The Scroll of Years: A Gaunt and Bone Novel
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It's Brent Weeks meets China Mieville in this wildly imaginative fantasy debut featuring high action, elegant writing, and sword and sorcery with a Chinese flare.
Persimmon Gaunt and Imago Bone are a romantic couple and partners in crime. Persimmon is a poet from a well-to-do family, who found herself looking for adventure, while Imago is a thief in his ninth decade who is double-cursed, and his body has not aged in nearly seventy years. Together, their services and wanderlust have taken them into places better left unseen, and against odds best not spoken about. Now, they find themselves looking to get away, to the edge of the world, with Persimmon pregnant with their child, and the most feared duo of assassins hot on their trail. However, all is never what it seems, and a sordid adventure--complete with magic scrolls, gangs of thieves, and dragons both eastern and western--is at hand.
well-ordered buildings hid their secrets, and she had better glimpses of the villagers themselves in the fields or rice paddies, where families bent at their labor. Gaunt had traveled for years now (though never so far) and knew the peril of snap judgments. But what she recalled from the West were both happier peasants and more desperate peasants. She wondered if Qiangguo endeavored to avoid extremes in favor of serenity. Footsore and pregnant, it was an attitude she could respect. By
told him.” “This time ‘north’ was the correct answer?” Bone asked. Eshe said, “More or less. You go to the town of Abundant Bamboo.” “You are most free with information,” Gaunt murmured. Walking Stick stared at Gaunt, eyes taking in the shape of her middle. Bone wondered if he should pull that mustache after all. Walking Stick exchanged more words with Eshe, who said, “I am free in no other sense. The rope is tangled, as we say in Kpalamaa. This man could kill us all. I speak not merely of
empti— Imago Bone heard the intruders the evening after settling in to Abundant Bamboo. Asleep beside the door (he had insisted, as it was after all their first night and who knew what could happen?) he roused to the sound of creaking two floors below, and of sharp whispers. He’d slept in his traveling clothes (again, it was the first night) and rose to a coiled crouch before he was fully awake. Gaunt still slept upon the narrow bed, and he chose not to disturb her until he’d heard more. There.
looked up, into the sardonic vast gaze of the dragon who’d spared her life beside the sea. She had been prepared for Western assassins and Eastern martial artists, not this. “What?” THEY BIND MY KIND, the dragon said. THE HEAVENWALLS CONSTRAIN OUR MATING. I PISS MOLTEN GOLD UPON THEM! Gaunt heard a spattering, and distant screams. “I did not know,” Gaunt whispered, thinking it was impossible for her to be heard. “Perhaps that was wrong of Qiangguo.” I BLAME ALL HUMANITY, the dragon replied.
aglow from dozens of trapped, luminescent insects. But the balconies had no railings; that would have meant less room for the bookshelves. The shelves’ hollows clutched motley volumes sheathed in cracked bindings and cobwebs; while their frames scowled with goblin calligraphy, proclaiming each balcony a branch of knowledge in the goblin bibliographic system. Thus Imago Bone knew he crept through the Alcove of Martyrs (whose urns cradled the ashes of incinerated books) and thence to the Vault of