The Gathering Storm (Crown of Stars, Vol. 5) by Kate Elliott

By Kate Elliott

5th within the Nebula Award-nominated sequence. The time of cataclysm is sort of right here whilst the land of the Aoi-cast forth from the area lengthy centuries in the past by means of an unimaginably strong spell-weaving-will finally go back to its start line with disastrous consequences...

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She was as tall as he was, with a strong grip and a rank smell. " , I am dead. I am not the brother you knew. But he could not speak. 'God's mercy," said Wolfhere softly, much surprised. "I knew you had a brother, Hathui, who walked into the east as a frater and was lost. " She wept, although she'd never been one to weep as a child, scorning those who cried; her beloved older brother had been the only soul ever allowed to see her rare bouts of tears. 'Hush," he said, remembering those days bitterly.

She stretched to savor the touch of his hand. " 'Do not laugh at me, you heartless man. " She burst into the laughter he found so attractive. "When she found us in bed together! It was a good thing he was the son of a princely family. Alas that he died so young. My second husband smelled bad. " 'Thus the White Stallion? " That was another thing he liked about Ilona: she smelled good. She burned perfumed oils in the lamps that lit her chamber, oil of violets, if she had them, or vervain or sage.

For an instant, Sanglant had trfe uneasy feeling that Ilona had been playing with him all along, these past months, as though she were pretending that he were her pura. Maybe she wasn't as fond of him as he had become of her. But it was impossible to guess anything when she laughed like that, and maybe it didn't really matter. 'The White Stallion, the pura, is also a sacrifice, for the well being of the tribe. Be careful that the Kerayit women do not demand you for a pura, Sanglant, in exchange for their help to defeat your western sorcerers.

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