A novelette in the Darwath world.
Six years have passed since the end of civilization, and Ingold Inglorion, Gil Patterson, and Rudy Solis remain in the Keep of Dare. This huge obsidian cubicle (crafted by the magic and machines of a civilization destroyed long ago by a previous rising of the Dark) has kept its occupants from death, but their lives are a daily struggle, as they learn to adapt to a world gripped in a sudden climate change. And now yet another crisis threatens to engulf this pitiful remnant of humanity.
The recently discovered and little understood teleporter at the center of the Keep of Dare is about to open. Its perfect amalgamation of science and magic due to form a portal to another hidden Keep from the ancient times; a keep that Ingold and his apprentices (Rudy included) believe has been lost to humanity for three thousand years. And with Ingold away from the Keep, it is left up to Gil and Rudy to form a team, enter the portal, and deal with whatever might be in the other keep — good or bad. Something that promises to be more difficult than Ingold, Gil, or Rudy ever expected!
Obviously, this is a story that will mean more to followers of Darwath. First, because fans of the series are already emotionally invested in these characters and their world, but also because Ms. Hambly takes it for granted that Whisper readers already know the background, motives, and adventures of the main characters and doesn’t even mention them at all. So to fully enjoy this one you really need, at least, a Wikipedia understanding of the story up to this point.
Once you have the basics of Darwath down, this is a novelette that flows by seamlessly. It keeps you entertained in Hambly’s effortless way by mixing emotions with mystery, dragging you along behind the characters as they find themselves entangled in unusual and deadly situations with the fate of humanity itself on the line. And when it ends, it might not completely surprise you, but the emotions portrayed by the characters still touch you, because you can picture yourself trying to make the choices these guys are forced to.
As you can tell I’m a Darwath fan and I really enjoyed this short story . . . because any chance to revisit Ingold, Gil, and Rudy is always a special treat for me. One I do not take for granted anymore.