A Gyrfalcon for a King: A fantasy novel of intrigue, loyalty, and dark portents (Stormclouds) by Jane Wiseman

A peregrine for a prince. A tiercel for an earl. But a gyrfalcon for a king. Rascally King Ranulf struggles under a dark curse brought down on him by a mighty gyrfalcon appearing on the tail of a comet foretelling blood and change. Why this king, no stupider, no more callous than many another of the ordinary folk wielding power in the kingdoms underneath the Nine Spheres? Merlin knows why the mighty bird has singled out King Ranulf, and he knows the damage the curse brings to the world beneath the Spheres. Locked in a battle of wits and will with another of his kind, the rogue mage Gilles de Rais, Merlin despairs for the world. The prophecy against Ranulf is stark: “One of your sons will do his duty. One will try to destroy you. One will ride out as leader of The Rising to avenge you.” But of all King Ranulf’s sons, the most mysterious is his misbegotten son John. John the bard. “Bards are dangerous,” Gilles de Rais tells John, deep in the forest. “Did you know that?” Terror-stricken by these words and his own hidden powers, John flees, aided only by the birds whose language he speaks. A younger son, an illegitimate son, barely acknowledged at all, how can John possibly help his father the king? “Or the world itself,” Merlin whispers. Dark bird. Comet screaming out of a cloudless sky. Dark portents. Merlin can read the signs. He fears the role John must play. He worries he won’t be able to help John, or not enough. The fate of the Spheres rests on John, a heavy weight to bear. Just as heavy, to John, the deep hidden knowledge he must learn to wield, to hone like the sharpest weapon so that The Rising can use him for its vengeance. Book I of the Stormclouds fantasy series.In chronological order, the Stormclouds/Harbingers fantasy novels are: STORMCLOUDS prequel series--A Gyrfalcon For a King, The Call of the Shrike, Stormbird. HARBINGERS fantasy series--Blackbird Rising, Halcyon, Firebird, Ghost Bird. BETWIXT & BETWEEN companion series--The Martlet is a Wanderer, The Nightingale Holds Up the Sky. STAND-ALONE novel set in the world of the Stormclouds/Harbingers fantasy series: Dark Ones Take It, being the origin story of Caedon and his brother Maeldoi, the Dark Rider. Read less

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