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Air and Darkness is David Drake's gripping conclusion to the Books of the Elements, a four-volume set of fantasies set in Carce, an analog of ancient Rome. Here the stakes are raised from the previous novels in an ultimate conflict between the forces of logic and reason and the forces of magic and the supernatural. During the extraordinary time in which this story is set, the supernatural is dominant. The story is an immensely complex journey of adventure through real and magical places.
Corylus, a soldier, emerges as one of the most compelling heroic figures in contemporary fantasy. Battling magicians, spirits, gods, and forces from supernatural realities, Corylus and his companions from the family of the nobleman Saxa—especially Saxa's impressive wife Hedia, and his friend (and Saxa's son) Varus—must face constant deadly and soul-destroying dangers, climaxing in a final battle not between good and evil but in defense of logic and reality.