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Paths of Alir

A Pattern of Shadow & Light Book Three

The first two books in A Pattern of Shadow & Light introduce readers to the realm of Alorin and its magical Adept race, which is facing extinction. The race's tragic decline is the result of Malorin'athgul, powerful beings from the fringes of Chaos, whose presence in Alorin has caused a shift in the cosmic Balance. Fate bends to their will, and their will is set upon Alorin's destruction. Alone in understanding the threat they pose, Alorin's Fifth Vestal, Björn val Gelderan, has launched a desperate plan to stop them: a "great game" played upon the tapestry of mortal life. Now, in Paths of Alir, A Pattern of Shadow & Light Book 3, Björn's Players have taken the field:

Along the lush Caladrian coast of Agasan...the truthreader Tanis d'Giverny returns to the place of his birth and finds mysterious and wonderful workings waiting for him. But the zanthyr Phaedor warns Tanis that ominous events lie ahead, and the lad soon wonders if even his mother's magical lessons will be enough to keep him alive.
In the dungeons of Tal'Shira...held prisoner by the Adept Inquisitor Taliah hal'Jaitar, Prince Trell val Lorian is facing a life of enslavement. Only two paths lie open before him: one means an eternity of torture fighting Taliah's attempts to break him; the other requires surrendering to her will. But can he really sacrifice everything he is to walk Taliah's path of twisted magic known as mor'alir?
In the snow-bound Castle of Tyr'kharta...Prince Ean val Lorian must choose to save his brother Sebastian or his loyal men. But to choose his men means leaving Sebastian to an eternity of enslavement; while rescuing Sebastian means abandoning his friends, and his honor along with them. Either decision will test Ean's newfound skills as well as his conviction, for as the prince learns, once a man becomes a Player in the First Lord's game, not even death can give reprieve.


Praise for A Pattern of Shadow & Light

"This is a richly imagined piece of work...the characters are engaging, and McPhail manages to do some very original things, which is often difficult in fantasy, given that so much work in the genre relies on Tolkienian stereotypes.... Some strong work here." ~Writer's Digest Self-Published Book Awards

"Fans of Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson will love this new series. [Cephrael's Hand] was ambitious, well written, loaded with intrigue, rich characters, and intertwining plots. The story is compelled by strong characters whose motives are not immediately clear... If you are looking for the next great fantasy series, here it is!" ~Steven R. Burke, Author

"The Dagger of Adendigaeth continues A Pattern of Shadow & Light series with stabbing emotion, a deeper cutting plot, and sharp new pawns and players in the elemental, spiritual, and physical war for Alorin - all while intricately threading the characters' lives... An escaping, drop-everything-now read!"  ~The LUV'NV

Profile Photo Melissa McPhail

About Melissa McPhail

Melissa McPhail is a classically trained pianist, violinist and composer, a Vinyasa yoga instructor, and an avid fantasy reader. A long-time student of philosophy, she is passionate about the fantasy genre because of its inherent philosophical explorations. Melissa loves sailing, skiing and discussing books and philosophy—not necessarily in that order.

Melissa lives in the Pacific Northwest of the United States with her husband, twin daughters and four very large cats. She is known for being an engaged author on social media and welcomes your thoughts on her work, the fantasy genre, or independent publishing. Look for her on Twitter or Facebook, or via her website and blog at

All books by Melissa McPhail

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