Discontent continues to fester within the realms of Craitol and Renuih, fed by intrigues carried out in the shadows. As rivals and apostates struggle for supremacy, a new and more powerful menace looms on the horizon. For the Shadow Men have gained the secrets of the Council Adept’s alkemya and no one can be certain what they will do with it.
In Craitol a council is called to discuss the threat. Gver Keleprai, unsure of who he can trust, attempts to walk a dangerous line between the High Adept and those who oppose his designs. But the Golden Veil has risen from the ashes of its destruction and they want vengeance.
Meanwhile, Masiph is drawn deeper and deeper into the conspiracy against the emperor, even as his father comes ever closer to uncovering it and his son’s involvement. But the arrival of Vyissan in the Renian capital and the secret he carries will change everything.
A Council of Shadows is the second volume of The Shadow Men, a richly imagined epic fantasy. The third volume, The Dance of the Shadows, will be available in October 2014.
The whir of the engine, so sleight I had to strain to hear it over the sound of the other cars on the road, was a comfort as I fled. It felt familiar, a sound that had formed the background to a thousand memories, and seemed to quiet the cacophony of thoughts, filled with memories that jabbered and capered about, each demanding my attention. The contradiction inherent in the comfort—how could this car, with its engine from another universe, be familiar to me?—was something I could ignore while it eased my anguish. But for how long? That thought too was there, lurking beneath these spiraling recollections, these multitudes I suddenly contained that seemed to be fighting to burst free.
I am David Aeida, I told myself, repeating it like an invocation. All of the rest, my garbled memories, the absent knowledge that the High Regent and even the Seeker believed I possessed, would sort itself out given time. Hadn’t the woman told me it would come with time? Meredith had as well. The memory of her false embrace arose in my mind, demanding my attention, though I tried not to think of it, to not replay the moment again and again. Though the memory had no context, it felt like an open wound each time I returned to it, and yet I was compelled to.
Could I trust her now? Who else did I have to trust? She was of the Order, as was I, and, in spite of the embrace, she was the only thing resembling an ally I had.
It took me some time to determine where I was as I drove, but eventually, as I followed the flow of the traffic, I spotted the ocean gleaming in the sunlight and a bridge spanning the bay leading back to downtown. There were mountains behind me to the north and at last I remembered where I was. Vancouver. The Lions Gate Bridge. After the bridge came Stanley Park, a forested peninsula spidered with paths, all of which gave the appearance of leading deep into some world apart. Continue reading