Sea & Sky is book 2 in the Moonfire Trilogy.
Sanity is a lone voice crying in the desert.
The world is under increasing threat from as yet undiscovered sources of icefire, but all the people who have answers are cut off from the authorities, kings or councils, with the power to mobilise the scientists and armies to keep the world safe.
Young meteorology student Javes is stuck in the remote desert of the north. The area bristles with technology of an ancient past, but he cannot tell anyone about it because roads and telegraph lines have been cut by bad weather and invading bandits.
Lana, a fellow student, is on her way to meet him, but Aranian soldiers raid the bus that she’s travelling on. She is taken to the capital to serve at the king’s court.
Here is a sample:
As soon as the door shut and cut off most of the noise from the street, the owner scurried out a door behind the counter. He was a man on the wrong side of middle age with eyebrows so long he had fashioned them into horns. He was thin, a good deal taller than Javes, and wore a dark suit jacket with gold buttons.
He bowed. “How can I help the sir?”
Javes stuck his hands in his pockets—and found a sizeable hole in one of them—and thought very hard of his oldest brother who had the inborn ability to get money out of anyone. “I don’t know that you can help me.”
That was exactly something that Belo would say.
“Oh? Is the sir looking for something in particular?”
Javes eyed the shop’s wares displayed on many shelves. The fellow didn’t just sell weapons, but also other items of sophisticated male interest: pipes and intricate tobacco boxes, reading glasses, pens, leather-bound books, clocks and even an Aranian star chart. From here, he could just see the top of the crossbow and behind that, through the window, Tali’s sullen face while she waited outside with the animals.
“Business been good lately?” Javes fingered the hole in his left pocket and hoped nothing of importance had fallen out during his trek from Ysherra.
“I’ve been getting lots of interesting new stock.” Which wasn’t exactly answering the question, but the shelves were well-stocked. Probably because many people had been leaving town and had needed the money to do so, leaving him with lots of things to sell and no one to buy.
“Hmmm. I’m from Tiverius and I’m buying unusual pieces for collectors. In particular, collectors of weapons. I noticed the crossbow in the window.”
The man nodded, his expression eager. “That is indeed a collector’s piece.”
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