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In the Service of Dragons continues the epic story of Adrina, Vilmos, Seth, and their friends. If you haven't read the first four books in the series, read about them now. Join the more than 5,000,000 people around the world who have read the Ruin Mist books today!


In the Service of Dragons

Synopsis: The Elves of the Reaches returned from exile, bringing grave news. War came to the Kingdoms, and many perished in the turmoil and unrest. An attempt was made to kidnap a princess and assassinate a king. Now, from the ancient past a dark power returns. "The Fourth Wind blows across the mountain tops," they say. And the Twelve Clans emerge from myth and memory. As prophecy becomes reality, the factions struggle for control only to further divide the lands. Some would say that it was foolish for King Andrew Alder to support the Elves of the Reaches and send men to aid their cause when Men in all lands were being put to the test of steel. And in the North, men back their words with action. Against a backdrop of treachery and intrigue, murder and mayhem, the price of freedom is high. Many will pay with their lives. Many will succumb to imprisonment and enslavement; for when alliances shatter, old hatreds rise anew and the plotting and scheming begin. Read Now



In the Service of Dragons II

Synopsis: Dark change is sweeping over the lands of Ruin Mist. An ancient evil has returned from the dark past, and the dark forces gather. War comes to the lands as the queen of the elves foretold. Though despair abounds and evil seeks to reign, there is hope. Queen Mother sees hope through a union of the divided peoples: an alliance of men and elves to fight against the forces of darkness. But between men and elves there is no love and little trust. Only truth and faith can guide their destinies. Will the kingdoms of men and elves fall? Will the peoples succumb to the darkness? Who will live? Who will die? The answers are in Book Two of In the Service of Dragons.  Read Now


In the Service of Dragons III

Synopsis: In an age long since lost to myth and memory, a race of supreme giants known as titans ruled over all the lands of Ruin Mist from their homes on Over-Earth. Without question, titans were the masters of the gates. They moved freely between realms and across lands. Darkness came to mark the end of the age of the titans as surely as there was ever light at the beginning. There are some who fear this age to be Ruin Mist's last. For if men succumb to darkness, there will be no beginning, and darkness will surely rule forever. It is in this time at the twilight of the age of men that those long lost have returned to thwart the darkness. They are the fallen sons of ages past and present. They are the keepers, the watchers, and the guardians. They are those who hold the key to Ruin Mist's future. Get ready to enter In the Service of Dragons Book 3. Read Now


In the Service of Dragons IV

Synopsis: A dark shadow has been cast across the known lands. War sweeps through the divided nations of men and elves. There is great despair for the future of men, for if the greatest of all kingdoms can fail there can be no hope in tomorrow's tomorrow for any man in any land. Yet there is deeper despair amongst the elven peoples where for the first time in recorded history the elves of the West and East are at war with each other. In such a dark time, there can be little hope, and yet there are those who do hold out hope. Is their hope folly and their folly hope? If men succumb to the darkness, the light of the elves must surely succumb as well, and then darkness will rule forever. Who can know for certain, but surely the fallen sons of ages past and present must have the final say. Get ready to enter In the Service of Dragons Book 4 by Robert Stanek.  Read Now

The magic doesn't stop with Book 4! Robert Stanek's Rise of the Fallen goes back to the beginning of the Ruin Mist's story.


Robert Stanek first started writing about the world of Ruin Mist in 1986. What follows is a short FAQ regarding the books and Robert Stanek's writing.
What Are The Books About?

The Ruin Mist books are foremost a story of a struggle for power. In the kingdoms, King Andrew and King Jarom fight for control, and there is intrigue, plotting, and scheming.

Who are the main characters?

King Andrew is the patriarch of House Alder. The main characters in this family are King Andrew's children:

Adrina……….Youngest daughter of King Andrew. She is becoming a woman and has many concerns for her future and that of her family.

Midori……….Daughter of King Andrew who has been exiled. Her given name is Delinna. She took the name Midori after becoming a priestess.

Valam……….Only son of King Andrew, also known as the Lord and Prince of the South.

Calyin……….Oldest daughter of King Andrew. She lives in the far north with her husband the Lord of the North.

King Jarom is the patriarch of House Tyr'anth. In the early books not much information is provided about this powerful family. That changes as Emel makes his way through the southern kingdoms, and as King Jarom's plots become bolder.

Other characters in the books hail from places within and beyond the kingdoms. These characters include:

Emel……….Young guardsman who is one of Adrina's closest friends.

Galan……….Elf from East Reach across the great sea.

Jacob……….A priest of the father and friend to House Alder.

Martin……….A keeper of the lore, guardian of the ancient texts and knowledge.

Seth……….Elf from East Reach across the great sea.

Vilmos……….Young boy from Tabborrath Village in Sever. Sever is one of the southern kingdoms.

William……….Prince of Sever who becomes king after his father's death.

Xith……….Vilmos' benefactor who rescues him and leads him away from his homeland.
These characters have significant parts to play in the books, but they are not the only characters in the books. Other characters you'll see include Edward Tallyback, the troant, Myrial, the servant girl, and Ansh Brodst, captain of the Imtal guard.

How does the author manage so many characters?

It is a challenge to create so many diverse characters and maintain their identities, but the many characters help breathe life into the story. The characters' lives are interesting, and they each have their own concerns, likes, and dislikes. They give the plot depth and make the world feel real.

Whenever readers write to Robert Stanek, they tell him about their favorite characters. Sometimes they tell him how worried they are for a particular character. He especially likes hearing about characters that readers can really identify with.

The character everyone seems to identify most strongly with is Adrina. Most readers understand her great sadness over the loss of her mother and how it has affected her life. In the third book, there is a dark scene where Adrina faces her demons, and Robert Stanek has heard from more than a few readers about that scene.

Seth, Emel, and Vilmos also have a lot of fans. Of these three, the one character that the author was initially unsure of was Emel. Emel is Adrina's dearest friend. They've been getting in trouble together since they were toddlers. In the original planning for the first book, he had a small part, but as the author got into the writing, there was so much chemistry between Adrina and Emel that he expanded the role. Emel is a favorite of many readers.

It gladdens the author's heart when readers also understand and sympathize with minor characters. A lot of readers love Edward Tallyback and they want nothing more than for him to come back and play King's Mate with Vilmos. Unfortunately, that would be difficult given Edward's current condition, so the only thing we can tell these fans is that Vilmos will play King's Mate again and the game will have a much more significant role in the story when he does.

Myrial is another minor character that readers are particularly fond of. Her character originally had a very small part to play in the books, but, like Emel, she came to life on the page, so much so that the author expanded her role.

So as you can see, Robert Stanek manages the characters as though they were real people. Every character in every book has a history, a past. Sometimes what he writes onto the page, the things they do in the story, changes what he originally saw as their future. Because of this, their roles in the story change.

How come the Ruin Mist world has differing histories?

Like the author has said before, there are two sides to every story. Our version of a story may be different from yours, even if we're witnessing the same events. Now, if we're talking about history, the stories from opposing societies and peoples are often very different. The contrast may be as different as night and day.

In our own history, we're starting to see how very different viewpoints can be.

What is the dark place Vilmos visits?

Ruin Mist has three distinct realms of existence: Under-Earth, Middle-Earth and Over-Earth. Under-Earth, with its blood-red skies and lack of sun, moon, or stars, is a dark place at first blush. But as you get a deeper, better understanding of this otherworldly realm, you may see it in a different light. Literally.


Where do the dragons and titans live?

Over-Earth is the home of dragons and titans. But don't forget about the eagle lords. Those three are the great races of Ruin Mist's past.

At the dawn of the first age, it was the titan Ky'el who gave the lesser races (men, elves, and dwarves) their freedom—at a great cost to himself and his people. Before that, the lesser races were slaves to the greater races (dragons, titans and eagle lords).

Over the millennia, knowledge of Over-Earth's existence faded from the memory of the living, even that of the long-lived elves and dwarves. Most believe it is a place of myth and legend, and that it never truly existed. That's all we can say without giving away too much of the story in later books.

How come men and elves are enemies in Ruin Mist?

Men and elves have a rich history together as friends and foes. In the time of Ky'el, men and elves labored side by side catering to the whims of their masters. But by the dawn of the Second Age, men and elves became the masters of their own lands and kingdoms. Thanks to Ky'el and his great sacrifice.

A peaceful time followed, but that peace was broken by Dnyarr, Elf King of Greye. Dnyarr united the elves against men, and that betrayal was the greatest in the long history of Ruin Mist. That betrayal is the reason men and elves are divided. There is more of course, but the true secrets are revealed in the books over the course of the story.

© Robert Stanek, Magic of Ruin Mist: A Candid Look At Robert Stanek's Life, Work & Books. All Rights Reserved


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