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By Honor Betray'd: Mageworlds #3 [Mass Market Paperback]

Debra Doyle , James D. Macdonald
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

July 15 1994 Mageworlds (Book 3)
Galcen has fallen.  The Space Force is broken and scattered. the planets of the former Republic are rushing to make peace with the victorious Mages.

All that remains is mopping up. Minor details. A privateer or two, a few Adepts who remain alive and on the run, and the hereditary ruler of a lifeless planet.

Beka Rosselin-Metadi, the last Domina of Lost Entibor, possesses little more than a famous name and a famous ship. With them she must salvage what she can from the wreckage of the Republic. Her enemies are too many to count, her friends too few to make a difference. She can trust no one except herself, her crew--and the family she ran away from years before.

Beka has resources few suspect: a hidden base, a long forgotten oath, and a dead man's legacy. But she has problems as well; for in a universe gone mad, neither friends nor enemies are all that they may seem.

A play that began in treachery and blood five hundred years before has reached its final act. A broken galaxy will be sundered forever, or else made whole.

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"I haven't had such a good read in the subgenre since I was cutting my teeth on Heinlein and Poul Anderson and the like!"--Katherine Kurtz

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

By Honor Betray'D
OUT ON the farthest edge of Gyfferan-controlled space, the texture of the universe stretched and altered. Like a shadow against the stars, the flattened black teardrop shape of a Deathwing raider emerged from hyperspace. Minutes later a second ship appeared. This one displayed the bright colors and needle-sharp outline of a Space Force surface-to-hyperspace courier. Together, the mismatched pair began their realspace run toward the heart of the Gyfferan system.
On board Night's-Beautiful-Daughter--for so the Deathwing's log recordings had named the Magebuilt vessel--Mistress Llannat Hyfid wandered about the empty corridors, trying in vain to escape her own increasing inner tension.
Llannat was a small woman, dark-haired and brown-skinned, and her appearance these days implied enough contradictions to make anyone tense. She wore the black broadcloth tunic and trousers that were an Adept's formal garb; but her boots were Space Force standard issue, and instead of an Adept's plain wooden staff she carried the short,silver-bound ebony rod that was a Magelord's weapon and badge of rank. The crew members on board the Deathwing avoided her as much as possible, out of a respect that verged on superstitious awe.
The clothes and the staff don't help even a little with the main problem, she thought glumly. Her wanderings had taken her to the ship's galley, where the smell of fresh cha'a emanated from a bulky, squarish urn. We've got to make it to Gyffer without getting blown up by system defenses programmed to fire on "nervous."
Llannat had given the order for the hyperspace transit herself. At least, everybody else on board the Deathwing said that she had given it. She didn't recall doing any such thing; she'd been deep in a trance at the time, observing the structure of the universe through a Magelord's eyes.
And now I've got the whole damned crew looking at me' like they expect me to go crazy or work a miracle, or maybe both at once ... .
She abandoned her search for a mug and pressed the heels of her hands against her temples.
"I have a headache," she said aloud.
Her words sounded flat and dull against the echo-absorbent walls of the Deathwing's galley. She saw a movement in the doorway: Lieutenant Vinhalyn, Space Force reservist and scholar of Mageworlds language and culture, the acting captain of Night's-Beautiful-Daughter.
"We brought the emergency medikit over from Naversey," Vinhalyn said. "There may be something in there that can help you out."
"I don't think so. It's not that kind of an ache."
"If you're sure ..."
"I'm sure," she told him. "I'm a medic, remember?"
The expression on his face made it plain that he hadn't, in fact, remembered. Llannat shook her head, resigned.
"Never mind," she said. "I have trouble remembering it myself sometimes. Believe me, life was a whole lot easier when I was just Ensign Hyfid of the Space Force Medical Service."
Of course, that was before I started hearing voices thatweren't there and seeing things that hadn't happened yet and coming loose from my body while I was drifting off to sleep at night. Nobody asked me if I wanted all of that, but I got it anyway ... and the next thing I knew, there I was on a mountaintop on Galcen, with Master Ransome himself asking me if I wanted to join the Guild and be an Adept.
Llannat sighed. And like a fool, I said yes.
Vinhalyn looked at her. The scholar-reservist was an older man whose active service dated back to the end of the First Magewar, and he deferred to Llannat as he had to the Adepts of those earlier days. "If there's anything I can do to help ..."
"Not really," she said. "But thanks. Let me know when we make contact with Gyfferan Inspace Control."
Vinhalyn nodded and left.
Llannat watched him go, then went back to looking for a cup. When she found one, on a shelf where a half-dozen of the standard-issue plastic mugs from Naversey stood among the Deathwing's shorter, rounder ones, she poured herself some cha'a from the galley urn. What sort of hot drink the Mageworlders had brewed in the big metal pot she didn't know--maybe Vinhalyn did; she'd have to ask him about it sometime--but the Daughter's current crew had managed to adapt the filtration setup to produce cha'a of hair-curling strength.
She sipped at the steaming liquid. The Professor would have known what they used to brew on board the old Deathwings, she thought. He probably drank enough of it in his day.
"What's this 'probably' nonsense?" she muttered to herself. "The Prof owned this ship, galley and all."
He hadn't just owned it; that was the problem. The Professor--whose true name she had never learned, and doubted that anyone living had ever heard--had been a Magelord himself before he abandoned sorcery and gave his oath to the ruling House of Entibor. What kept Llannat Hyfid awake during the night and made her pace the ship's corridors during the day was knowing that the Professor had intended Night's-Beautiful-Daughter for her.
First his staff, she thought. Then his ship. What other little bequests does he have for me that I haven't found yet?
The original legacy had come to Llannat blamelessly enough. She'd lost her own staff in the fighting on Darvell, the same day the Professor had died, and Beka Rosselin-Metadi--in an impatient, almost unthinking gesture--had given her the dead man's staff as a replacement. Master Ransome, who hated the Magelords as he hated nothing else in the civilized galaxy, wasn't likely to be pleased with Llannat if he ever found out. In the end, however, an Adept's choice of staff was a personal decision. Not even the Master of the Guild could force her to alter it.
The ship was something else again. The Professor had emptied Night's-Beautiful-Daughter to vacuum and left her to drift. When the derelict raider turned up in the Mageworlds Border Zone, the pilot and copilot were still on board--five hundred years after the Professor had cut their throats and left Llannat Hyfid a message written in their blood.
"Adept from the forest world: bring this message to She-who-leads ... ."
Those were the words as Llannat remembered them, from the waking dream in which she had relived the Professor's deed. Lieutenant Vinhalyn, however, had translated the blood-scrawled characters somewhat differently: "Find the Domina."
But the Domina was dead.
"Domina of Entibor," said Beka Rosselin-Metadi. She jerked the twisted iron tiara out of her hair and threw it across the room onto the rumpled bedsheets. On Suivi Point appearances were everything; the acting government of Entibor-in-Exile kept its front office ready for official visitors, even early and unexpected ones, by throwing all the clutter into the living quarters at the back. "Leader of the Second Resistance. Hope of the Galaxy. It stinks like a load of rotten fish guts."
"Gently, Captain," Nyls Jessan advised. Beka's copilot and number-one gunner was lean and fair-haired, with greyeyes and pleasant, if ordinary, features. He smiled at her. "Gently. When did you ever smell rotten fish guts, anyway?"
"Sapne, in the main port-market. I told you the place was a pestilential sinkhole, remember?"
"I remember." Jessan moved up behind her and began taking the pins out of her long yellow hair. "If you're thinking about Tarveet of Pleyver, the comparison is certainly apt. But you don't have to like him--"
"I know, I know," said Beka, as the intertwined plaits came free and fell down one by one. "'Just work with him.' Mother used to say the same thing."
Jessan kept on unbraiding her hair; his fingers moved warmly against her neck, making it hard for her to concentrate. With an effort, she gathered her thoughts and went on.
"How did Tarveet get to Suivi Point, anyway? Why the hell couldn't the Mages have snapped him up on Galcen along with the rest of the Grand Council?"
"That would have been nice," agreed Jessan. "I suspect that the esteemed councillor was already here visiting his money when everything fell apart."
"Taking some cash out for a walk, more likely." Beka frowned. "I wonder who he was planning to buy with it."
"Before the Mageworlds invaded? He could have been after almost anybody." Jessan paused, and his hands came to rest lightly on Beka's shoulders. She leaned back against him; his breath caught for a second before he continued, "At least now he's willing to give some of it to us."
"And we can't afford to be choosy." She sighed. "I know. Tarveet needs a Resistance fleet to protect his investments for him, and we need all the backers we can get. But a fleet's the only thing his money is going to buy; I hope he isn't expecting me to come along with it."
She felt Jessan's grip tighten and then relax. "If the esteemed councillor from Pleyver makes that particular mistake," her copilot said, his High Khesatan accent more marked than usual, "then I will disabuse him of the notion."
"Poor Nyls." She shook her head. "I do believe that Tarveet managed to get under your skin."
"Well ... somewhat."
"'Somewhat.'" Beka turned to face Jessan. In spite of herself, she smiled. "You do a really good look of exquisite disdain, did you know that?"
"Just one of my many talents," he said.
"Ah." She regarded him thoughtfully. "You have others?"
"So I'm told."
"That's nice." Her finger traveled down his shirtfront, teasing op...

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5.0 out of 5 stars A Convergence of Forces Jan. 21 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
By Honor Betray'd is the third novel written in the original Mageworlds trilogy. At this time, however, it is the sixth of the series in internal chronological sequence, following Starpilot's Grave. In the previous book, the Magelords have taken Galcen, the marines have joined Jos Metada, Commodore Jervas Gil has pulled together the Mageworlds fleet at Ophel, Ari Rosselin-Metada has fled Admiral Vallant to Gyffer, Llannat Hyfid has brought her motley crew and the deathwing Night's-Beautiful-Daughter to Gyffer, and Beka Rosselin-Metada has declared herself as the new Domina of Lost Entibor and the focal point of the resistance. Moreover, Owen Rosselin-Metada has found Errec Ransome imprisoned by the Mages, has proven his mastery, and has to been told to retrieve his staff and claim the Guild Mastership.
In this novel, Grand Admiral Theio syn-Ricte sus-Airaalin tries to break Errec's defenses, but fails. At Gyffer, Ari and Llannat join with local defense forces against Admiral Vallant and the Mages. Within Infabede sector, Jos captures warships from Vallant and decides to attack Galcen. At Suivi Point, Beka incorporates the local RSF squadron into the resistance fleet, Tarveet of Pleyver takes out a treason contract against her, and Ignaceu LeSoit breaks several regulations, and the docks, getting Warhammer away from Contract Security. On Nammerin, Owen and his apprentice, Klea Santreny, take ship to Pleyver to fight Mages. At Waycross on Innish-Kyl, Commodore Gil negotiates with former privateers to form a fleet around his three capital ships.
The Grand Admiral knows that he has a little cleaning up to do, but believes that the war is almost won. However, the resistance is gathering. All these forces, Republic and Mage, are converging on Gyffer. Should be a slam-bang fight.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brings it all together Oct. 23 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This volume brings the original Mageworlds trilogy to a resounding conclusion, and forces the characters (and hopefully the reader as well) to re-examine their pre-existing assumptions. Maybe the Mages aren't the practicioners of dark sorcery that the Republic has always considered them -- far from it, they have a system of practices as firmly bounded by morals and ethics as those of the Adepts, even if those morals and ethics, and the paradigm of the universe that underlies them, is somewhat different. And certainly the methods the Republic used at the close of the First Magewar a generation earlier -- namely the brutal suppression of Mage Circles and the reduction of the homeworlds to extreme poverty -- did not secure long-term peace. To attain more than a temporary victory, they must be ready to think in new ways about what they are trying to accomplish.
The Mageworlds trilogy can be read at one level as a space opera with lots of slam-bang battles and wild adventures. At the same time, they can also be read as a philosophical exploration of the nature of cultural misunderstanding.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Conclusion June 17 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The grand finale; still more surprising twists, and I love the ending (which I won't spoil for you, but trust me, it'll make you go, "I saw that coming," and "Wha??" at the same time;) Also, you get to see a more vulnerable side to Owen for a change, which makes him seem more human, more understandable. In the end, I couldn't help but love most of the characters, including the villains!
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5.0 out of 5 stars More than just another space adventure July 9 1997
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book has everything to be a space adventure, but it is far more than that. This is a classic combination of action and adventure with characters and plot. If I could think of a better book to tell you about I would. Quite simply, The Mageworlds is the best series I have ever read and I have read several thousand. If you want everything in a book, look no farther
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5.0 out of 5 stars Cant wait for the next book. May 22 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Love the people and the action. Want more of the same.
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