This might be the same story as Series involving someone who looked young, but was actually old, a magical barrier to the north, and a sarcophagus although I'm recalling different details. It started with two magicians fighting, and ends with the "good guy" throwing himself into a space with an endless storm — I think his opponent was wielding fire — and entombing himself in the ice, along with whatever the villain was seeking. The narrative cuts over to a brother and a sister who have to leave home on a ship. There's a storm, which results in the brother and sister getting separated. I think the brother starts to learn some form of magic involving feathers. The sister (who I think injures her leg in a permanent fashion during the storm) winds up in a land with creatures thought to be demons. She makes a deal with them and is placed in a coffin that will either kill her or give her great power, whereupon we learn that these creatures are actually artificial intelligences, and the coffin is a stasis chamber in a spaceship buried deep beneath the ground. Of course, she emerges with the power, and I think her leg is healed.

The brother, I think, winds up at the location with the ice, and frees the trapped wizard. It turns out that the other wizard he had been fighting is now the Big Bad of the world. We also meet a sickly young man who we later learn is the son of the villain (I don't think the villain is aware of him) with his great magic being what is weakening him. He is compelled to go to his father, which leads to a scene where some bandits try to shake him down, he tries to walk by, being compelled to keep moving, and he gets beaten to an inch of his life, only to be rescued by another traveller who chooses to protect him on his quest. The only other detail I recall was that there was another character, I think also thought by the humans to be a demon or fairy, who is actually an alien, and has a strict code of conduct. I want to say that he interacts with the sickly boy at some point.

It was a pretty large hardback book that I read somewhere in the last 6-7 years, and I want to say it was the first book of the series. It was in English and was, as I recall it, fairly well-written. I think it did have a TV Tropes page, but I am failing to find it.


1 Answer 1


Almost certainly Janny Wurts' Cycle of Fire trilogy.

  • Two magicians fighting, one a fire mage, the other wind/ice. The fight ends with one sealing himself away and putting a geas on the other.
  • Brother and sister, separated. Sister damages her leg. Sister gets taught by demons who are really AI, while in stasis.
  • Sickly young man compelled by the geas cast on his fire-mage father (about whom he is ignorant) to seek out the other imprisoned sorcerer. Along the way he gets rescued by a woodsman.

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