The Emperors Knife

The Emperors Knife

3.4 198
by Mazarkis Williams
     
 

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There is a cancer at the heart of the mighty Cerani Empire: a plague that attacks young and old, rich and poor alike. Geometric patterns spread across the skin, until you die in agony, or become a Carrier, doing the bidding of an evil intelligence, the Pattern Master. Anyone showing the tell-tale marks is put to death; that is Emperor Beyon's law...but now the pattern… See more details below

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Overview

There is a cancer at the heart of the mighty Cerani Empire: a plague that attacks young and old, rich and poor alike. Geometric patterns spread across the skin, until you die in agony, or become a Carrier, doing the bidding of an evil intelligence, the Pattern Master. Anyone showing the tell-tale marks is put to death; that is Emperor Beyon's law...but now the pattern is running over the Emperor's own arms. His body servants have been executed, he ignores his wives, but he is doomed, for soon the pattern will reach his face. While Beyon's agents scour the land for a cure, Sarmin, the Emperor's only surviving brother, awaits his bride, Mesema, a windreader from the northern plains. Unused to the Imperial Court's stifling protocols and deadly intrigues, Mesema has no one to turn to but an ageing imperial assassin, the Emperor's Knife. As long-planned conspiracies boil over into open violence, the invincible Pattern Master appears from the deep desert. Now only three people stand in his way: a lost prince, a world-weary killer, and a young girl from the steppes who saw a path in a pattern once, among the waving grasses — a path that just might save them all!

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Williams’s riveting and intense debut is driven as much by the emotional scars of a ruthless court as by the court’s intrigues. The Empire is haunted by a mysterious, incurable curse: soon after the strange markings of the Pattern appear on people’s bodies, they either die or become the murderous puppets of an unseen force. When heir-less Emperor Beyon becomes Patterned, his mother and the vizier plot to use his brother, Prince Sarmin, to their own ends. Sarmin, however, is embittered by a lifetime spent hidden in a luxurious prison—an emperor is allowed no surviving brothers—and joins forces with his fiancée, Mesema, a nomad chief’s daughter, to put an end to royal assassinations. Their plans are then derailed by the discovery of a person manipulating the horrifying Pattern, more dangerous than any coup. Compelling characterizations will keep fans of grim fantasy entirely enthralled. (Dec.)
Library Journal
A strange plague that marks its victims with geometric patterns before it kills them or makes them a carrier for the evil Pattern Master sweeps across the Cerrani Empire. The Emperor has decreed death for anyone infected, but now he, too, has the marks and hopes that his agents can find a cure. Meanwhile, Sarmin, the Emperor's sole surviving brother, awaits the bride chosen for him, Mesema, a windreader of the nomadic horse tribes, and Eyul, the Emperor's "Knife," grows tired of killing for his lord. VERDICT Williams's fantasy debut, the first volume of a projected trilogy, details an exotic world that combines Asian and Middle Eastern cultural references with subtle intrigue and a touch of romance. Fans of fantasy intrigue will want to try this new author.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781597803854
Publisher:
Night Shade Books
Publication date:
12/01/2011
Series:
Tower and Knife , #2
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
352
Sales rank:
272,035
File size:
1 MB

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