The Initiate Brother Duology
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Sean Russell’s acclaimed duology, The Initiate Brother and Gatherer of Clouds, together in one omnibus edition for the first time!
Plague and warfare have swept across the ancient kingdom of Wa, devastating the royal line and leaving a new dynasty on the throne—a new Emperor, Akantsu, filled with fear of all who might seek to wrest the Empire from his grasp. Among those out of favor with the new liege is the Order of the Botahist Monks, whose mystical powers have enabled them to hold positions as Spiritual Advisors to the Imperial court for nearly ten centuries. But Emperor Akantsu fears none so greatly as he does Lord Shonto, the brilliant leader of the most important of the old families, whose influence could rally the Great Houses against the throne, and whose adopted daughter, the beautiful and talented Lady Nishima, is the last surviving member of the old royal family.
Sent to be military governor of a northern border province long threatened by barbarian invaders, Lord Shonto knows he is being lured to his death. But Akantsu has underestimated his foe, for not only is Lord Shonto the greatest military genius of the age, but he has with him a Spiritual Advisor from the Botahist Order—a young man gifted with extraordinary martial arts skills and magical abilities, Initiate Brother Shuyun. And even Lord Shonto does not realize the true potential of this young monk. Only time will reveal that Shuyun’s magical powers have not seen their equal in nearly a thousand years—not since the Perfect Master himself walked the paths of the Empire…
important, but there was no way to intercept Lady Nishima now, at least not without bringing a great deal of attention to her. She would be in Seh before a message, sent by any conventional means, would catch her. There was nothing to be done—except, perhaps, begin preparation for her new position. She believed the brooms were kept near the kitchen. Thirty-three LADY NISHIMA HAD never known a day so long. It had been only the previous evening that she had received the poem from Jaku Katta, and
were warned, there can be no doubt.” Shonto paced across to the opposite post, then back again. He looked up at Hojo. “I agree, Sire. They must have had knowledge from within the Governor’s Palace. Unless it was a sudden loss of nerve, and I consider that unlikely. Even the Emperor does not choose the fainthearted to carry out his treachery.” “I have also had word from those who watch our new ally. A messenger came to Jaku’s barge about the same time as we received word of the Kintari.
honors under the new dynasty.” “I hope you are correct, Lord Shonto.” So, Shonto thought, this is what the young one desires—a return to former power. It was an old story and Shonto had heard it many times before. Most of the secondary Houses in the Empire had the same dream, though in many cases the former power was mythical. But not so with the Komawara. They had once been the true rulers of the north—and long before the Imperial Governors had been created. At times the Komawara had even
that he had washed ashore and was swept back and forth by the rhythms of the sea. Finally the Prince opened his eyes. A thick, straw mat was the surface under him. “Sire?” It was a soft voice, not at all hostile. Wakaro tried to nod. “Can you hear me, Sire?” Tadamoto, Jaku Tadamoto: Wakaro recognized the voice now. He moved his head, a definite nod, he was certain. “If you wish, I will help you to sit.” After a moment of consideration Wakaro shook his head. I must have more time, he
and forth so that it would be seen. He made his way across a green field, walking deliberately but without haste toward the waving banners of the pavilion. Horsemen broke free of the great mass of humanity before Shuyun and galloped out toward him. They stopped at some distance and examined the monk, and then one turned and spurred his horse back toward the barbarian position. The remaining three riders kept their distance, matching Shuyun’s pace and not taking their eyes from him. Fifty paces