The King's Blood
Stop an Emperor from destroying everything you love?
Stop a witch from collecting on her medical bills?
Stop a boy from getting pulverized before taking his father’s very recently vacated throne?
Ciara’s gonna need a lot of check marks to pull this off. More
War is coming to the frozen wastes of Ostero that people still stubbornly insist on calling home. The Empire, no last name necessary, is poised to swipe the final holdout off the table and claim all of Arda for itself. With the loss of the Ostero King’s head there is nothing standing in their way.
Well, almost nothing.
Ciara, daughter of the Dark Knight and head mistress, was content to spend her coming days serving the Lord of her castle — as content as a teenager can be — until the gods dumped one Aldrin, second son of the Ostero King, in her overburdened lap. Now the pair are forced out into a mostly indifferent world, fleeing for their lives to try to get Aldrin’s bony ass onto the vacant throne. Keeping their secret secret proves difficult for the no longer nobby nob, and the boy prince falls under the blade of an Empire’s Assassin.
Just as failure seems as certain as bears crapping in the woods, an assassin of assassins pops out from the forest. He’s even darker than Ciara, a shade she hadn’t seen outside of her expatriate father, and offers little help aside from pointing the pair to a witch’s cottage. A very much outlawed and dangerous witch’s cottage. But even princes need their blood to remain inside royal veins, so hauling the boy up, she braves the illegal magic and makes a pact with a woman who could put the devil out of business.
To make matters even more solid, they join forces with a troupe of wandering historians — forced from their homes for daring to practice the dark arts of reading — who take the pair under their constantly bickering wings and nearly get them killed along the way. The assassin of assassins is still trailing, offering little in explanation of who he is, what he wants, and why he keeps saving a couple of teens who don’t like or trust him. As if that weren’t enough, the group finds themselves saddled with a witch, as friendly and charming as a rash in delicate areas, and a priest who never takes anything serious, especially the serious stuff.
Walking corpses colloquially named unblinkers because they can’t all be called Carl, an Emperor who believes he’s the second coming of whatever god had the best dress sense, and a witch who dangled the threat of a very interesting and creative death above their heads all stand in their way to save their homeland from the invaders and stop all of Arda from succumbing to the rise of magic. No pressure.
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