Beneath the streets of Averalaan, capital city of the Essalieyan Empire, lie the three Princes of the firstborn, doomed to sleep until the end of days. When gods walked the world, they feared the Sleepers. They fear them even now. If the Sleepers wake, the city will not survive-and the Sleepers are waking.
House Terafin has already felt the con-sequences of their stirring.
To save the city-and the House over which she rules-Jewel Markess ATerafin must go to face the Oracle. She leaves a House that is still divided, and a city in which demons, in human guise, have begun to move. At no time in Terafin's history has it faced the dangers it now faces, and it will face them bereft of its leader.
Jewel has always seen unpredictable glimpses of the future-images of death and destruction which she cannot control and cannot always understand. To master her birthright, she chooses to walk the path of the Oracle. In her hands, she carries the only hope of the Winter Queen.
But the path she must travel was old when the gods ceased to walk the world. Ancient creatures stalk winter skies at the behest of the demons, who mean to ensure that she will never reach the Oracle's side.
Secrets, long hidden from all but the first-born, will finally be brought to light. Choices will be made, and paths chosen, from which there will be no return....
Oracle is the intricate sixth novel in The House War series. Set in the same rich fantasy universe as Michelle West's Sacred Hunt duology and her six-book Sun Sword series, the House War novels recount the events leading to the momentous final con-frontation between the demonic minions of the Lord of the Hells and the defenders of the Essalieyan Empire-a realm with a long and bloody history.
Michelle West is the author of three interconnected series: The Sacred Hunt duology, the six-volume Sun Sword series, and The House War novels. She has published numerous short stories, as well as fantasty novels, under her maiden name, Michelle Sagara. She was a two-time nominee for the Campbell Award. She works part-time at BAKKA Books, one of Toronto's larger bookstores, and writes a column for The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. She can contacted via her website, michellesagara.com.
Praise for The House War novels:
"Richly and superbly detailed. Her characters live and sing." -Examiner
"Lush, richly intricate…Jay is charismatic, deeply compelling…. The story sucked me in and didn't spit me out till the end…. Some say Michelle West has been propelled into the ranks of George R. R. Martin and Robin Hobb-I say she's been there all along." -Night Owl Reviews
"Fans of award-winning Toronto fantasy writer Michelle West will be delighted with this return to the vivid and detailed universe of the Sacred Hunt and the Sun Sword series…. In a richly woven world, and with a cast of characters that ranges from traumatized street kids to the wealthy heads of the most prominent houses in Averalaan, West pulls no punches as she hooks readers in with her bold and descriptive narrative." -Quill & Quire
"This is a compelling story with riveting and finely wrought characters that will keep you up well into the night. This story will go down as one of the best novels in its genre, propelling West into the ranks of Robin Hobb and George R.R. Martin. It's simply a great read, don't miss it." -The Main Edge
"West is growing into a superb storyteller as demonstrated by this best effort to date with a fully realized world populated by a diverse range of nicely developed characters and a compelling storyline that hooks readers in from the start." -Monsters and Critics
"I am glad I read it. It is out of the ordinary for a fantasy tale, and is a Hamlet rather than a Henry V." -Grasping for the Wind
"Michelle West tells a wonderful tale…. I really like the way West draws the charac-ters, making them, even the children, memorable. A lot of untold riches are implied here, and I'm waiting eagerly for sequels." -Philadelphia Center City Weekly Press
"The power and majesty of the series is in the characters, although the world itself is extraordinary.... The House War series is timeless and clearly takes it place at the top of its genre. It is a full-bodied piece of work that is satisfying, intriguing and thought-provoking." -Bitten by Books