Green Pearl (Lyonesse Series, No 2)
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Beautiful Artwork, Slight embossing and reflective lettering. Very noticable discoloration on Lyonesse. Also, 5 out of 8 books. I'm currently tracking down the remaining 3. At about the halfway point of book one, however, she dies. The rest of the series divides its focus amongst a number of other characters, including her lover, son and father.
The Fair Folk : They aren't downright malicious, but tend towards the whimsical in negligent or destructive fashion. Fear to tread Troicinet represents Britain. All of these are based not so much on modern images of these cultures as on representations from the 19th century or earlier Troicinet is a sea power and balances the other nations; the Ska aren't noble warriors but fearsome and heartless raiders, similar to portrayals of Vikings in mediaeval English sources.
Aillas gradually loses his sanity and starts thinking of the skeletons of former inmates as friends and comrades in adversity. He gets better after escaping. Magic Feather : The boy Dhrun is given a talisman to avert fear, which in fact means that whenever he feels afraid, he misinterprets the emotion as anger and is able to be brave. The talisman eventually gets broken and replaced with a regular stone, but it continues to work until he realizes the replacement.
Medieval European Fantasy : Lyonesse has a style similar to classic Arthurian romance, full of deliberate anachronisms. Royally Screwed-Up : The king of South Ulfland's single son, Prince Quilcy, is feeble-minded and spends his days playing with fanciful doll-houses. Suddenly Always Knew That : Aillas never comes across as someone particularly interested or skilled in swordsmanship.
In The Green Pearl , however, he encounters an infamous bandit leader from a very martial culture who considers himself virtually peerless with a blade in hand. Out of nowhere, Aillas hands him a Curb Stomp Battle without breaking a sweat. The Never-Fail indicates that Dhrun is northward, in the city or beyond.
Faude Carfilhiot leads a band of men out from Tintzin Fyral on a "hunting" expedition to capture one of the barons who oppose his rule. However, it's an ambush, set up by Carfilhiot's enemies working together. His troops are killed one by one but he escapes with his life and seeks refuge at Melancthe's palace. He says they should be lovers; who better, since they are the same person. She disdains him because he inhaled the green fume whereas she tasted it and spat it out.
He seduces her. In retaliation, she magically transports him all the way across the Elder Isles to Avallon. Lacking funds, he seeks out the bandit Rughalt of the sore knees, his accomplice, to provide him shelter and funds. Rughalt is practically destitute; his knees are so bad he can no longer burgle houses and his only income comes from robbing the guests of a mean little inn.
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He sees Dr. Fidelius' wagon at the great fair of Avallon and is desperate for a cure. Carfilhiot tells him Fidelius is probably a quack but Rughalt is adamant; if he got his agility back, he would no longer be poor. Shimrod takes Rughalt deep into the woods and extracts Carfilhiot's name from him. Carfilhiot, waiting for Rughalt, suddenly intuits that Fidelius was Shimrod.
He kidnaps Dhrun and Glyneth and steals the wagon, driving it to Tamurello's mansion, who uses magic to send it back to Tintzin Fyral. Aillas, now in Avallon, learns from the captain of a Troice ship that his father lies dying; if he dies and Aillas is not on hand, Trewan will be crowned king. As Aillas, Yane and Cargus debate what to do, Shimrod runs up and asks if they have seen a wagon pulled by a pair of two-headed horses. Aillas had, and Shimrod tells him that Faude Carfilhiot has kidnapped two children that were travelling with him.
Aillas notices that the Never-Fail is suddenly pointing south, and asks the names of the children. Shimrod and Aillas ride to Tamurello's mansion but arrive too late; Carfilhiot and the wagon are gone. Aillas decides with a heavy heart he must return to Troicinet to prevent Trewan from being crowned king. Accompanied by Yane and Cargus, Aillas arrives at the last possible minute and confronts Trewan with his murderous deed. Shimrod can not act directly against Carfilhiot to rescue Glyneth and Dhrun, because that would constitute taking Aillas' side in a political matter and violate Murgen's edict.
However, Aillas has learned that Quilcy, King of South Ulfland, has drowned in his bathtub, and that Aillas is his rightful heir by collateral lineage. He lands a force of troops in South Ulfland, proclaims his kingship, and demands a show of fealty from Carfilhiot as Carfilhiot's rightful liege lord. Carfilhiot refuses, and Aillas' Troice troops lay siege to his castle.
Aillas' soldiers, informed by his knowledge of the castle's defenses, avoid the traps and pitfalls Carfilhiot has prepared, much to Carfilhiot's dismay. He calls on Tamurello, who confronts Aillas. This gives Shimrod an excuse to call on Murgen, who forbids Tamurello from acting and banishes him to his mansion.
Tamurello offers to bring Carfilhiot to his manse, but Carfilhiot refuses to leave his castle.
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The siege is eventually successful, Dhrun and Glyneth are rescued, and Carfilhiot is hanged as a traitor to his king. When his body is cremated, a green fume escapes and blows out to sea, where it mixes with the spume and condenses into a "green pearl", which sinks into the sea and is swallowed by a fish. Casmir is puzzled as to how Aillas, barely out of his teens, could have a nine-year-old son, and why Aillas' face seems rather familiar.
In a fishing village in South Ulfland, a fisherman catches a flounder and discovers the green pearl inside. The pearl changes hands a number of times, impelling each new owner to strange excesses of conduct, until the final owner offends a minor magician, who takes him deep into the forest and casts a spell of paralysis on him.
His body decomposes and merges with the forest floor; in the Spring, beautiful flowers with strangely evocative odors sprout at the site. Aillas and Dhrun divide their time between Watershade, Aillas' placid castle on the island of Troicinet, and his new capital Doun Darric in South Ulfland.
Glyneth has been installed at court with the anomalous title "Princess" and Shimrod is a frequent guest. Aillas journeys to South Ulfland where he attempts to convince the fiercely independent barons to accept his rule as king.
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He bans private justice and torture and orders the barons to forget their old feuds and unite against the Ska. Aillas' program gains credibility when he sends a force to destroy the mountain keep of the first baron to openly defy him. Casmir sends Shalles into the Ulfish uplands to sow dissent among the barons through rumor and intrigue.
Torqual, a renegade Ska, is ordered to assemble a band of cutthroats to attack those nobles who support Aillas' rule.
Torqual has his own plans, to conquer all of the Elder Isles for himself, and Casmir soon grows exasperated with Torqual's demands for ever increasing amounts of gold. Casmir is also troubled by a prophecy made at Suldrun's birth that her son would rule the Elder Isles; Casmir believes Suldrun gave birth to a girl, the princess Madouc.
He applies to Tamurello for assistance, who sends to him Visbhume, a low magician of peculiar personal habits. Visbhume makes inquiries and informs Casmir that Suldrun's child was in fact a boy, and that Madouc is a fairy changeling. Visbhume learns that the boy, known to the fairies as "Tippet", was travelling with a girl named Glyneth, and that Suldrun's former nursemaid, who had tried to hide Dhrun from Casmir, had left Lyonesse with her entire family and were now landed gentry on Troicinet.