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Cover image for Mistress of the Catacombs
Mistress of the Catacombs
1st ed.
Publication Information:
New York : Tor, 2001.
Physical Description:
464 pages : map ; 25 cm.
Series title(s):
Number in series:
General Note:
"A Tom Doherty Associates book."
Garrick is ripped from his time and body and must make new allies if his kingdom is to survive.


Call Number

On Order



For the first time in a thousand years, the Kingdom of the Isles has a government and a real ruler: Prince Garric of Haft. The enemies joining against him intend to destroy not only the kingdom but humankind as well.
The rebels gathering in the West outnumber the royal army and the magic they wield can strike into the heart of the palace itself, but far greater dangers lie behind those. On the far fringes of the Isles, ancient powers ready themselves for a titanic struggle in which human beings are mere pawns--or fodder
Reptilian and insect monsters from out of the ages march on the kingdom, commanded by wizards no longer human or never human at all. If unchecked, their ravening slaughter will sweep over the Isles as destructively as a flood of lava. Garric, ripped from his time and body, must make new allies if he and his kingdom are to survive.
His sister Sharina struggles with the chaos threatening the kingdom as swords and wizardry both gather to bring it down.
Their friend Cashel, thrown into a place not of his world, faces each succeeding challenge with the calm certainty that he will overcome it or die, and that nothing yet has been able to kill him.
And while her comrades strive in their own fashions, Ilna studies a pattern more complex than perhaps than even she and the skills she learned in Hell can master. If she fail, humanity will never escape the web being woven for it.
Watching them all from the blackness of a tomb walled off in time and space, the Mistress waits...
And her fangs drip poison

Author Notes

David Drake was born on September 24, 1945, in Dubuque, Iowa. He attended University of Iowa, where he graduated with a degree in History (with honors) and Latin. He then attended Duke Law School. He was drafted out of law school, served in the army for two years and then returned to school. He worked as an Assistant Town Attorney of Chapel Hill and then part-time as a city bus driver before he became a full-time writer.

Drake is considered a master of Science Fiction and Fantasy. The Hammer's Slammers, military science fiction, was his first published series. His other titles include Northworld series, The Dragon Lord, Starliner, Ranks of Bronze, and Redliners.

In recognition of his work, he won a World Fantasy award in 1976.

He currently resides in North Carolina.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Kirkus Review

Volume four in Drake's generic fantasy on future wizardry (Lord of the Isles, Queen of Demons, and 1999's Servant of the Dragon), which fast approaches the length of In Search of Lost Time while presenting somewhat more of a struggle for adults to read. The new doombubble of mankind imperiled does have a meandering but sometimes pleasing high danger as characters strive vainly to rise above stereotyping. Drake's big problem turns on his following the adventures of three or four separate groups of characters and ending each group's episode at a pitch of excitement that loses its zing before those folks-among them, Prince Garric of Haft, Cashel, Tenoctris, Sharina, Merota, Ilna, and the phantomy Intercessor Echea-return to the page. Drake's many fans doubtless will look eastward for the sunrise of volume five.

Booklist Review

In the fourth volume of Lord of the Isles, Prince Garric of Haft, the reluctant hero now ruling the Kingdom of the Isles as best he can, has solved some of his logistical and financial problems. Unfortunately, much of his opposition comes from immaterial forces, as rogue wizards, some nonhuman, cast spells right and left. Various bestial hordes swarm in all quarters, and though the Mistress of the Catacombs remains off-stage, the mere fact that she exists raises the levels of threat to the realm and tension in the narrative. Garric isn't fighting alone, of course; sister Sharina, ghost-adviser Cashel, and student of Hell's magic Ilna guard his flanks and back. The book doesn't escape the problem, inherent to its place in the saga, of dividing its considerable length between filling in backstory and advancing the plots, counterplots, and subplots. That adversely affects pacing but not world building, characterization, and systems of magic, which are all so well conceived that the saga continues to be Drake's most ambitious work to date. --Roland Green