Sworn in Steel: A Tale of the Kin
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It’s been three months since Drothe killed a legend, burned down a portion of the imperial capital, and found himself unexpectedly elevated into the ranks of the criminal elite. As the newest Gray Prince in the underworld, he’s not only gained friends, but also rivals—and some of them aren’t bothered by his newfound title. A prince’s blood, as the saying goes, flows just as red as a beggar’s.
So when another Gray Prince is murdered and all signs point to Drothe as the hand behind the knife, he knows it’s his blood that’s in danger of being spilled. As former allies turn their backs and dark rumors begin to circulate, Drothe is approached by a man who says he can make everything right again. All he wants in exchange is a single favor.
Now Drothe finds himself traveling to the Despotate of Djan, the empire’s long-standing enemy, to search for the friend he betrayed—and the only person who can get him out of this mess. But the grains of sand are running out fast, and even if Drothe can find his friend, he may not be able to persuade him to help in time...
smiled and crawled up to my bed with instruction not to be disturbed. Less than six hours later, I’d woken up to Fowler kicking my bed, telling me it was time to get my ass up and go meet Heron. I’d thought about arguing, about telling her to go to hell, but we needed the stipend he held, not to mention however many days he’d managed to bargain out of the wazir on our behalf. Part of me wanted to tell her to go in my stead, but I decided I’d rather drink the mug of coffee she’d brought me than
going to try to stop me?” “Why would I do that?” “You know . . .” I gestured over my shoulder at the estate. “Not getting myself killed?” “I’m here to keep you alive, not to prevent you from being stupid. Not that I think the latter’s even possible.” “Right,” I said. “Great.” I turned back to the gate. The guard had fallen close enough that it was only a moment’s work to grab his leg, drag him the rest of the way over, and search his clothing for the keys. I unlocked the gate. The sound of
use your voice to distract me.” “I know what he’s doing!” she said. “Then be silent.” He sounded closer—off to the right. I peered into the darkness, my night vision turning the shadows of the trees blood red against the amber of the grass. “Not for this,” said Aribah. “Not like this.” “Dammit, child—” “We’re neyajin,” she said. Nearly cried. “You taught me what that means. Taught Mother. Told us that to be feared, to be effective, we have to stand apart. That we can’t let ourselves be
Degan? That had seemed worth the risk. Now it just seemed stupid. Wolf spun as I lunged, bringing the long sword in his left hand around in a blurring arc. I felt the sword’s handle hit my wrist, grunted as the knife slipped from my suddenly tingling fingers. I kept moving forward, going for the close fight. Backing away would let Wolf bring his own sword to bear; but here, in tight, I had the advantage. I thrust the heel of my left palm up toward his face even as my right foot stomped down
note that this is the only way out. . . .” He showed the blade of his grin again. I walked down the stairs. The one eating rice deigned to nod as I passed. My, but they raised them polite down here. There was a sedan chair waiting in the street. It was respectable as these things went, with a painted door in the side and wicker screens covering the windows. The roof had a pair of folding panels, which had been pulled back to reveal more screens up top. Even this far on the thieves’ side of