"Amazing! Richard Lee Byers has surpassed himself with this one. From the beginning chapters in the book, I knew this was going to astound me. The depth of detail just oozes the Realms and the way he explains elements of the Thay lifestyle and hierarchy is a great inclusion for readers who are not fully familiar with the nation. The dark and disturbing elements of the book certainly bring out [the author's] horror background; I found myself shuddering and wincing on many occasions." -- Alaundo, Candlekeep.com on Unclean
Thay's civil war has taken everything from Bareris Anskuld. After crossing a homeland devastated by battle, tracking down monsters most would flee, and infiltrating the secret fortress of the most dangerous wizard in all of Thay in search of his lover -- he finally finds her. Transformed, enslaved, and lusting for his blood. Barely escaping her fate -- or worse -- he joins the army of the zulkirs to fight against Szass Tam, and, more importantly, to get revenge.
Thay has a long history of being ruled by an uneasy alliance of wizards -- one for each of the eight magical Arts -- known as the council of zulkirs. A history that ended when the brilliant zulkir of necromancy, Szass Tam, decided that there could be only one true master of Thay. Now the machinations are over -- open war has broken out at last. And, as every soldier who falls rises to strengthen Szass Tam's army, the undead begin to outnumber the living.
The ruthless Red Wizards have ruled Thay for as long as anyone can remember. The name "Thay" is synonymous with cruelty and forbidden arcana. But when Thay descends into civil war, the world must face the possibility that one zulkir may manage to conquer all of that dark realm. And if he does, where will he turn his gaze to next? The Haunted Lands begins with Unclean and concludes with Unholy.