The Merchant Emperor

The Symphony of Ages (Volume 7)

Elizabeth Haydon

Tor Books

The long awaited seventh book in Elizabeth Haydon’s critically-acclaimed epic fantasy series, the Symphony of Ages.

The war that they had feared is now upon them. Ashe and Rhapsody, leaders of the Cymrian Alliance, are gathering their allies to combat the machinations of Talquist, who will soon be crowned emperor of Sorbold. Gwydion Navarne remains by Ashe’s side. Anborn, Lord Marshal, has taken to the field. And Rhapsody has been forced into hiding to protect the life of her infant son.

The Merchant Emperor of Sorbold has unintentionally allied himself with a pair of demons and has begun targeting the dragons that remain on the Middle Continent. Talquist will stop at nothing until the Cymrians are wiped out and the entire continent and the rest of the Known World is under his rule.  

Assailed by danger from all sides, surrounded by lies and intrigue, Rhapsody is left with one undeniable truth: if their forces are to prevail, she must join the war herself, wielding the Daystar Clarion, an ancient weapon whose power is nearly unparalleled. As she struggles to reconcile her duties as a mother and ruler, a danger far more devastating than Talquist is stirring beneath the surface of the land itself.

In The Merchant Emperor, beloved characters are forced to make soul shattering sacrifices. Bestselling author Elizabeth Haydon has delivered a breathtaking seventh installment to the Symphony of Ages.


Read an Excerpt




The first sign that something terrible was wrong with the world was birdsong.

The white forest of Gwynwood was a virgin wood, thick with old stands of pale-barked trees that had been growing undisturbed for so many centuries that their upper branches had become entwined, interlacing in a thick canopy through which the sun struggled to warm the ground in the height of summer. Now, in the dying days of winter’s Second Thaw, the warmth promised by a coming spring had caused trees of all heights to bud with new leaves,



Praise for The Merchant Emperor

“Haydon’s long-awaited return to her Symphony of Ages series (picking up where 2006’s The Assassin King left off) is a brilliant tapestry of familial sacrifice and adversity in a land of music and dragons… With taut plotting and unforgettable characters, Haydon’s latest will easily enchant new readers.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review on The Merchant Emperor

“While deftly managing a large cast of intriguing characters in a story that’s both grand and intimate but never predictable, Haydon moves all the pieces into place for the next volume.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review on The Assassin King

“One of the finest high fantasy debuts in years.”
Publishers Weekly, starred review on Rhapsody

“Those who eagerly anticipated this volume will be even more desperate for the next, and if the author’s stunning rate of improvement is anything to go by, it will be well worth the wait.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review on Elegy for a Lost Star

Reviews from Goodreads



  • Elizabeth Haydon

  • Elizabeth Haydon first began writing in the fourth grade. Writing a play was one option in a history assignment so, along with a couple of friends, she put on a play she had written which was called The Clue in the Diary. Writing fiction became a dream at that point. She took courses in college, but didn't believe she would be able to make a living from it.

    She had read C.S. Lewis as a young child, J.R.R. Tolkien as an older one, and some fantasy in college, but had lost touch with the field after that. She was working in educational publishing in 1994 when she met up with an editorial friend and mentor in New Orleans at the American Library Association conference. He asked her to write for him a fantasy that might cross over to other genres and contain some of their shared mutual interests: medieval music, history, anthropology, and herbalism among others. Since they had been drinking Dixie Blackened Voodoos, she was initially hesitant to take on the project, worried that he might have been a bit tipsy when he suggested it. But when it became clear he really wanted her to do it, The Symphony of Ages was born.

    These novels have made numerous "Best of the Year" as well as national bestseller lists. The Romantic Times called it "an epic saga worthy of Eddings, Goodkind & Jordan." A harpist and madrigal singer, Elizabeth Haydon lives on the East Coast with her husband and three children, where she is writing fantasy novels for both The Symphony of Ages for adults and The Journals of Ven Polypheme for children.






    Available Formats and Book Details

    The Merchant Emperor

    The Symphony of Ages

    Elizabeth Haydon



    Tor Books