Taran Elijah’s quest for knowledge uncovers a plot that threatens the world…
Desperate to learn how to control his innate Artesan powers, Taran embarks on a foolhardy plan to acquire the teaching he craves. The military backlash his action unleashes forces Albia’s High King to send Major Sullyan as an envoy to the Fifth Realm. But a dark and treacherous power is moving through the realms and all will feel its influence.
Captured and tortured by the power-hungry Lord Rykan, Sullyan is trapped in Andaryon. Aided by the unlikeliest sources, the major formulates a plan to defeat Rykan and end his quest for the throne. But Sullyan’s strength is fading fast and time is running out. The only thing that can save her is Rykan’s mysterious Staff, which lies buried in the ruins of Taran’s cellar.
Sullyan’s lover, Robin Tamsen, sets out to recover the artefact, but the enemy is two steps ahead of him. If Robin fails to secure the Staff, Sullyan’s life, the Artesan craft, and the very existence of their world is under threat.
“Cas Peace’s Artesans of Albia trilogy immediately sweeps you away: the drama starts with King’s Envoy, continues unabated in King’s Champion, and climaxes in King’s Artesan, yet each volume is complete, satisfying. The Artesan series propels you into a world so deftly written that you see, feel, touch, and even smell each twist and turn. These nesting novels are evocative, hauntingly real. Smart. Powerful. Compelling. The trilogy teems with finely drawn characters, heroes and villains and societies worth knowing; with stories so organic and yet iconic you know you’ve found another home—in Albia. So start reading now. I, for one, can’t wait to find out what will happen next.
Janet E Morris: Bestselling Author of The Sacred Band of Stepsons series; the Dream Dancer series; I, the Sun; Outpassage; The Silistra Quartet;and editor of the Bangsian In Hell series. Famed contributor to the shared universe fantasy series, Thieves World.
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Snippet From King’s Artesan:
“You don’t recognize me, Albian, do you?”
It was the voice rather than the face. Taran hadn’t clearly seen the man during the duel with Jaskin, and only fleetingly at Rykan’s palace with Marik. Yet that thick, imperious voice brought memories flooding back, memories of killing, pain, and death. Only then did Taran realize that this man was connected to the noble he had killed. The blood that had run to his head now drained completely away, and he stared, helpless, into Sonten’s triumphant eyes.
“Ah, now you remember.” The General thrust his face unpleasantly close, and Taran felt spittle as he hissed, “You took something from me, you murdering scum. You destroyed my plans and damn near cost me my life. Do you have any idea what you put me through? Any idea of the chaos you caused? Well, now you’re going to pay. You’re going to tell me what you did with it, and you’re going to help me get it back. If you do, your death will be swift. Refuse and you won’t believe how slow it will be. And in case you think that’s an idle threat, just remember that I also have your dark friend here. We’ll see how cooperative you are when it’s his screams you’re hearing.”
The man holding Taran’s hair let go abruptly. For the second time, Taran’s head fell against the horse’s shoulder and agonizing pain shot up his nose. He cried out.
He vaguely heard Sonten snap, “Get the others and mount up. I want to be out of here before dark. We’ll make for the forests and find a suitable spot to camp. Make sure none of Rykan’s bloody rabble sees you. I’m damned if I’ll be responsible for their retreat now that Pharikian’s annexed Kymer. Let his blasted men deal with Rykan! Now, where’s that idiot messenger boy? Imris? Imris! Dammit, someone go find him. I want him to contact Heron. Well? What are you waiting for?”
Taran’s horse stumbled into motion and the nightmare began again. The spellsilver sickness returned, but it was nothing compared to the sickness in Taran’s heart. Torture and death awaited him now, and even if he managed to work out what his captor wanted, he doubted Cal would be spared. His Apprentice would die merely for being Taran’s friend, and Taran knew he couldn’t bear it.