Trying to ID a sci-fi/fantasy book I read in middle school. I read it around 2005, and at that time it was already a very old book - the pages were yellowed and musty.
The one key, defining, and distinctive element that I remember is the central importance to the plot of four relics or artifacts that closely resemble the ancient legend of the Four Treasures of the Tuatha Dé Danann. These powerful magical artifacts were very important to the plot, and used in the war against evil. These artifacts later cropped up in other books (like A Wizard Abroad and The Black Cauldron) and captured my imagination, which is why I'm trying to ID this book.
The four artifacts are:
- A stone or gem (sometimes associated with earth)
- A cauldron or chalice (sometimes associated with water)
- A sword (sometimes associated with fire)
- A spear (sometimes associated with air)
Some other things I remember about the book:
The story is one of the stories of mixed sci-fi and fantasy styles. The characters rode horses and used swords, but also had some sort of laser weapons and other futuristic technology mixed in. I think I recall at least some kind of space travel, but I may be getting that part mixed up with a different book. Magic was also strongly involved.
The feel of the story was what I'd describe as Arthurian High Fantasy. The story was about kings and queens and kingdoms and wars, and either took place in a different world, or an earth very unlike our own. Based on what I recall of the writing style and their conception of futuristic technology, these were older books - I'd estimate 50s to 70s.