Ananuenya’s army is fallen into disarray. The Widows have been swept from the board, her most loyal Zindali allies have been enslaved, and her use of old magic has driven her own people to retreat from the war. Her name and authority have been stripped from her. Meanwhile, her few remaining allies mass in the north, preparing to spring the trap that she set in motion.
Unless she can discover who was behind the conspiracy to destroy her, and learn to control the old magic that her people have long outlawed, the last loyal defenders of a free Rahal will be destroyed.
“Make your choice. Will you run, or will you stand?”
“What if I can’t?”
He held out the box. The stars spun effortlessly against their dark blue sky.
“What if you can?”
The fires on the ridge above Borag Mar lit the clouds.
Shev wove from one celebrating group to the next, singing along with his kin, raising his cup whenever a toast was called. The exuberance of victory burned late and long, fuelling wide grins and broad jokes.
Korva sat in a shallow hollow beneath a bank, the bag and her equipment pulled close all around her. The skies had opened up with a solid grey sheet of rain so thick it blinded her. Her shelter was only passable, but it was a stroke of luck just the same. She had crawled into it, hunched over, crying like a child, terrified and alone in the dark.
“Only the very strongest survive without breaking.”
Sundil watched the slaves they’d tried to rescue being lined up, returned to their bondage. Beside them his own warriors were being forced to their knees. They’d been locked for days in the warehouse, eating scraps of food. Waiting. Looking to him.
“An entire shipment of Zindali. It will make me a wealthy man.”