Rat-born zealots arrive in a maelstrom of fire and blood, their ambitions as mystifying as their body count is explicit. Trapped amid the chaos, conscript Orenzo barely learns to spit like a soldier before bedlam kills his wide-eyed notions of glory. Left for dead and desperate for purpose, he returns to a tower scorched black, the ominous smoke pouring from its summit now a beacon for the bloodthirsty.
Instead of answers he finds Aronan, a young heir pummeled by the dueling responsibilities of filial duty and human decency. Seeking his betrothed amid the shambles of her once-promising inheritance, they ascend to find Asma half-conscious amidst massacre, clinging to life and babbling of the zealots’ sole objective: to hunt an immortal betrayer harbored by Aronan’s powerful father.
Bound by contract to escort half a city of refugees to the distant capital, Orenzo and his battered division are yoked by the plight of Asma’s people. But with trust as fleeting as reprieve, and the harrowing march bleeding out the toughest of the crown’s retainers, the capital seems less and less likely to provide sanctuary.
Yet sanctuary they will need, for among the weary walks a god’s bastard determined to corrupt faith itself and cast the laws of masters and men into imbalance.
Book Two, Grip of Dust, is underway. Check the homepage for the latest updates.