The Empire of the East is an omnibus edition of a fantasy trilogy that includes The Broken Lands, The Black Mountains, and Ardneh's World (the last story is a revised version of Changling Earth). This series follows the adventures of Rolf, a sixteen year old peasant boy in the lands of the Satrap Ekuman. When his parents are killed and his home destroyed, Rolf goes looking for the killers and his sister Lisa. He meets the peddler Mewick, who helps him bury his parents, and then accompanies the peddler until they are stopped by three soldiers of the Castle. While the soldiers are distracted by the contents of the peddler's pack, Rolf goes beserk and throws a rock at the closest trooper. Although he misses, Mewick doesn't, and they kill all three soldiers. However, their actions are seen and they immediately have to run from other soldiers. Through these deeds, Rolf became a member of the Western resistance.
In The Broken Lands, Rolf and his teammates search for the Elephant, a very powerful thing or creature of the Old World.
In The Black Mountains, Rolf and his teammates follow Lord Chup and a golden charm to the Black Mountains, where they encountered a demi-god.
In Ardneh's World, Rolf dreams of Ardneh and the transformation of the Old World of science into a new world of magic, and follows his dreams to Ardneh itself.
This series is one of the most enthralling tales of magical adventure that I have ever encountered. All of the Swords and the Gods books are based on this series, but, while quite enjoyable in themselves, the sequels have never really achieved the same level of fascination.
Recommended for Saberhagen fans and anyone who enjoys well crafted tales of sword and sorcery.
-Arthur W. Jordin