The battle for the throne of Valderon has begun. Court politics have turned deadly. As plots unfurl, Edouard and Mariette find themselves on opposite sides, each caught in a fight against a ruthless enemy. Moved like pawns on a shadowed chessboard, unaware they are being played by a hidden master, and hunted by a creature of shadow that steals men's souls.
Blinded by grief, Mariette plays a dangerous and seductive game. She is driven by the desire for revenge and a mother's instinct to protect her children. Believing herself betrayed, she will act without pity or scruple.
In the vicious stew of court politics motives are unclear and ever suspect. Edouard plays both betrayed and betrayer. He blunders and learns too late, there is more to the concept of honor than skill at arms and bloody-minded bravery.
Love and honour are lost with each twist of betrayal, and soon more than hearts and pride are at stake. By the end lives will stand at risk and trust itself will become an act of bravery.
About Richard Crawford
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Published August 28, 2011
Science Fiction & Fantasy, Literature & Fiction.