is the sequel to P.C. Hodgell's classic high fantasy novels God Stalk
and Dark of the Moon
(collected in the omnibus volume Dark of the Gods
). Fast-paced, fascinating, and skillfully written, Seeker's Mask
continues the story of Jame the Talisman, the noblewoman/thief who possesses (or is possessed by) dangerous magical talents.
Jame has finally been reunited with her twin brother, the Highlord Torisen. But the joy of reunion doesn't last long. Jame is banished to the purdah-like Women's Halls as her brother's noblemen argue over who will marry her. When assassins slip into the segregated quarters, Jame must flee for her life, alone save for her blind, mind-linked cub, Jorin. But her attempt to rejoin her brother is complicated by court intrigues; by the ghost of her cruel half- brother Bane; by the conquered Merikit, who assault Jame's people with unknown magic; and by the weirding-mist, a mysterious fog that magically moves individuals, armies, and even castles to new and sometimes unidentifiable locations in the Riverland and beyond. And there are other problems. Jame's little-understood magical abilities are growing not only stronger, but more destructive. She bears the Ivory Knife and the Book Bound in Pale Leather, monstrously dangerous magic tools. The lost memories of her adolescence are returning, and they reveal that Jame may be a servant of the archenemy of her people, the worlds-destroying Perimal Darkling. --Cynthia Ward
About the Author
Pat Hodgell can't remember a time when she wasn't passionately interested in science fiction and fantasy. "David Star' Space Ranger by Paul French was the first novel with which I fell in love, so much so that I started making my own copy of the library book, long-hand in a spiral notebook, complete with a carefully drawn facsimile of the frontispiece. Long afterward, I cam across a paperback reprint and learned that my beloved Paul French' was none other than the ubiquitous Issac Asimov."
Over the years, as her interest grew, Pat collected piles of paperback science fiction and fantasy novels and comic books. Soon, however, reading and collecting genre fiction wasn't enough for her and, after college, she began to write it as well.
"It would be nice to say that, after the long suppression of the writing impulse, the dam burstbut it didn't. Due to lack of practice, I simply didn't know how to put a story down on paper." Pat began to learn, however, and by the next summer she had several stories finished and an invitation to the Clarion Writer's Workshop. "There, for the first time, I found a whole community of people like mestorytellers, wordsmiths, an entire family I never knew I had," Pat says of the Clarion experience. "Even more wonderful, here suddenly were professionals like Harlan Ellison and Kate Wilhelm telling me that I could indeed write. I could hardly believe my luck." She made her first professional sale two years later. Since then, she's sold stories to such anthologies as Berkley Showcase, Elsewhere III, Imaginary Lands, and the Last Dangerous Visions. Pat has also published three novels: God Stalk, Dark of the Moon, and Seeker's Mask, all part of an on-going fantasy saga concerned not! only with high adventure, but also with questions of personal identity, religion, politics, honor, and arboreal drift.
Both of Pat's parents are professional artists. Other reputed ancestors include a decapitated French Huguenot, a sheep thief tried by Chaucer, and a "parcel of New York Millerites who in 1843 sold their possessions, put on white nightgowns, and sat on the chicken coop waiting for the world to end. When it didn't they moved to Wisconsin out of sheer embarrassment."
Pat earned her Master's in English Literature from the University of Minnesota, her doctorate at the University of Minnesota with a dissertation on Sir Walter Scott's Ivanhoe, and is a graduate of both the Clarion and the Milford Writers Workshops. In addition to her work with WDS, she is a lecturer at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in modern British literature and composition, and teaches an audio-cassette-based course on science fiction and fantasy for the University of Minnesota.
Pat lives in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, in a nineteenth-century wood-framed house, which has been in her family for generations. In addition to writing and teaching, she attends science fiction conventions, collects yarn, knits, embroiders, and makes her own Christmas cards.