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Abandoned and alone, the fosterling Ilario grows up as the King's Freak, surrounded by all the pomp, intrigue, and danger of the Iberian court. Fleeing a failed treacherous attack, Ilario crosses the sea to Carthage, where the mysterious Penitence shrouds the sky in darkness. There, a strange and awful destiny awaits the would-be painter, one that spans continents and kingdoms. Filled with intrigue, sex, and mystery, Ilario: The Lion's Eye is a stunning tale of secret histories and self-discovery. The adventure continues in Book Two: The Stone Golem.
The dramatic conclusion to Ilario: The Lion's Eye! Fleeing a surprise treacherous murder attempt, the former King's Freak and would-be painter Ilario has run to Carthage, the city-state under perpetual darkness, in search of freedom. But strange plots are afoot, and a tenuous, complicated alliance with a bookseller-turned-spy will lead Ilario from the shrouded land into tense negotiations and intrigues in seductive, mercurial Venice, from a fraught return to Iberia to a final confrontation with family . . . and destiny.
"It's about sex, and cruelty, and forgiveness." Thus begins a sweeping historical adventure about two dueling swordsmen and the plot to kill a king in the grand tradition of Dorothy Dunnett and Alexander Dumas. The year is 1610. Continental Europe is briefly at peace after years of war, but Henri IV of France is planning to invade the German principalities. In England, only five years earlier, conspirators nearly succeeded in blowing up King James I and his Parliament. The seeds of the English Civil War and the Thirty Years War are visibly being sown, and the possibility for both enlightenment and disaster abounds. But Valentin Rochefort, duelist and spy for France's powerful financial minister, could not care less. Until he is drawn into the glittering palaces, bawdy back streets, and stunning theatrics of Renaissance France and Shakespearean London in a deadly plot both to kill King James I and to save him. For this swordsman without a conscience is about to find himself caught between loyalty, love, and blackmail, between kings, queens, politicians, and Rosicrucians -- and the woman he has, unknowingly, crossed land and sea to meet.
In this all-new collection of original novellas, four award-winning masters of alternate history turn back time, twisting the facts with four brilliant excursions into what might have been by traversing Worlds That Weren't. Under the influence of the philosopher Sokrates, the Athenian general Alkibiades leads his soldiers to victory over the Spartans in New York Times bestselling author Harry Turtledove's "The Daimon." Set in the same universe as The Peshawar Lancers, "Shikari in Galveston" by national bestselling author S. M. Stirling features an Angrezi aristocrat's hunting expedition into the wilds of Texas-and his growing admiration for the natives who dwell there. In 1453, a rather different Turkish Empire raised the flag of Astarte's Bloody Crescent over Constantinople. Four years later, European mercenaries find themselves stranded on the coast of North Africa-with an embarrassing corpse-in "The Logistics of Carthage" by Mary Gentle. In Walter Jon Williams's "The Last Ride of German Freddie," a mysterious Old World figure stalks Tombstone, Arizona, as a cardsharp, trading philosophy -and lead-with the likes of Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday. The past isn't what it used to be....
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