This stunning follow-up to Ellen Kushner’s cult-classic novel, Swordspoint, is set in the same world of labyrinthine intrigue, where sharp swords and even sharper wits rule. Against a rich tapestry of artists and aristocrats, students, strumpets, and spies, a gentleman and a scholar will find themselves playing out an ancient drama destined to explode their society’s smug view of itself–and reveal that sometimes the best price of uncovering history is being forced to repeat it….
The Fall of the Kings
Generations ago the last king fell, taking with him the final truths about a race of wizards who ruled at his side. But the blood of the kings runs deep in the land and its people, waiting for the coming together of two unusual men, Theron Campion, a young nobleman of royal lineage, is heir to an ancient house and a modern scandal. Tormented by his twin duties to his family and his own bright spirit, he seeks solace in the University. There he meets Basil St. Cloud, a brilliant and charismatic teacher ruled by a passion for knowledge–and a passion for the ancient kings. Of course, everyone now knows that the wizards were charlatans and the kings their dupes and puppets. Only Basil ins not convinced–nor is he convinced that the city has seen its last king…
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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|Title of eBook: The Fall of The Kings|
|Release Date: 12-18-2007|
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|Publisher: Bantam Books|
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|Parent title||The Fall of The Kings|
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The Fall of The Kings
Five hundred years ago and more, a king rode out of the North at the head of an army. He rode with a company of splendid men, all armed to the teeth. They rode not to war, but to a wedding. After centuries of conflict, the rocky North and the fertile South were at last to be joined into one kingdom in the persons of their King and Queen and their heirs perpetual, united against their common enemies and increasing in mutual prosperity.
The Southern Queen's Chronicler, Valerian Hollis, had described the King's army in horrified detail. Their armor was leather and hammered bronze. Under their helms, their long hair was braided with leather and bones and beads and even nuggets of gold. Every one of them was blood kin to his king, and as they came through the streets of the capital city, they sang.
In the eyes of the Southern nobles, the King's Companions were strange enough, with their barbaric mien and their uncouth songs of war and the hunt. But they brought with them men that they called wizards, and the wizards were worse.
The wizards did not sing. Indeed, they barely spoke, except to one another. There were (according to Hollis) fifteen of them, riding horseback just behind the king. The King's Wizards were robed in black or brown, russet or ochre: peasants' colors, colors of the land. Some were cloaked in the skins of animals. Their faces were bearded, their hair unbound and crowned with leaves. From the hands of certain of them, tendrils of ivy grew.
Thus Hollis in the final chapter of his Chronicle History of the Northern Kings, a work written at the behest of Queen Diane and her new consort, Alcuin, later called the Diplomat. It was a b