Dirk's great-grandmother's nearly a hundred years old. She's got scars all over her hands.
Someday Dirk will find out why.
Twenty plus stories in this anthology: Blaze Ward Presents: Cloak and Dagger. Science fiction, urban fantasy, and sword and sorcery fantasy. Come explore the many bright and dark places that twenty odd visionaries went and will happily take you.
"Get from house, boy," said Dirk's great-grandmother, her accent thick.
Dirk glanced up from his game. The old woman was hunched at the doorway, steel blue eyes unsoftened by a fond, faint smile. "Get from house now," she repeated. "Cannot stay forever."
"Nana," he objected, his attention and thumbs drawn back to the tablet as the game started beeping from neglect. "I'm just--"
"Make me repeat myself?" she asked.
It took a moment, but something in her tone caught him. He exhaled frustration and put down the tablet, looking back at her wrinkled face and clasped hands with scars across the backs like webs.
"Maybe you tell me today, nana? About your hands?"
Susan Langley is not entirely sane. Nor is she quite crazy enough to be stripped of her grandmother's fortune.
Nine tales of quiet terror where the scourge sneaks up on you, subtle and snug. Let it fill you with cozy dread as you see the different type of monster who might wait in the basement, or your backyard.
Gramma understood. When the nights were dark beyond bearing, I'd climb the stairs to her room, forcing myself to forget each stair as I passed. She snored a bit as I sat on her thick featherbed. Then she woke and took my hand.
"The darkness will fade, Susie. Really it will. You'll see."
And it did. But the light, when it came, was not much better. It made the walls weep and the doors scream until all I wanted to do was join them.
But I knew better. I was silent when the judge gave my brother a long, hard look. The light came through the high windows of the courtroom and shattered across the room like glass, raining down on all our bare heads.
"You ought to be ashamed, Mr. Langley. Motion denied." He turned his judge’s attention on me. "Ms. Langley, my most sincere condolences on the loss of your grandmother."
I nodded and looked down at my feet, seeing their shoes, proper shoes, remembering the battle I had this morning getting my toes into them.READ MORE
"Thank you, your honor," I said softly.COLLAPSE
In the final book of The Stranger Trilogy, Amarta reaches the city-state of Seuan, where the Heart—a man famous for his predictions—awaits her.
As Amarta struggles to understand this extraordinary land full of threats and treasures, she resolves to protect those who cannot protect themselves, even if that means from herself. Step by step, Amarta unwraps secrets within secrets, coming to understand the cost of getting what she wants.
Innel at last gains a chance at redemption for all he has done, but can he pay the price?
The Seer and The Lord Commander's paths come together again, but their paths have changed them.
They meet as strangers.
Landfall—the third and final book of The Stranger Trilogy—brings Amarta’s and Innel’s journeys to a satisfying conclusion that will leave you breathless with wonder and wanting to start the journey all over again.
The hunted becomes the hunter as Amarta, The Seer, sets out across the land to find others like herself and to understand her own power.
On the way to the most famous predictor of all—the Heart of Seuan—Amarta walks the greatest wonder of the world: The Island Road, a living land mass that forms unpredictably, producing tremendous wealth for a lucky few.
As she travels, Amarta learns to wield her power in ways that she did not foresee, at a cost that she could not imagine.
Innel, the former Lord Commander, is sold into anonymous slavery. On his way to certain death, he is [instead] given to a wealthy Perripin merchant. Does the merchant know who he was before? Though they walk separate paths, Amarta and Innel's questions are one and the same: Who am I now?
Maelstrom—the second book of The Stranger Trilogy—continues Amarta’s and Innel’s journeys through fantastic lands and powerful magic.
Be sure to start with the first book in the trilogy, Unmoored, and to continue with the stunning conclusion in Landfall.
"I require a body."
Natun admitted to himself that his cousin Bolah's lack of reaction was impressive. He had timed his words to see if she might waver even the slightest. Mid-pour, she had been, the pink stream of tea forming a surface froth in his porcelain cup.
Her motion continued smooth and deliberate as she returned the tea cylinder to its place on the side table, then seated herself across from him.
"What sort of body, cousin?" she asked.
A body that could be viewed by thousands, yet still not truly be known. But how to say that, without revealing too much?
It was a terribly delicate matter.