The Shattered World is the first novel in a duology, followed by The Burning Realm. "There was once a beautiful world of green and gentle continents ... Shining cities were built by the hand of man, and empires rose and fell. In measureless caverns beneath the ground, an inhuman race known as the Chtons ... pursued their own ways ... the world was shattered by a cataclysm that sent the fragments spinning into the void ... A cabal of sorcerers ... provided an envelope of air ... and created runestones ... that provided weightfuness on the surfaces of the fragnents and kept them orbiting each other ... "
In this novel, the thief Beron is caught with the stolen goods on him, found guilty, and remanded to the custody of Ardatha Demonhand for punishment. She informs him that the trial was really a ruse, for she wants him to steal a talisman from Pandrogas, the master of Darkhaven. In return, Ardatha promises to remove the curse from him that forces him to occasionally shapechange into a bear. Unknown to him, the talisman is the runestone for Darkhaven and it is being stolen for the Circle, of which she is a member.
Marquis Tahrynyar has fled to Darkhaven with his wife Amber after an assassination attempt by his enemies. He has been on Darkhaven for a year and during that time Amber has begun to love Pandrogas. While he is not happy about the affair, Tahrynyar owes his life to Pandrogas, who rescued him from the Demogorgon, the ruler of all Chtons, after his ill-advised reading from the Red Grimoire.
This story is a quest for the lost runestone. Pandrogas also searches for the magic of the Necromancer, while Amber comes to realize that she too is capable of magic.
Recommended for Reaves fans and anyone else who enjoys tales of sorcery and intrigue.