Those Above (The Empty Throne, Book 1)
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
They enslaved humanity three thousand years ago. Tall, strong, perfect, superhuman and near immortal they rule from their glittering palaces in the eternal city in the centre of the world. They are called Those Above by their subjects. They enforce their will with fire and sword.
Twenty five years ago mankind mustered an army and rose up against them, only to be slaughtered in a terrible battle. Hope died that day, but hatred survived. Whispers of another revolt are beginning to stir in the hearts of the oppressed: a woman, widowed in the war, who has dedicated her life to revenge; the general, the only man to ever defeat one of Those Above in single combat, summoned forth to raise a new legion; and a boy killer who rises from the gutter to lead an uprising in the capital.
sign displaying a fat man holding a bag of coin and a flagon. ‘This is what you would call a bar?’ ‘Or a tavern, or a public house.’ ‘Are these part of the Exchange?’ he asked. Bulan laughed. ‘They are the very heart of it! These hand-to-hand transactions, these petty vendors –’ He made a dismissive gesture. ‘The real money is made wholesale, not a half-dozen necklaces sold to passers-by, but the raw silver ore to make them. And what better place to discuss the specifics of a deal than a
helmet. Her hair-stalks trailed behind her like the comb of a rooster. Her lance was painted gold, and had three nasty-looking prongs at its end. They remained like that for a moment that seemed far longer. Then the raven was released, swooped into the sky, and the combatants spurred their horses onward, like an arrow released from a bow. The ground quivered with each step – not exaggeration or metaphor but a literal truth, Calla could feel the stadium shake beneath her. The two riders crossed
undyed robe of coarse cotton – the same style of dress that had been popular in the days when the Throne had been filled. Supposedly, at least, though Eudokia found it hard to imagine she had ever had an ancestor so lackwitted as to wear hemp when silk was available. The robes were a clever bit of political propaganda, but they’d have served as well had he worn the costume in public, and made do in private with some form of dress that did not hold odour as a jail does convicts. Apart from his
similar lack of interest, at least in so far as they had chosen not to attend this month’s gathering. The great amphitheatre was half empty, vacant benches outnumbering the full. In Calla’s memory, admittedly very brief by the standards of the High, she could not recall it ever being otherwise. For their part, the servants in attendance also seemed uninterested, though at least they had incomprehension as an excuse. It was an open question, the degree to which her fellow seneschals understood
could perceive, Dafne. Beyond that he had the unfortunate habit of passing wind during the more elaborate portions of the ceremony, and falling asleep during the quieter bits. Which was to say that Eudokia had not greatly mourned her partner’s death, a sentiment that seemed to be shared by the larger portion of the gentry. Not that this lack of despair was to any particular degree a consequence of his incompetence. Rather, as Archpriest was a position elected by the Senate, every member of that