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"Go to thy master and say that Mardanax hath come. I have lived to see the barbarian Thongor in his tomb."
As the stranger throws back his cloak the hellish gleam of his emerald eyes confirms his statement - Mardanax, the Black Magician of Zaar - has survived Thongor's destruction of the dread City of Magicians.
Mardanax strikes swiftly. His evil sorcery explodes with inconceivable power, and Thongor lies dead. Thongor's beautiful queen is drugged into mindless obedience to the Black Magician. Her son, the prince, is kidnapped. Thongor's empire seems to have fallen to the forces of Chaos.
Then, wandering in the land of the dead, Thongor finds a powerful sword of light...
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.