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Originally titled CHASING THE SKIP, Janci Patterson's debut novel has earned praise from Booklist --"realistic, flawed, and dimensional characters"--Kirkus Reviews--"A solid cast and heartfelt emotions"-- #NYT Bestseller Charlaine Harris--"a book I could recommend to almost any teenager,"-- and Steelheart author Brandon Sanderson--a YA book with excellent writing and compelling characters."For fifteen-year-old Ricki, there's only one thing to know about her bounty-hunter dad: he's never been there for her. But when her mother leaves, Dad suddenly appears and pulls her along on the road, hunting for criminals who've skipped bail.Ricki is sure she wants nothing to do with her father. She's much more interested in Ian Burnham, the seventeen-year-old skip Dad's chasing. Ian is confident and powerful and into her, everything that Ricki's family isn't. But Dad seems to think he can tell her what to do after all these years --and he says stay away from Ian.On the road with only the skip and her dead-beat dad, will Ricki ever figure out who she can trust?
On a lonely planet in the distant future, Earth is a fading memory and technology is falling into ruin. As a "runner," Jak Rebo delivers valuable packages from planet-to-planet. When he takes an assignment to deliver a young boy believed to be a reincarnated religious leader to another planet, Jak finds himself at the center of a violent religious conflict, dodging assassins around every corner.The risk doubles after he teams p with Lani Norr, a beautiful "sensitive" with a secret ability so powerful, some will stop at nothing to find and control her. Together they must battle their way through the far reaches of the galaxy to protect the boy and save their own lives.From New York Times bestselling science fiction author William C. Dietz comes this thrilling, action-packed book, which is the first in a two-volume series.
After the vicious, insect-like aliens called the Saurons invaded Earth and killed billions, they enslaved the survivors, forcing them to build mysterious temples under brutal conditions. In an effort to control their human slaves, the Saurons install a puppet president to keep them under control.But President Alexander Franklin and Chief of Security Jack Manning aren't about to play along. Rebellion is in the air, and the fight for freedom is spreading far and wide, from the center of activity in Washington to the distant lands of Guatemala. A diverse group of rebels, including an ex-FBI agent, a doctor inside the heart of enemy territory, and the president will have to band together with a host of other insurgents from across war-torn Earth to overcome impossible odds if they're to save what's left of humankind.With non-stop action and a remarkable cast of characters, the epic conclusion to William C. Dietz's DeathDay is a thrilling tale of adversity, rebellion, strength and humanity in a futuristic world where the survival of the many lies in the hands of the brave few.
Enslaved after the slaughter of billions by a violent race of aliens called the Saurons, Earth's few remaining humans are forced into back breaking labor building mysterious temples for their new masters. The captors claim that these temples, once finished, will allow them to leave Earth in peace once again. They enlist Alexander Franklin, former governor of Washington, as the head of their puppet government to help manage their mission. Meanwhile, a group of escaped slaves form a resistance movement which grows with each passing day.When former government bodyguard Jack Manning, well-versed in the art of survival, finds himself placed in the center of power as security for Franklin, he learns the brutal truth behind the temples. He faces an agonizing choice: to stay where he is, alongside the woman he loves, or to aid the rebels and their fight for freedom. The survival of the human race hangs in the balance.With intense, fast paced action, an unforgettable hero and a riveting story, DeathDay is the first book in a series by bestselling science fiction author William C. Dietz.
The first book in the critically acclaimed Obsidian and Blood trilogy:Year One-Knife, Tenochtitlan the capital of the Aztecs. Human sacrifice and the magic of the living blood are the only things keeping the sun in the sky and the earth fertile.A Priestess disappears from an empty room drenched in blood. It should be a usual investigation for Acatl, High Priest of the Dead--except that his estranged brother is involved, and the the more he digs, the deeper he is drawn into the political and magical intrigues of noblemen, soldiers, and priests-and of the gods themselves...REVIEWS:' gripping mystery steeped in blood and ancient Aztec magic. I was enthralled.' -- Sean Williams'An Aztec priest of the dead tries to solve a murder mystery, and finds that politics may be even more powerful than magic. A vivid portrayal of an interesting culture in a truly fresh fantasy novel.' -- Kevin J. Anderson'Amid the mud and maize of the Mexica empire, Aliette de Bodard has composed a riveting story of murder, magic and sibling rivalry.' -- Elizabeth Bear'The world-building is exquisite and we *believe* we are transported to the 15th century Tenotichtlan and together with the superb voice they formed the main reason I enjoyed this book so much... Highly recommended... Ms. de Bodard is a writer to watch.' -- Fantasy Book Critic
The second book in the critically acclaimed Obsidian and Blood trilogy:The year is Two House, and the Emperor of the Mexica has just died. The protections he afforded the Empire are crumbling, and the way lies wide open to the flesh-eating star-demons--and to the return of their creator, a malevolent goddess only held in check by the War God's power.The council should convene to choose a new Emperor, but they are too busy plotting against each other. And then someone starts summoning star-demons within the palace, to kill councilmen...Acatl, High Priest of the Dead, must find the culprit before everything is torn apart.REVIEWS:'Political intrigue and rivalry among a complex pantheon of divinities drive this well-paced murder mystery set at the height of the Aztec Empire in the late 15th century. De Bodard reintroduces the series hero Acatl, high priest of the dead, immediately following the death of the Tenochtitlan leader. One of the council members in charge of choosing a successor has been brutally murdered in what looks like an attempt to influence the decision. But the deaths continue and the political situation grows more complex, while the empire looks to be increasingly at risk of invasion by malignant powers. Acatl must go face-to-face with the most powerful god in his world and put the good of the empire above his antipathy for is rivals to achieve the uneasy succession. De Bodard incorporates historical fact with great ease and manages the rare feat of explaining complex culture and political system without lecturing or boring the reader.' --Publishers Weekly'Another thing that intrigues me here is the whole fact that historically we know that the real empire died out mysteriously and completely and as such there is always that thought in the back of my mind that the author could choose to bring about the end of days. That highlighted sense of possible doom is something that is missing from too many novels. The way the story is told in this book is very impressive, the plot is both mature and seductive, twisting and turning like a weather vane in a force 9 gale while the action is both bloodthirsty and imaginative. The world building is fantastic and we get to learn even more of this rich culture and the many gods and creatures of the dark. I really can't fault this book at all and recommend it to one and all but if you haven't yet read Servant of the Underworld I suggest that you get them both and read them in order, you won't be disappointed.' --SF Book Reviews'Bodard's writing is polished and striking, as she convincingly fills in the colorful elements of the Aztec culture-even if those colors tend to be of blood and bile as well as flowers and hummingbirds... beautiful, grimy, breathtaking, and morbid. 5*' --Examiner'Aliette de Bodard has done it again. Harbinger of the Storm is an action packed Aztec mystery opera with magic, interventions from the gods and more twists and turns than the first book. It even has a love story with amusing snippets here and there... The story is self contained and can be enjoyed standalone, but you will not want to miss out on the first. I wish it was 2012 already even if the world is going under while I read the final Obsidian & Blood.' --Cybermage
The conclusion to the critically acclaimed Obsidian and Blood trilogy:The year is Three Rabbit, and the storm is coming.The Mexica Empire now has a new Emperor, but his coronation war has just ended in a failure: the armies have retreated with a paltry forty prisoners of war, not near enough sacrifices to satisfy the gods. Acatl, High Priest for the Dead, has no desire to involve himself yet again in the intrigues of the powerful. However, when one of the prisoners dies of a magical illness, he has little choice but to investigate. For it is only one death, but it will not be the last.As the bodies pile up and the imperial court tears itself apart, dragging Teomitl, Acatl's beloved student, into the eye of the storm, the High Priest for the Dead is going to have to choose whom he can afford to trust; and where, in the end, his loyalties ultimately lie...REVIEWS:'Like the previous books, the third in the Obsidian and Blood series abounds with suspects and red herrings. It's a twisty and colourful tale filled with strange gods who demand sacrifices and pain for the least favour. I liked the way Acatl is beginning to question the way things are, and the first stirrings of doubt are awakening in him. He's always had misgivings about his own suitability as High Priest, but in this novel his eyes are opened to some of the deeper wrongs done in the name of the empire, and in the name of people's unswerving loyalty to the gods.' --WarpCore SF'I found this to be the best book of a very good series. The same positives from the first two books are still present, a very easy-to-read writing style (easy to read but not simple or dumbed down), a quick pace, and some incredible world building, incredible accessibility despite the lesser know pantheon and names. Even though the second book dealt with a possible end to the world, MASTER OF THE HOUSE OF DARTS took a similar fate and did it better. Perhaps this was because in many ways it felt more like a fantasy book than a mystery book, which lends itself better to the "save the world" type story. The magic felt more organic here, it was never used as a crutch, or perhaps it was just better explained. There was a bit less travelling this time around, which also led to a tighter story. The ending involved several confrontations that were tense and believable, including some between people who are supposed to be allies... a great end to the series.' --Fantasy Review Barn'Whether you take it as historical noir or as a highly accurate fantasy, it's hard not to enjoy the Obsidian and Blood books--it's a perfect fit for those looking for something different from their usual fare, but still exciting in ways they're used to.' --Guys Lit Wire'Acatl, is very much at the heart of the story, more so perhaps than the plot. He slowly grows into his position as the High Priest of the Dead throughout the trilogy, while the author moves along a parallel path, her narrative growing into its teller and inhabiting his mind with increasing comfort and self-assurance. Acatl is both the hero and the author's avatar as she explores her ideas of what a hero can and should be. Perceptive readers will find Acatl to be a very different kind of hero than we are accustomed to reading about, but the action and the mystery proceed so smoothly that some may never notice the gleeful contrariness that lurks below the surface... Acatl is not, and this is apparent from much earlier in the trilogy, a typical action hero. He is not even a typical mystery solver, at least not in the Western idiom... The entirety of the Obsidian & Blood trilogy gets high marks... for creativity, execution, and gentle subversion. Not just recommended, but, to paraphrase Demi Moore in A Few Good Men, strenuously recommended.' --Two Dudes in an Attic
After liberating Queen Byleth from the temple of the Sun Cult, Horace has ascended from slave to First Sword and confidant of the queen. He must now harness his power as a sorcerer while navigating complex political intrigue in a foreign land.Further complications arise when Alyra, former spy at court, returns. She has her own mysterious agenda, and Horace is forced to contend with this as well as his growing passion for her. Meanwhile, Jirom and his lover Emanon have joined the growing slave rebellion, rising through the ranks as they fight for the very cause Horace has been commanded to destroy.With the kingdom on the brink of war, a rash of assassinations, and orders from Queen Byleth to crush the slave rebellion at any cost, Horace is stuck between his opposition to human bondage, and his newfound duty as the protector of the realm.The remarkable second volume in The Book of the Black Earth, Storm and Steel is a searing, action packed fantasy epic.
After losing his wife and son to a devastating plague, Horace becomes a soldier, sailing to battle for the Great Crusade against Akeshia. A shipwreck lands him on enemy shores, where he finds himself enslaved and on a brutal march across the desert to destinations unknown. When the caravan of slaves encounters a fierce storm, Horace discovers he possesses zoana, a mysterious gift of magic potent enough to instill fear in his captors and to earn him a place in Queen Byleth's court.Horace quickly learns that life at court is a complex, treacherous prison of its own kind and he remains at the mercy of his foe. With help from Jirom, a gladiator and fellow captive, and Alyra, spy and handmaiden to the Queen, Horace must outwit his enemies and harness his powerful magic to liberate himself and the thousands who have lived in oppression for far too long.With fast-paced, breathtaking action, magical adventure, and an unforgettable story, Blood and Iron is the stunning first book in the epic Book of the Black Earth series by Jon Sprunk, Compton Crook Award finalist and author of the Shadow Saga.
The Seven Armies' deadliest blades are at their best in Three Quarters, a collection of three exciting short stories set in Tanya Huff's Quarters universe. In "Death Rites" sibling assassins Bannon and Vree must eliminate a dangerous traitor who's already thwarted several other professionals. In "Exactly," Vree and Bannon slip surveillance shifts in between body rubs and drinks when they take a holiday, assassin-style. And in the novelette, "Quartered," on Kovar's orders, the young bard Evicka risks her life to spy on Vree and Gyhard in Bicaz. Featuring an all-new foreword and new story introductions from the author, Three Quarters is sure to delight fans of The Quarters Series with Tanya Huff's pitch-perfect harmony of adventure, intrigue, and wit.
Sometimes catching a killer isn't enough...Inspector Nicolas Lenoir is a changed man. Though he's still arrogant and irritable, Lenoir is ready to reclaim his reputation as the Metropolitan Police's premier detective. In Kennian, though, things are never quite so easy. A deadly disease is spreading like wildfire through the city, and the plague is no accident - it was intentionally unleashed.Kennian's physicians are helpless. Only the mysterious Adali witchdoctors seem to have a cure - but dark magic comes at a price, and Lenoir knows only too well just how costly it can be.The only thing spreading faster than the plague is fear. With the body count rising and the city descending into chaos, Lenoir and his partner, Sergeant Bran Kody, are racing against time to stop an invisible enemy. Even if it means risking their own lives, Lenoir and Kody must find a way to stop the insidious epidemic and save the city...while there is still a city left to be saved.
Every detective has his demons. Few are actually hunted by them...It's been a long time since Inspector Nicolas Lenoir loved his work. Once a legend in the Metropolitan Police, Lenoir learned the hard way that justice, like everything else in Kennian, can be bought. These days--much to the frustration of his hard-working partner, Sergeant Bran Kody--Lenoir spends more time drinking than investigating their current assignment: a string of missing corpses.But when his young orphan informant goes missing, Lenoir is forced to dust off his renowned skills - fast. Zach's life is in danger, and his kidnapping may hold the key to unraveling the mystery of the corpse thieves. Lenoir and Kody follow what few leads they have into Kennian's darkest corners, tangling with body snatchers, witchdoctors, and necromancers. But the gruesome case also draws something far more dangerous back into Lenoir's life: the Darkwalker.Ten years ago, Lenoir barely escaped the Darkwalker's clutches, but the immortal champion of the dead never forgets a debt, and Lenoir always knew his would come due one day. His time is up--just when he needs it most. Zach is surely doomed unless Lenoir can unravel the mystery. But with his own life numbered in hours, he will have to work fast, lest the Darkwalker have one more soul to avenge.
Only two things stand between Haven's law abiding citizens and the city's notoriously dangerous criminal element: Hawk and Fisher. As Captains of the Haven City Guard, Hawk and Fisher deliver justice, root out corruption, and fight crime with a deadly combination of sharp steel and even sharper instincts. But it isn't easy. A volatile mix of natural and supernatural violence, Haven is a terrible place to be after dark...and not much better during daylight.Guards of Haven collects books #4 through #6 of New York Times bestselling author Simon R. Green's beloved Hawk & Fisher series.Wolf in the FoldIn a risky undercover case, Hawk and Fisher have only 24-hours at a high society funeral to catch a shapeshifting spy with a dangerous secret who hides among one of Haven's wealthiest families.Guard Against DishonorWhen the influx of a deadly new drug threatens Haven, Hawk and Fisher must track down and crush the source, pitting them against Haven's most powerful politicians, its sleaziest criminals, and...each other.The Bones of HavenAmid tense political negotiations in Haven, Hawk and Fisher join forces with the Special Wizardry and Tactics team to stop a ruthless terrorist who is determined to drag the country into a brutal war.
Hawk and Fisher: partners, husband and wife, Captains in Haven's City Guard. Known, respected, and mostly feared, Hawk and Fisher fight crime, pursue justice, and protect Haven with their unique blend of strength, steel, and razor-sharp instinct. Haven's citizens have never needed their protection more. The city is a hotbed of violence and corruption, where the natural and supernatural constantly collide, ready to boil over at any moment. Hawk and Fisher have their work cut out for them--for even by daylight, Haven is a dark place.Swords of Haven brings together the first three novels in New York Times bestselling author Simon R. Green's beloved Hawk & Fisher series:Hawk & FisherA high-level city official is murdered during a dinner party and Hawk and Fisher have only a few hours to find the killer among the guests, including powerful spell-casters, cunning politicians, Haven royalty, and the victim's own wife.Winner Takes AllHawk & Fisher grapple with dark magics, devious politicians, and deadly assassins when they're assigned to protect James Adamant, a fiery young politician whose plan to root out Haven's corruption makes him very popular...as a target.The God KillerNo one is safe in Haven, not even the Gods! When divine residents of the Street of Gods fall prey to a murderer, Hawk & Fisher must team up with an exclusive tactical unit to catch the killer before all hell breaks loose in Haven.
Penny adores her best friend Rodney. He's always there for her, and she knows they'd be the perfect couple--except that they're still in high school, and she's watched too many friends go through painful breakups. Besides, Penny has bigger things to worry about--like her mother, who desperately wants to have more children. After an endless string of miscarriages and failed adoptions, Penny's mother is ready to give up hope. But Penny has the perfect plan: if she gets pregnant, she can give her mother the baby she's always wanted. Penny's sure this is the right thing to do, but only after she sets her plan in motion does she realize that sex will change her relationship with Rodney--in ways that she never expected. And the more she tries to fix things for her mother, the more she risks losing everything she wants for herself. All Penny wants is for the people she loves to be happy. So why isn't anything going the way that she planned?
Welcome Back to Byerly...From Toni L. P. Kelner, the Agatha award-winning author of the Laura Fleming Southern cozy mystery series, comes Crooked as a Dog's Hind Leg, a new anthology of short stories set in and around Laura Fleming's own Byerly, North Carolina.Collected together for the first time, the seven stories in Crooked as a Dog's Hind Leg feature fan favorite characters such as Sue Randolph, Wynette Weston, Belva Tucker, and Byerly police chief Junior Norton, in addition to all the quirky aunts, uncles, and cousins that make up the extended Burnette family. Crooked as a Dog's Hind Leg also includes two Laura Fleming stories, as well as the Agatha Award-nominated "The Death of Erik the Redneck" and the Anthony and Macavity awards-nominated "Bible Belt." Packed with the same smart, witty storytelling that's made the Laura Fleming mystery series a hit with readers and reviewers alike, Crooked as a Dog's Hind Leg is a true Byerly homecoming.Back To Byerly: A Laura Fleming Collection:"Gift of the Murderer" - "Marley's Ghost" - "The Death of Erik the Redneck" - "An Unmentionable Crime" - "Bible Belt" - "Old Dog Days" - "Lying-in-the-Road Death"
Since losing his knighthood, Crispin Guest has earned his reputation as the Tracker, a private investigator who can locate everything, and everyone he is hired to find. When famed French alchemist Nicholas Flamel enlists him to locate both his missing wife Perenelle and his apprentice, Guest is confident that it will be a case quickly resolved. But after Flamel's apprentice is found dead and a ransom note arrives threatening the life of Perenelle in exchange for the Philosopher's Stone, a magical object that can change lead into gold, Guest quickly discovers that there is nothing ordinary about this case. Soon, strange, antiquated symbols begin appearing throughout the city and he learns he must decipher their hidden code to unearth the truth of secrets long buried.Plunged into the dark, underground magic of alchemy and the treacherous world of English politics, Guest and his dedicated servant Jack, will have to unravel the mystery in order to find Perenelle and reveal the dangerous mastermind determined to wreak havoc throughout the city.Shadow of the Alchemist is the intriguing sixth book in the Crispin Guest series. It was featured as a "Best of 2013 Selection" by Suspense Magazine and was a finalist for Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award in the Mystery Suspense & Thriller category.
Crispin Guest has solved many mysteries since losing his knighthood and becoming "The Tracker", an investigator for hire in fourteenth century London. Yet when he witnesses a body fall from London bridge into the frigid waters of the Thames, he finds himself in the middle of a dangerous and complicated puzzle.The deceased was an armorer whose death officials rule to be a suicide, but Guest immediately sees evidence of foul play. During his investigation he runs into Sir Thomas Saunfayl, an old acquaintance from his knighthood days, frantically searching for the armorer. It seems the dead man was bargaining with Sir Thomas for the Spear of Longinus, the weapon used to pierce the side of Christ on the Cross, which grants invincibility to its owner. After his friend Geoffrey Chaucer arrives in London, all too eager to help find the spear and conduct clandestine meetings with powerful figures, Guest soon finds himself trying to solve a conundrum of many parts, all centered around the same dangerous and potent holy relic. With the spear now missing and more murders occurring, Guest, together with his loyal apprentice Jack, must use his sharp wiles to find it and piece together the truth in a world of political intrigue, treachery, and murder.With evocative period detail and an unforgettable cast of characters, Blood Lance is the exhilarating fifth volume in the Crispin Guest medieval noir mystery series. It was one of the "Top 10 Hot Crime Novels" for Fall 2012 selection at Kirkus Reviews.
Since losing his knighthood, Crispin Guest has crafted a reputation throughout London. From the shadowy corners of the city to the exclusive halls of the royal court he is known as the Tracker, an investigator for hire who can find anyone or anything. But when the Archbishop of Canterbury hires him to expose the culprit threatening the sacred relics of a holy martyr, Guest finds himself a stranger in an unfamiliar land.Within a city of pilgrims and priests, he unexpectedly encounters his former friend Geoffrey Chaucer, poet, rabble-rouser and liege to Crispin's former master. Chaucer and his group of fellow pilgrims all have tales to tell...and secrets to hide. After a murder befalls the cathedral, Guest, together with his faithful servant Jack, has been tasked with uncovering the dark truth. Among hallowed tombs of soldiers and saints, in a world of ancient secrets and undying vendettas, Guest must identify the murderous heretic among holy men if he has any hope of returning home.The riveting fourth book in the Crispin Guest series re-imagines the world of The Canterbury Tales in an engaging, suspenseful mystery. Troubled Bones was nominated for the Macavity, the Agatha, Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice, and the Bruce Alexander Historical Mystery awards.
Since losing his knighthood for treason and reinventing himself as an investigator for hire known as The Tracker, Crispin Guest has grown accustomed to unusual clients with dark requests. Yet when Jacob of Provencal, a Jewish physician at the King's court arrives at his doorstep late one frigid night, Guest cannot quiet his unease. Jacob and his son Julian are missing a set of documents, items they claim contain a spiritual and deadly power that, in the wrong hands, could bring forth a demon and put all of London in danger.Meanwhile, there is evidence that a monster has already been unleashed in the city. Vulnerable street children are being abducted and murdered, their mutilated bodies the only clues left behind. With the help of his orphaned young servant Jack, it is up to Guest to unravel the grim tangle of mystery and murder that has taken over the wintry streets of London. Along the way, he encounters old enemies, finds friends in unexpected places, and has his long held convictions challenged at every turn.This third installment of the Crispin Guest medieval mystery series was nominated for a Romantic Times award and was a finalist for the Macavity Award. The Demon's Parchment is a gripping, vividly told story that will leave even the most seasoned mystery readers guessing until the very end.
After being stripped of his knighthood for treason and cast out from high society, Crispin Guest has reinvented himself as the Tracker, an investigator who can find anything and anyone. When Grayce, a distraught scullery maid arrives on his doorstep, frantic after finding a dead man in her room, Crispin examines the scene of what he thinks is a straightforward murder. After learning that the murdered man was an important courier in possession of a dangerous holy artifact, an object so valuable its absence could begin a war between empires, he quickly realizes this is no ordinary case.During his investigation, Guest unexpectedly encounters his nemesis, Miles Aleyn, the treasonous mastermind behind his fall from grace. Aleyn is acting suspiciously, and Guest must conquer his desire for revenge to find out just what he may be hiding.Surrounded by possible suspects, Guest will have to use his wiles to navigate both the exclusive halls of King Richard's court, and the hardscrabble streets of 14th century London. In a world full of old friends, mysterious strangers and dangerous enemies, he will have to uncover lies well told and truth well hidden to find the murderer, protect his country and save himself.The riveting second mystery in the Crispin Guest series is an evocative and thrilling medieval noir tale of suspense and murder. Serpent in the Thorns was a finalist for both the Macavity Award and the Bruce Alexander Mystery Award.
Crispin Guest has fallen far from his privileged position as a knight in medieval high society. Accused of treason, abandoned by former friends and allies, he has survived on the gritty streets of London by reinventing himself as "The Tracker", a private investigator for hire who can locate lost objects or uncover the clandestine lives of people.When the secretive, wealthy merchant Nicholas Walcote hires Guest to investigate his alluring young wife Philippa for adultery, he discovers a seedy underworld of covert dealings and violent men of mystery. Philippa is indeed hiding something and she's not the only one. Guest soon learns that Walcote is rumored to be in possession of a mystical holy relic so powerful that some would even kill for it.Guest must contend with his nemesis, Sheriff Simon Wynchcombe in the search for answers to the questions surrounding the mysterious Walcotes. With each new day comes another layer of intrigue and Guest quickly becomes entangled in a strange world of superstition, seduction, and murder.
The world feels oddly strained, like a line pulled too taunt and apt to snap, smashing everything in its path.Master Mechanic Mari and Mage Alain have survived every attempt to stop them, but their enemies are determined to kill Mari, the only one who can save her world from a storm of destruction. As armies begin to gather and cities seethe with tension, Mari, Alain, and their friends must prepare to confront the storm in the place it first appeared: the broken kingdom of Tiae.The dangers facing them demand perilous raids, tough battles, and more than a little piracy. Beating the Mechanics Guild and the Mage Guild that have controlled the world of Dematr for centuries will require an unprecedented alliance under Mari's command of rebellious Mechanics, Mages, and common folk who know that together they can change the world, but separately they will all lose.
Trapped within the dead city of Marandur, Master Mechanic Mari and Mage Alain must escape both merciless barbarians and the pitiless Imperial Legion. Beyond those dangers lie the mightiest and most unforgiving powers in the world of Dematr: the Great Guilds that rule the world with iron fists.Mari's Mechanics Guild and Alain's Mage Guild have always been enemies, but they are united in wanting to kill their rogue members before Mari can fulfill the ancient prophecy of being the one who will finally overthrow their power. Mari and Alain must risk those dangers because halfway across their world lies a place where truth has long been hidden. A place that could explain why their world's history begins abruptly, with no hints of what came before. A place where they might learn how the Mechanics Guild came to control all technology and how the Mages manage to alter reality temporarily. A place that might tell them how to achieve a task that appears to be impossible.Never before have a Mage and a Mechanic worked together, and their combined talents offer their only hope. But she and Alain must first survive the deadly and implacable Assassins of Altis.
The second book of the exciting Pillars of Reality epic fantasy series, by New York Times bestselling author Jack Campbell!Someone wants to kill Mari, a young steam mechanic in the guild that controls all technology. She has learned that her world of Dematr is headed for a catastrophe that will destroy civilization and that mages really can alter reality for short periods. Someone also wants to kill Alain, a young mage who has learned that mechanics are not frauds, as his guild teaches, and that mechanic Mari is the only person who can prevent the oncoming disaster.Narrowly escaping death, the mechanic and the mage stay alive thanks to their combined skills, an alliance never before seen. But it becomes clear that both of their guilds, the most powerful forces in the world, are trying to destroy them. Other powers, like the great empire and a mysterious secret order, also seek to kill or capture them using every weapon from imperial legions to mage-created trolls, dragons, and rocs.Trying to survive and learn the truth about their world so they will know how to save it, Mari and Alain realize the answers they seek may lie in the dead city of Marandur. But Marandur is guarded by the legions that have sealed it off from the rest of the world for more than a century. Mari and Alain's only hope may rest with the unseen masters of Marandur.