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Wildmind by Clive Anthony
Everyone knows that people using the ancient magic of the mind will go mad, lose control, and kill themselves along with anyone near them. That’s why they’re called wildminds. That’s why they’re hunted and burned in public.
So how is it that the primitive dog-breeding tribes, the Dogmen, are able to use their wildminds to help them in a highly improbable invasion? Attacking the mighty Empire of Searleddon, they magically control huge wolfhounds, deflect arrows, and even seize control of their enemies’ minds, without going wild.
Two men are pivotal in the defence of the Empire, though they could hardly be more different. Varik Tojen is the heroic soldier with exceptional sword-fighting skills and a troubled personal history. Mal Respler is the timid functionary, cynical about his role directing the persecution of wildminds. One leads from the front while the other trembles in the background. Yet both shape world-changing events, and both have their own worlds turned inside out.
Countess Wayfender and Lae Kinimirra are two women from opposite ends of the social classes, yet they work together in a rebellious cabal. They uncover political and religious intrigues suggesting that the Dogmen have had help from inside the Empire.
While the power games play out, people will die. Dogmen soldiers rampage through the land, led by wildminds with their fierce wolfhounds.