The Fire's Stone
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Best known for her Quarters series and vampire novels, Tanya Huff stunned critics and fans with Valor's Choice, her first military science fiction novel. This thrilling sequel follows the Confederation's investigation of a seemingly abandoned alien spaceship.
"Solid...entertaining...rousing military adventure." (Locus)
instant became charcoal and ash. Darvish remained where he was but shifted his weight onto the balls of his feet, his blade pressing against the barrier surrounding both wizards. When it went down, Palaton was his. "Dar's right." Chandra straightened her shoulders and faced the other wizard squarely. "You made me forget the people." "I did not make you forget anything." Palaton sounded vaguely amused. "I reminded you of what you are: a Wizard of the Nine." She sniffed, looking both
her father pointed out, smugly, she thought, sure he had outmaneu-vered her. "As he has issue already, you must have a husband and an heir before I die." He spread his hands triumphantly, the red and yellow sleeves of the mourning robes he still wore fluttering ominously. "You are my only child." "That's not my fault," Chandra snapped, setting her cup aside and rising to her feet. "You're not an old man. You are fully capable of siring more children." "More children. ..." The pain on
of him." Then he climbed out of the hollow and back toward the shore, the scars on his chest standing out in angry red circles. It hurts him to care, Chandra realized, stripping off her own wet clothes and spreading them out to dry. I don't know why, but it hurts him to care. She looked down at Darvish and saw he was shivering. Squatting by his side, she began working at the straps and buckles of his harness, slipping the sword belt out from under him and laying the whole thing to one side.
rocks and winds and cold, Kebric," he said at last. "I am," Aaron admitted. "Now I've never been that far north myself," his accent lengthened the words, emphasizing their musical lilt, in direct contrast to Aaron's which clipped them off, "but I have heard that a clansman who leaves his keep, let alone one who leaves his bleak and inhospitable land is a rare bird indeed." "I left." Aaron's hands spread wider and his tone left no room for further discussion. "So you did," agreed the
possibilities over in his mind. "No one must know," he said at last. "If the people of the city discover it, the panic will destroy Ischia as surely as the volcano. The Prince Darvish goes to Ytaili to recover The Stone in secret to prevent war between the two countries, which would again destroy Ischia as surely as the volcano. If I sail in to Tivolic, demanding my daughter, I could, myself, be responsible for destroying Ischia." He passed a shaking hand over his face and looked up at