Quantum Shadows by L.E. Modesitt Jr.
English | 2020| Sci – Fi | ePUB | 4.9 MB
On a world called Heaven, the ten major religions of mankind each have its own land governed by a capital city and ruled by a Hegemon. That Hegemon may be a god, or a prophet of a god. Smaller religions have their own towns or villages of belief.
Corvyn, known as the Shadow of the Raven, contains the collective memory of humanity’s Falls from Grace. With this knowledge comes enormous power.
When unknown power burns a mysterious black image into the holy place of each House of the Decalivre, Corvyn must discover what entity could possibly have that much power. The stakes are nothing less than another Fall, and if he doesn’t stop it, mankind will not rise from the ashes.
In the middle of the sixth block stood a massive warehouse with heavy timbered doors, seemingly without locks, although those doors, Corvyn well knew, could not be forced by any powers less than those wielded by the Ten, and a very few others, of which he was one. He stepped toward the doors, whose crossbeams were twice the width of the thighs of a sacred Shinto combatant, moving past the heavy timber gates and down the side of the structure. He walked along the two-meter-wide space between the massive warehouse and another building with no windows on the two lower levels and but a single door facing the boulevard. He found the hidden door he had noted but never used, and manipulating a small amount of aether, opened it. After stepping inside, he sealed the door in a fashion that would not reveal how he entered.
Immediately inside was the outer ring of the garden, marked by a waist-high wall of blue and gold tiles, beyond which rose the lemon and orange trees, not to mention the perennially flowering lilacs. As with the interior of many structures within Helios, as well as other locales on the great plateau of Heaven, the garden was far more expansive than the exterior seemed able to contain. Sunlight poured through open skylights illuminating all parts of the garden, if at different lengths of time for different areas.
Corvyn took no more than two steps toward the blue-and-gold-tiled archway that suggested an entrance before Ishtaraath appeared, as if from nowhere, although Corvyn had already turned before he could have been seen by most.
“You could have at least pounded on the doors,” she suggested, her voice warm, but neither husky nor sultry, not that she was incapable of uttering words in ways that would drive most men, or if she desired, most women, toward thoughts of the immediate and intensely carnal.
“Is Tammuz around?”
“He’s rejuvenating himself on the Sands of Time, recalling his distant past as shepherd. He feels better doing that every so often.” Ishtaraath gave the smallest of headshakes. “It’s still masochistic.”
“Some find it necessary,” replied Corvyn mildly.
“The Sands are expansive enough to accommodate such necessity and the bodies of those who fail.”
“The Dunes offer a certain form of immortality, or at least longevity.”
“I tend to prefer greater certainty.” Ishtaraath turned toward the archway. “You might as well come into the garden, Corvyn.”
“Since it’s an invitation…” He smiled and followed her.