This Forsaken Earth (The Sea Beggars, Book 2)
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He’s spoken of only in whispers. His origins are a mystery. Some say that he’s descended from the last of the angels. Others say much worse. By all appearances, Rol Cortishane is just another ruthless pirate roaming the lawless seas, raiding warships and slavers. But the truth is something far more complicated and dangerous than anyone can imagine, including Rol. Even as he seeks to escape his birthright, Rol is slowly discovering who—and what—he really is. But the revelation won’t come without exacting a terrible price from Rol and all he loves. Now a treacherous figure from his past has made him a proposition it would be fatal to turn down. Racing against time, Rol must chart a harrowing course across the sea, back to the beautiful Rowen and the people she would rule as Queen. With his steadfast crew—the battle-scarred Creed, the mirthful halftroll Gallico, and a young escaped slave named Giffon—Rol will plunge headlong into a destiny as dark as they come. And toward a terrifying battle against an enemy as determined to destroy the world as Rol is to save it.
Cortishane? What are you doing among us?” “I’m going to try and save these people.” “There was a time when you didn’t give a damn about these people.” Rol nodded. “That was true, once. But no longer. As I said, you will have to trust me.” Artimion dropped Rol’s hand. “It was bad, in Bionar. I can see it on your face, and not just in the scars.” “It was bad. It was war, as it is fought by great nations, without pity or honor. Great wheels rolling, and the little people crushed beneath them.
lore. It is even said he bedded the daughter of one of their lords in secret. In any case, he was quite a fellow, this Bion. He organized the scattered tribes of his people, and ruled them with a stern but kindly hand.” Canker flapped his own black-nailed appendage. “You all know the legends.” “Then why are we listening to them twice-baked?” Elias Creed asked quietly. “Because there is a new chapter being written,” Canker retorted, all geniality vanished. “Go on, Canker,” Artimion said. The
into less sluggish progress. The wagon-wheels thumped and cracked on the pitted surface of the cobbles, and gangs of sweating, pop-eyed men fought to keep the vehicles out of the deeper shell-holes. “The Gallitras Road,” Canker said. He still kept his cloak about his face like the villain in a stage-play, though his breath had frosted it white. “I must seek news of the war. Stay here.” “We’ll tag along, if it’s all the same to you,” Rol said. He felt he was adrift here, and whatever
OUT OF Gallitras, and pointed them south across the bitter snowbound countryside toward the siege-lines about Myconn, almost two hundred miles away. Their campfires were left burning, the tents left standing, and the army sidled out of its lines along the river in the dead hours of the night, the hooves of the horses wrapped in sacking and the wagons manhandled inch by creaking inch through frost-sharp snow that cracked and shattered under the metal-rimmed wheels. Canker was leaving a skeleton
ramparts, sitting atop it like a conqueror. He had a view of the sea to the east, a wall of blue so intense and bright it watered the eyes to look upon it. In the beginning, it was said, the sea was the first thing that had come into being, a life to itself in the yawning gulf below the stars. And his grandfather had told him it would be there at the end, when all other things would be taken to its depths, to sink into the darkness there. “I found you,” a woman’s voice said, and he started, lost