Blood & Tears paperback edition is book 3 in the Icefire Trilogy series by Patty Jansen
Following the destruction of the City of Glass through an explosion of sonorics, huge numbers of refugees have descended upon the Chevakian capital Tiverius.
The refugees are mostly members of the rebel group Brotherhood of the Light, supporters of the old royal family. They are injured, scared and hungry, and few speak Chevakian. The young Queen Jevaithi and her lover Isandor are amongst them, safe from the Eagle Knights for now.
Young Eagle Knight Carro is waiting in an old farmhouse with his fellow Knights for the order to invade the camp, capture the Queen and deliver her back to his father, where she will continue to live as imprisoned puppet for the Knights’ tyranny.
The Chevakians know none of this, and struggle to contain the refugee population, and the dangerous sonorics contamination the people have brought from their ravaged country, contamination that defies Chevakian efforts to contain it, and is getting worse, not better.
In their struggle for power, the Brotherhood and the Knights disturbed something from an ancient and magic civilisation.
The sorcerer Tandor knows what happened, but he is on death row in a Chevakian jail.
The southern woman Loriane is aware of the things that are required, but she is amongst Chevakians who can’t understand her.
The Chevakian proctor Sadorius han Chevonian could put the pieces of the puzzle together, but he is struggling to keep the peace, and besides, Chevakians don’t believe in magic.
Meanwhile, the massive, and malevolent, sonorics cloud drifts towards the city, hungry for revenge.
Here is a sample:
“Sady.” A voice spoke in his dreams, a voice that wanted him to come into a dark mire. He couldn’t see the speaker from where he stood, hesitating, on a tall wall, surrounded by mist, with no idea how he’d managed to get up there. Everyone he loved—his parents, long dead; Milleus, missing; Suri, dead at her own hand—was down there and wanted him to jump. But the water—that dark substance underneath the mist must surely be water—was cold and there were weeds that would drag him down.
Another voice called from behind him, “Sady!”
This voice he recognised as Lana’s, except the woman who had spoken wasn’t her. He didn’t know where she came from, but this was a dream and things happen like that in dreams. She looked like an old shrivelled prune of a woman, probably twice his age. She was wearing a wedding gown and carrying a wilted bunch of flowers. He had promised he’d marry her, but he couldn’t possibly, not like this—
“Sady, wake up.”
Sady woke with a shock. Opened his eyes in the bleary morning light. Recognised that there had been someone calling him for real.
Sady said, “What?” Only it came out like a croak, and his mouth tasted like sewage.
The remnants of the surreal dream fled his mind.
The voice belonged to Orsan, who stood in the doorway, poking his head into the room. Bright daylight peeped between the curtains. What was the time? Orsan continued, “Sorry, Sady. I’d like to let you sleep, but there have already been two messengers from the doga for people demanding to see you.” “What for?” But the moment he said that, reality rushed back to him. Lana dead. The trashed guest quarters, the four bodies, the deranged killer. They’d be the victims’ families, or other people attacked by this deranged youth, or people from the hospital protesting the loss of two surgeons, or—
“Give me a moment. I’ll be there soon—and Orsan, wait.”
Orsan came back into the room.
“Any clue about where the baby is?”
“No. Not yet.”
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