Author(s): Brian Staveley
The circle is closing. The stakes are high. And old truths will live again ...The Emperor has been murdered, leaving the Annurian Empire in turmoil. Now his progeny must bury their grief and prepare to unmask a conspiracy. His son Valyn, training for the empire's deadliest fighting force, hears the news an ocean away. He expected a challenge, but after several 'accidents' and a dying soldier's warning, he realizes his life is also in danger. Yet before Valyn can take action, he must survive the mercenaries' brutal final initiation. Meanwhile, the Emperor's daughter, Minister Adare, hunts her father's murderer in the capital itself. Court politics can be fatal, but she needs justice. And Kaden, heir to an empire, studies in a remote monastery. Here, the Blank God's disciples teach their harsh ways - which Kaden must master to unlock their ancient powers. When an imperial delegation arrives, he's learnt enough to perceive evil intent. But will this keep him alive, as long-hidden powers make their move?
'A vividly imagined story of conspiracy and empire' Col Buchanan 'A complex and fast-moving fantasy set in a world where treachery and intrigue are everywhere' L. E. Modesitt Jr. 'Machiavellian politics on multiple levels, an intriguing world of magic, and three protagonists whose personal journeys will keep the reader impatiently waiting for the next book!' Richard A. Knaak
After more than a decade teaching history, religion, and philosophy, Brian decided to write books. He now lives on a steep dirt road in the hills of southern Vermont, where he divides his time between fathering, writing, husbanding, splitting wood, skiing, and exploring old trails. Stiff knees permitting, Brian also still competes in multi-day adventure races. While he hopes that participating in these gruelling events will give him insight into the physical and psychological suffering faced by his characters, it's possible that he's just too dumb to quit. To the dismay of his family, he also sometimes tries to play the banjo.