The Secret Texts

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The Secret Texts, is a fantasy book series by Holly Lisle. Books in this series are Diplomacy of Wolves (1998), Vengeance of Dragons (1999), and Courage of Falcons (2000). Vincalis the Agitator (2002) is a prequel to this series.

Works in the series[edit]

Diplomacy of Wolves[edit]

Diplomacy of Wolves
AuthorHolly Lisle
Cover artistFred Gambino
CountryUnited States, United Kingdom
LanguageEnglish
SeriesThe Secret Texts
GenreFantasy
PublisherAspect, Millennium Fantasy
Publication date
1998 (1999 for UK edition)
Media typePrint (Hardback & Paperback)
ISBN978-1-85798-872-7
OCLC42652429
Preceded bynone 
Followed byVengeance of Dragons 

The story introduces the main protagonist, Kait Galweigh, who is a diplomat-in-training for House Galweigh. Kait is a shape-shifter, and her alternate form, known as Karnee is a wolf. At her first diplomatic mission, Kait discovers that House Sabir, the mortal enemies of the Galweighs, plan a strike against House Galweigh using their magicians, known as wolves. Galweigh's wolves, however, warned of the Sabir attack, prepare defense; the magic causes a backlash, known as rehwah, and it scars or kills wolves in both Houses. The Sabirs, meanwhile, had gathered outside House Galweigh, and once the attacks began, they stormed the house, killing all within.

Kait is absent when the attack happens, but is in her Karnee form, which she has to change over to now and again lest it overwhelm her, she returns to Galweigh House to find it filled with the dead. She mourns for her family, but a voice in her head, calling itself one of her long-dead ancestors, tells her that an artifact known as the Mirror of Souls can bring her family back from the dead. Kait, in the company of a man called Hasmal son of Hasmal, then set out on a mission to a far continent to find the artifact. Hasmal had been told that any contact with Kait would lead to his death, but he finds himself being thrust into her company time and time again.

Meanwhile, Kait's cousin Danya, who was kidnapped and used as the receptacle for the rehwah by the Sabir Wolves, is magically relocated hundreds of miles away into a territory that is occupied by people who are Scarred - deformed by magic. Danya finds herself likewise Scarred, and pregnant due to her rape by an evil trio of Sabir Wolves, Crispin, Andrew, and Anwin.

On board the ship headed for the far off continent, Kait takes the captain of the ship, Ian Draclas, as her lover. However, the crew of the ship find out that Kait is Karnee, and plan mutiny as soon as they land. Kait also notices another ship following them. the ship belongs to Ry Sabir, the unwilling heir to Sabir House. The book ends with Kait, Ian, and Hasmal finding the Mirror of Souls, and Ry hot on their heels; the mutinous crew sail off with the ship, stranding the landed party.

Vengeance of Dragons[edit]

Vengeance of Dragons
AuthorHolly Lisle
Cover artistFred Gambino
CountryUnited States, United Kingdom
LanguageEnglish
SeriesThe Secret Texts
GenreFantasy
PublisherAspect, Millennium Fantasy
Publication date
1999 (2000 for UK edition)
Media typePrint (Hardback & Paperback)
Pages400 pages (paperback version)
ISBN0-446-67396-X ISBN 1-85798-758-6
Preceded byDiplomacy of Wolves 
Followed byCourage of Falcons 

Vengeance of Dragons picks up where Diplomacy of Wolves left off, with Kait, Ian, and Hasmal fending off the guardians of the Mirror of Souls, they make a pact with Ry Sabir, Ian's cousin. Kait realizes that Ry is also Karnee, and she feels complete attraction for him; this makes Ian, Kait's previous lover, jealous, especially in light of the fact that Ry and Ian hate each other.

They use Ry's ship to ferry the Mirror of Souls back to Kait's land, but the evil Sabir trio, urged by the voices in their heads, manage to hunt them down. Kait, Ian, and Ry dump the Mirror into the bay and hide from the trio, and escape to find shelter with Kait's uncle Dughall, who informs them that the voice that Kait hears in her head is not her dead ancestor, but a powerful mage from ages past whose soul is trapped in the Mirror; the Mirror of Souls contains hundreds of such evil wizards, collectively known as Dragons, and the evil Sabir trio release them to wreak havoc on the world again. In the process of the Dragon souls taking over people's bodies, they displace the souls of the body's owner. Dughall reveals that he and Hasmal are a group known as Falcons, mages who use rehwah-less magic. With his magic, Dughall finds a way to make a miniature Mirror to trap the souls of the Dragons in, thus restoring the original soul to its owner's body. However, this process involves physically tagging the Dragons, so Kait, Ry, and Ian head into the city to do so. Hasmal and Dughall then proceed to capture Dragons and release them into the Void.

Meanwhile, Dughall also informs everyone that a mage named Solander was reborn, and his coming heralded the start of an era of peace and love. Solander was born into the body of the child that was carried by Danya. However, a voice in Danya's head, actually a Dragon called Luercas, tells her that the baby is evil, and tells her to kill it, she does so, and as the baby Solander dies, he heals her scarring as a final act of love. Luercas triumphantly takes over the body of the child, and tells Danya that they will attack the free peoples using an army of Scarred.

Kait and Ry are captured by the Dragons, however, and tortured to reveal information about the Falcons. Ry and Kait use the opportunity to mark the Dragons for extraction by Dughall, but Hasmal decides to try rescuing them; the book ends with Kait and Ry escaping, and Hasmal being captured by Crispin, who is possessed by a dragon.

Courage of Falcons[edit]

Courage of Falcons
AuthorHolly Lisle
Cover artistFred Gambino
CountryUnited States, United Kingdom
LanguageEnglish
SeriesThe Secret Texts
GenreFantasy
PublisherAspect, Millennium Fantasy
Publication date
2000
Media typePrint (Hardback & Paperback)
Pages464 pages (paperback version)
ISBN0-446-61065-8
Preceded byCourage of Falcons 
Followed byNone 

Courage of Falcons concludes the tale started in Diplomacy of Wolves. Kait and Ry, rescued in part by Ian, make their way to a place of safety until they can escape the city. Dughall, having collapsed in the process of freeing Kait and ry, is still out cold when Hasmal marks Crispin. Hasmal's lover, a gypsy woman, magically gives her youth to revive Dughall, and she gains his age. Dughall revives, and pulls the Dragon that inhabits Crispin into the void. Crispin, his soul restored, sees Hasmal in chains before him, and kills him. Hasmal dies, but his spirit attacks Crispin, and finds knowledge of how to destroy the mirror of souls.

Dughall communicates by magic with Ry and Kait, and informs them of what Hasmal found out, he also tells Ry that he found out that Crispin has a daughter waiting in the city. Ry, under pretense of being Crispin, goes forth to fetch the girl. Dughall then tells Kait how to destroy the Mirror, which she does.

Miles away, the Dragon Luercas feels the destruction of the Mirror and rejoices, for it was the only artifact that could stop his plans of world domination, he informs Danya that they will fulfill a prophecy that the Scarred have, and march upon the free cities now.

Kait, Ry, Ian, and Crispin's daughter make their way to the abandoned Galweigh House. Dughall meets them there and forces Ry and Kait to have an argument and break up. Dughall inducts Kait into the order of Falcons, and Ry leaves to ply his fortune elsewhere. However, he finds that he can't forget Kait. In his travels, he finds the mutinous crew that took Ian's ship, and vows to get the ship back and reunite himself with Kait at the same time.

The evil Sabir trio lay siege to Galweigh house, but all three are killed. Ry returns with Ian's ship and Luercas's army comes close. Dughall informs Kait and Ry that the only way to defeat Luercas is to attack him in the void in Karnee form, and pull him into nothingness, giving up their souls at the same time. Kait and Ry, resigned to their fate, do so, and attempt to defeat Luercas, but are unable to do so. Dughall appears at the last minute, holds Luercas down, and summon a void monster, who devours them both, leaving Kait and Ry alone.

In the real world, Ian confronts Danya, and fights and defeats her; the Scarred army stops fighting, and Kait and Ry return to the real world to start new lives.