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It was rarer and more beautiful and more precious than any piece of mineral, and its dark glory outshone the lights of the heavens. The Gods had wrought it in the Country of the Immortals, and no other thing like it had ever been upon the earth.
No emperor could hold the Throne without the Black Star. And now it was missing.
The evil Green-Robed One who had usurped the Throne would use his darkest powers to reclaim it - and the young warrior fleeing across the embattled land with his beautiful lady to save this treasure of all the world would know the torments of the damned...
Lin Carter (1930-1988)
Lin Carter is the working name of US author and editor Linwood Wrooman Carter, most of whose work of any significance was done in the field of Heroic Fantasy, an area of concentration he went some way to define in his critical study of relevant texts and techniques, Imaginary Worlds (1973). Born in St Petersburg, Florida, Carter was an avid reader of science fiction and fantasy in his youth. He was also quite active in fandom. Carter served in the United States Army between 1951 and 1953, after which he attended Columbia University. He is best known for editing the Ballantine Adult Fantasy series in the 1970s, which introduced readers to many overlooked classics of the fantasy genre, including James Branch Cabell, Lord Dunsany, Hope Mirrlees and Clark Ashton Smith. He began publishing sf with "Masters of Metropolis" for the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction in 1957, with Randall Garrett, and the story "Uncollected Works" (1965) was a finalist for the annual Nebula Award for Best Short Story. He resided in East Orange, New Jersey in his final years, and died in nearby Montclair, New Jersey.