"Fantastic Fantasy"

Long ago two empires arose with one following the light and the other embracing the dark. Eventually they warred with wizards fighting mages. The outcome was civilization was destroyed. Gradually mankind rebuilt much of what was lost, but failed to understand the real lesson of the past.

For almost four decades, the Empress Ouriana has ruled the island kingdom of Phaorax while turning her neighbors into slave states. Her mightiest weapon is the Furiadhim, warrior priests dedicated to the dark powers, but subject to the will of the Empress.

Ouriana's sister gives birth to a daughter that many believe is the child of prophecy that says someone with the empress' blood will defeat her. Wizards and men willingly die to insure the princess will survive. Currently she lives in the home of King Ristat of Sturra under a false name. Nineteen years have passed since her birth and war is everywhere. The wizard Sinderian feels the time is near to fullfill the prophecy, but she must find and protect the princess from her aunt's minion whose mission is to kill her.

Sword and sorcery fans and followers of Tolkien and Brooks are going to love THE HIDDEN STARS. The princess has no idea of her heritage, who she is, and what is expected of her as part of hiding her was to keep even her from knowing until the time was right. Her naive innocence is a perfect counterpoint to battle scarred Sinderian who has seen sacrifice for the cause. Madeline Howard's debut tale us a terrific high fantasy (what do you expect with that last name -- a stooges' tale?) that readers will enjoy and look forward to the next novel.

Reviewed by Harriet Klausner
Posted September 24, 2004

Reviewed by PNR Group Member
Posted January 24, 2007


Extraordinary new talent Madeline Howard begins an epic trilogy of magic and power, hidden birthrights and prophecies, with The Hidden Stars, the first book of The Rune of Unmaking. In a world devastated by a cataclysmic war between the wizards and mages, the Empress Ouri#225;na has seized the throne, proclaiming herself the Divine Incarnation of the Devouring Moon. Appointing twelve priests to perform her rites, she rules with a tight rein of evil sorcery. The priests, once men, have become twisted with magic, making them monstrous -- mutated. They bring destruction wherever they ride, and one kingdom after another falls, enslaved into darkness. Yet signs and portents appear, puzzling the seers, and a tale begins to grow. A rumor of a young girl, talented and hidden, who is destined to end Ourina's tyrannous reign ... if she can survive long enough to do so. And so a brave band of wizards and heroes ride out in search of the hidden princess, pursued by the fury of the dark goddess herself.


The Hidden Stars
(Rune of Unmaking: Book 1)
by Madeline Howard

October 1, 2004
Available: October 12, 2004
ISBN #0060575875
EAN #9780060575878
432 pages
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Other Books by
Madeline Howard

A Dark Sacrifice

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