By Stan Nicholls

Reeth Caldason's quest for vengeance—and for freedom from the dual plagues of rage and immortality—has introduced the capable swordsman to Bhealfa, the place worry, magic, and brute strength are guns hired by means of the experts to manage the population. The paladin clans—an order of mercenary knights—are made up our minds to overwhelm a turning out to be revolution whereas Devlor Bastorran, sadistic inheritor obvious to the extended family management, plots a ugly retribution . . . opposed to Reeth Caldason. yet Reeth has extra urgent matters, for he has been entrusted with providing much-needed gold that might aid identify a insurgent country on a distant island. and a strong enemy stands in his way—one who may well wreck not just the Covenant yet Reeth's one probability for redemption to boot.

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She was neither ugly nor beautiful. What she possessed was a severe elegance; like a glacier made flesh. The overall effect was alarming, and somehow mesmeric. She was completely at ease, and returned their stares with a brittle gaze of her own. ’ The woman barely acknowledged his greeting. ‘This is my aide,’ he continued, ‘Lahon Meakin. ’ Nods were exchanged. Hers was slight, disinterested. ‘In the event that I’m not able to deal with you myself, Kordenza, you’re to liaise with Meakin here. Meakin and no other.

We should trust each other; we’re in a business relationship. ’ He felt a little confused by her use of ‘we’. ’ What took place next was no less startling for happening fast. Aphri Kordenza simply stepped to one side. But an outline of herself remained in the space she vacated. It hung in the air like a slender rope, mimicking her shape. Within its contours a kaleidoscope of particles churned and vibrated. They coagulated and clarified, and within seconds came together to form something that looked human.

There’s a rumour they’re going to ban weapons in private hands next,’ Tanalvah confided. ‘How could they do that? ’ ‘Kinsel overheard something about it at the concert hall. ’ ‘People wouldn’t put up with it. They’d resist. If anybody tried to take my blade off me–’ ‘You’re doing it again. ’ ‘How else would you stop them? ’ ‘What I mean is–’ Tanalvah looked around and lowered her voice. ‘What I mean is that this isn’t the time to be taking any kind of risk. ’ A wraith-like entity flew past, travelling at speed.

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