By Michelle West

The weeks considering Jewel Markess ATerafin has been acclaimed ruler of her condominium haven't been peaceable; 4 assassination makes an attempt were made on her existence, and the most very important contributors of her condominium Council has been pressured to retire, leaving a seat empty at a time while she calls for depended on allies.

The struggle within the far-off South has ended; the armies, successful, have lower back to Averalaan. through the victory parade of the Kings' armies, the 5th assassination test occurs--in complete view of the 10, the Kings, and millions of spectators. to outlive, Jewel takes to the sky at the again of a winged cat; she returns to the Terafin Manse, leaving demonic destruction in her wake, the demon itself in pursuit. within the woodland in the back of her manse, she has the power--barely--to stand opposed to the demon; she doesn't have the facility to ruin it.

In the aftermath of the Terafin's funeral, the Kings have demanded an viewers with the latest ruler of residence Terafin. A unmarried, careless command given to the fundamental earth at the day of the funeral has triggered unexplained and tense adjustments to the palace itself. yet sooner than Jewel can resolution the summons, she falls prey to the unusual, sound asleep plague that has felled voters around the urban of Averalaan--from the poorest of holdings to the wealthiest of mansions around the Isle.

It is there--in the uneasy land of dreams--that Jewel discovers the cause of the ailment, and there that she starts off to appreciate the forces arrayed opposed to either her condominium and the Empire; if she will live on the traps set via the Warden of goals and via her lethal, former allies, she is going to wake to a replaced world--if she wakes in any respect.

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They'd crossed the wastelands in midwinter, and they'd even managed to bring dragons with them. They were counting on a swift victory. Had they smashed their way into the city they could have wintered in comfort here, allowing fresh troops to join them from the east before mounting their invasion of the Human lands. As it is, they're stuck outside in the snow and that can't be comfortable, even for northern Orcs who are used to the bad weather. "As soon as spring comes there'll be a relief force on its way," says Gurd.

Gurd shakes his head. "The healer told you to lay off the drink. Two hours later we found you crawling towards the tavern, rambling crazily about how the healers were trying to kill you. It took three men to drag you back to your tent and even then you wouldn't shut up till I brought you a tankard. ' " Tanrose laughs. "That's not how I remember the story at all," I protest. "Enough about the malady," says Gurd, looking round shiftily. " Gurd is nervous, and not just because his tavern might be quarantined.

It's protected by both chains and spells, and the harbour master won't admit anyone till he's very sure that it's not an enemy. As we watch, the stricken ship crawls up to the entrance to the harbour then halts, its bow pressed against the thick chains that block the entrance. Sounds of shouting float over the water. Probably whoever's on board is yelling at the defenders to let them in before they go under, which won't be long. The vessel hovers perilously at the entrance, sinking ever further in the water.

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