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A passionate desire surged through Digan’s breast, until it ached to catch his breath.  “I shall become that master, lady!  Tell me but how!”

The witch squinted up at him—one eye squeezed nearly shut, the other a bright black bead.  “I doubt you have the stomach for it, boy.  The hunger, yes; perhaps the will…but the nerve—ah, that’s another story.”

His honor was at stake now.  “Set me your test.  I am not afraid!  I would learn how to master the magic of the lute.”

Freitanya lay a gnarled hand on his arm.  The touch sent a spark of power through him, and he shivered.

“How badly do you crave the magic, boy?  What will you dare to risk…?” queried Freitanya—and her voice lost all its aged huskiness, melting into liquid silver.  He stared into dark, rain-gray eyes that swallowed his soul, laying bare the darkest secrets and hidden passions of his dreams.  A faint whiff of sun-warmed oranges wafted from her tumbled cloud of fine white hair.  The scent seemed strangely young for one of her venerable years.

"What must I do?" he breathed.


Mordigan Bryre is a liar. It is his defining characteristic when the reader first meets him. He is also an apprentice bard at the doorway to receiving his journeyman's papers when he is thrown out of his Guild Hall by circumstances
that have spiraled beyond his control.

Given a challenge by the witch Freitanya to go to the wizard Talthos and ask for a magical lute which will give him the ability to play brilliantly--his fondest dream--Digan journeys to the wizard's Azure City to seek his fortune. Digan hopes that winning the lute will restore him to favor with his master, Cormeyer Stareyes, the King's bard.

Life is rather complicated by the fact that the Princess Allysian is in love with him...or at least the idea of him. With his dark hair and green eyes, Digan turns many heads, but his own heart belongs to the Princess...despite the fact that he knows he cannot aspire to her hand. Both of them have a great deal of growing up to do in the course of the quest, and Mordigan learns that love is worth any sacrifice.



Look for publication of THE LUTE AND THE LIAR from NovelBooks, Inc. coming June 2002!