|9-book Gom series|
The series evolves as a set of Chinese boxes, taken from the center out. This first book is written in pure folk style, reflecting the safe confines of childhood. Skeller serves as a traditional villain, no surprises there. Gom's strange mother, the mysterious rune that she left with him, the only odd notes in this pastoral, are faint and far - until toward the end of this tale Gom comes upon a skull whose owner takes form and tells him who and what his mother is, urging him to seek her in the world beyond the mountain. From this time on, although the series continues embedded in its folk setting, the perspective steadily widens, ultimately encompassing an entire star realm.
|Hilsa with Gom singing to Gudry|
Gom quits Windy Mountain to find his mother, Harga the Brown, and return her rune. Crossing a high plateau he is attacked by a huge skull-bird. Hiding from the bird, Gom is given a riddle. Solve it, he's told, and he'll reach Harga. Easily said. But this is a life riddle which only experience will unravel. In his quest to find Harga he meets with many folk, some kindly, others out to get the rune at any cost.
|Gom on crystal stair||
Gom finds Harga only to lose her but before they part, she takes Gom alamar up a crystal stair swathed in thick mist. Atop the stair, Gom is told of an even harder second quest, no explanation given. As before he encounters enemies and makes good lifelong friends, human and other.
|going up to Harga's workshop|
|Katak: chapter initial||
Apprenticed to a hostile master, Gom struggles to gain his wizard's official title. One comfort are 3 friends: Stormfleet the magical cito still disguised as an old hack, Hevron, his master's horse, and Keke, a feisty marsh hawk. Summarily dismissed, Gom retreats to Harga's house and labors on alone believing that he has utterly failed his mission - until, as whole Ulm is threatened, he finds that no learning can match wit, courage, and will. As his world hangs in the balance Gom confronts his worst terrors on the crystal stair and mountain boy becomes wizard of legend.
|Gom's vision in Vala's bowl|
Pen'langoth showing Scandibar & the Fishing Quarter
Thirteen years after the Battle of Sundor and the end of Gom's second quest: Gerrad, Leochtor's son, longs to meet Gom and share an adventure. On his twelfth birthday he sneaks off to find him. He meets Essie & Carrick, befriends a homeless urchin, falls afoul of Gremla, an evil Solahinn woman empowered by a skull bracelet. Does he find Gom? Sort of. He certainly gets his adventure, more than he bargained for. At its end, his life is changed forever. (note: via this book I was able to present Gom from the outside, impossible until now. "Gerrad" also bridges the two "wings" of the series, local and off-world. As the action turns toward the stars, Pen'langoth is an important launching stage and essential pivot to affairs unfolding on Ulm. GC)
|map Carrick used to find Gerrad|
|Twin rowans, portal to An Telfahn - In Between||
On a visit to Pen'langoth, Lord Urolf falls in love with Leana, Leochtor's sister-in-law. He woos and weds her, takes her into his western home. Leana finds the place alien and cold and many folk do not accept her. Urolf soon tires of her and neglects her. While she does find allies in Vala and Feyrwarl, Urolf's brother, her misery deepens. When Urolf refuses to name his newborn son his heir, she attempts to flee back to Pen'langoth. Traversing a deadly waterfall, she falls with her baby into the currents and is swept off underground. Enraged by her actions, Urolf sets off a series of events leading to his domain's destruction.
|Leana approaching Urolf's treehouse|
Mountains mark the western edge of the Dunderfosse. Beneath the Crygg, the highest peak, live the Cryggmoren, an ice folk so secretive that even Gom is not aware of them, although Harga's house lies almost at its foot. Growing up among them, Wycan is an alien, never accepted, yet never allowed Outside. It doesn't bother him overly - until he comes upon a dying woman right up under the peak. He now plots to escape, to seek help for her and to find his true home. As he does so, his enemies plot against him and now he's going for his life.
|Leana lying under the ice cap|
Wycan strives to save a dying woman and to find his folk. Gom takes him in and soon finds his courage and good sense sorely tried as he calls upon his growing powers to help. Their tussles take them from Harga's kitchen, up under the ice cap, and through the Dunderfosse to a final showdown in the ashes of Aelyth-Kintalyn.
|Wycan poling out of the Dunderfosse|
|Gom's vision of Harga in the stargate with Spohr II||
Conscience and a sudden visitor force Gom from the Dunderfosse to attend a tiresome event in Pen'langoth. A few days, Gom tells himself, and he'd be back working to prepare for the second Spohr. And that's all it would have been until an unexpected revelation propels him far from their planned route into perils which threaten not only Ulm but the stars beyond....
|the Tamarith of Bayon|
MAP OF ULM
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