the vast and untamed caverns of the Darklands. A place even the wizards fear.
Trapped in a land of dreams and nightmares, the brothers must somehow stay alive and learn to adapt to their new surroundings—or risk losing their home world forever.
The Last Cleric
Trapped in a world where wizards rule, the Blackwood brothers from New Orleans have become entangled in events that threaten to upend the Realm.
Oldest brother Val, sentenced to die in wizard prison, is forced to undertake a quest for the Congregation to try to win his freedom—but which might cost him his soul.
Reunited with an old companion, Caleb must overcome his personal demons as he braves the dangers of the Barrier Coast to warn his ancestors of the coming invasion.
And in a distant unexplored jungle, Will must find his warrior spirit as he and Mala lead a party of adventurers in search of the Coffer of Devla, a fabled artifact thought to reside in the lost pyramid of Yiknoom Ukab K’ahk, the most powerful sorcerer king who has ever lived. Used to annihilate the enemies of its possessor, the coffer might be the only hope for the struggling revolution.
Yet even if Will’s expedition is a success, prophecy holds that the coffer can only be used by a cleric of Devla.
And no true cleric has walked the Realm for centuries . . .
Return of the Paladin
Three incredible journeys in the shadow of a revolution
Distraught by the slaughter of his loved ones, Caleb embarks on a mission of revenge to the Tower of Elarion, a forgotten outpost on the Barrier Coast said to exist outside of time and space—and which Caleb believes holds the key to unlocking his inexplicable new powers.
With Caleb gone and Mala fleeing a deadly assassin from her past, Will agrees to lead a band of adventurers to recover the stolen Coffer of Devla. The last-ditch attempt to save the Revolution takes Will, Yasmina, and their companions through a portal to Praha, the most dangerous city on Urfe: a place seething with thieves, monsters, and weird magic from another age.
And in New Victoria, unbeknownst to his brothers, eldest brother Val finds himself taken under the wing of Lord Alistair and ordered to perform a very important task: find the Coffer of Devla and secure it for the Congregation.
As the brothers’ lives on Urfe spiral further and further out of control, their individual journeys become a fulcrum for the fate of the Realm—and a forge that threatens to consume them.
A War of Wizards
With the legendary sword Zariduke and the Coffer of Devla securely in the hands of Lord Alistair, the fate of the Revolution—along with the Blackwood brothers—has never looked so bleak.
While Caleb leads his army on a doomed mission across the Ninth Protectorate, Will remains imprisoned in a cloud dungeon on the other side of the Great Ocean. In the spired city of New Victoria, Val continues to stand by Lord Alistair’s side, an unwitting pawn in the Chief Thaumaturge’s scheme to destroy the Revolution and the Blackwood lineage once and for all.
As the Congregation prepares the killing blow, the only hope the brothers have to survive is to band together once again, retrieve the stolen artifacts, and lead the Revolution in a war against the wizards.
But is there a chance of victory against the overwhelming might and magic of the Congregation?