In one man, two souls fight for survival—and for mastery of an outlaw magic that could save a kingdom.
It was a fate Josan once considered preferable to death. Cast by dark sorcery into the body of Emperor Lucius of Ikaria, the scholar-monk struggled to make peace with a mind that regarded him as a hostile intruder. But now, as simmering rivalries threaten to plunge the kingdom into a bloody civil war, Josan is faced with the most difficult choice of all. For the uneasy truce between him and Lucius is unraveling in a form of madness that is destroying the body they share. There’s only one hope for a cure.
Disguised, stowing away as a common traveler, Josan/Lucius will make the hazardous journey to Xandropol. There in the great library of the Learned Brethren, Josan hopes to find the forbidden magic that will counter the spell that yokes him and Lucius. But an old antagonist is already on their trail: the Lady Ysobel follows them to what she realizes is the scene of her and Josan’s fateful first meeting. But not even she divines the reason for this final pilgrimage: that Josan has returned to sacrifice his life.
From the Paperback edition.
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|Title of Family & Relationships eBook: The Final Sacrifice||Series: Chronicles of Josan, , #3|
|Release Date: 06-24-2008|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Random House Publishing Group|
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The Final Sacrifice
Lady Ysobel slowly waved her fan, but there was no relief from the stifling heat of the crowded theater. Around her the other patrons fluttered their own fans, filling the theater with a low rustling, as if a flock of birds had taken up residence. Certainly they were as colorful as any bird, though birds, at least, did not have to worry about sweating through costly silks.
Ysobel had chosen to wear a split robe of embroidered dark green linen over a high-necked cotton tunic—a fashion popular in her homeland, and far more conservative than the revealing, tightly fitted silks favored by the women of the Ikarian court. Her escort, Captain Burrell, wore his dress uniform—an unsubtle reminder that he was as much bodyguard as companion. The two stood out among the other patrons, as she had intended.
"Proconsul Zuberi's not here," Burrell murmured, gesturing as if to draw her attention to the action on the stage.
She smiled as if he had said something particularly witty. "Unwell? Or secure enough in the emperor's favor that he need not dance attendance upon him?"
"Or perhaps he is the only sensible one among them and has retired to enjoy the cooler breezes of the countryside."
It was possible, but not likely. Not as long as the emperor remained in the capital.
She glanced over at the imperial box, where Emperor Lucius sat in splendid isolation, flanked only by his servants and bodyguards. There had been much gossip in the court over whom Lucius would choose to share his box this evening, but no one had expected him to attend alone.
Then again, the emperor had repeatedly shown himself to be unpredictable. Which mad...