Queen of Storms by Raymond E. Feist (The Firemane Saga #2)
English | 2020 | Fantasy | ePUB | 2.8 MB
Dark and powerful forces threaten the world of Garn once more in this second novel in legendary New York Times bestselling author Raymond E. Feist’s epic fantasy series, the Firemane Saga.
Hatushaly and his young wife Hava have arrived in the prosperous trading town of Beran’s Hill to restore and reopen the fire-damaged Inn of the Three Stars. They are also preparing for the popular midsummer festival, where their friends Declan and Gwen will be wed.
But Hatu and Hava are not the ordinary loving couple they appear to be. They are assassins from the mysterious island of Coaltachin, home to the powerful and lethal Nocusara, the fearsome “Hidden Warriors.” Posing as innkeepers, they are awaiting instructions from their masters in the Kingdom of Night.
Hatu conceals an even more dangerous secret. He is the last remaining member of the legendary Firemanes, the ruling family of Ithrace. Known as the Kingdom of Flames, Ithrace was one of the five greatest realms of Tembria, ruled by Hatu’s father, Stervern Langene, until he and his people were betrayed. His heir, Hatu—then a baby—was hidden among the Nocusara, who raised him to become a deadly spy.
Hatu works hard to hide his true identity from all who would seek to use or to destroy him, as fate has other plans for the noble warrior. Unexpected calamity forces him to make choices he could not have dreamed awaited him.
A series of horrific events shatters the peace of Beran’s Hill, bringing death and devastation and unleashing monstrous forces. Once more, the Greater Realms of Tembria are threatened—and nothing will ever be the same again.
Entering the chamber, they found a tray laden with fruit, cold meats and cheese, a loaf of warm bread, a bottle of wine, and a pitcher of cool water.
“Good,” said Lodavico. “I’m famished.”
“Anticipating Your Majesty’s needs is always my aim,” said the episkopos.
Lodavico indicated that Bernardo should sit in the chair to his right hand at the end of the council table. The Privy Council had consisted of up to a dozen nobles of the kingdom from dim antiquity right up to his father’s rule. Lodavico had named several nobles to various positions, but rarely convened the entire council, having done so only once after the war against Ithrace, just for public show. Most of the time he preferred to be in consultation with a few advisers, and lately with just one of them: Bernardo. The truth now was, for a little over ten years, the episkopos and the king made every decision in Sandura.
Lodavico said, “What news?”
Bernardo unfolded a leather portfolio he carried. He knew the king expected him not to discuss matters of state while his portrait was being painted, but now that they were alone, Lodavico was anxious to hear the day’s reports.
Bernardo had long since come to understand the king’s preferred order of reporting, and the usual accounts of trade, taxes, and other mundane matters were always subordinate to intelligence, news, and even rumors about anyone Lodavico considered a threat.
“Little new to report on, Majesty. Some of the companies of mercenaries who’ve been employed in the north are taking ship to come and join your campaigns.” He paused. A tightening around Lodavico’s eyes communicated clearly what the king desired to hear.
“No news from Marquensas, Majesty. Our agents report . . . everything is calm.”
“What about that . . . company Daylon assembled in that town . . .”
“Beran’s Hill,” supplied Bernardo. “Not really a company, sire, rather a local militia of sheriff’s men, though there is no proper sheriff. A young smith has been given command, a fellow named Declan.”
Lodavico waved away the detail. “Beran’s Hill is an invitation of sorts, I’m certain.”
Bernardo had listened to this conjecture countless times, but knew his best course was to simply let the king continue his speculation without interruption and to reassure him that everything that could be done was being done.
“Daylon Dumarch has magnificent defenses in every port, garrisons of size in key locations, cities, trade route intersections, and active patrols everywhere but in the north, along one particular trade route. Why?”
Bernardo hesitated, waiting to see if the question was rhetorical. Seeing that the king expected an answer, he shrugged. “He faces very little real threat from the north. His only neighbor of consequence is Rodrigo of Copper Hills, and he is one of Baron Daylon’s closest friends. Dumarch would as soon expect a brother to turn on him as Rodrigo Bavangine.” He paused, gauging the king’s reaction.