The Desert and the Blade (Change Series)

The Desert and the Blade (Change Series)

S. M. Stirling

Language: English

Pages: 848

ISBN: 0451417364

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

In his Novels of the Change, New York Times bestselling author S.M. Stirling presents “a devastated, mystical world that will appeal to fans of traditional fantasy as well as post-apocalyptic SF” (Publishers Weekly, starred review). Continuing their quest that began in The Golden Princess, two future rulers of a world without technology risk their lives seeking a fabled blade…
Reiko, Empress of Japan, has allied herself with Princess Órlaith, heir to the High Kingdom of Montival, to find the Kusanagi-no-Tsurugi, the Grass-Cutting Sword, a legendary treasure of an ancient dynasty that confers valor and victory to its bearer. Órlaith understands all too well the power it signifies. Her own inherited blade, the Sword of the Lady, was both a burden and a danger to her father, Rudi Mackenzie, as it failed to save the king from being assassinated.

But the fabled sword lies deep within the Valley of Death, and the search will be far from easy. And war is building, in Montival and far beyond. 

As Órlaith and Reiko encounter danger and wonder, Órlaith’s mother, Queen Mathilda, believes her daughter’s alliance and quest have endangered the entire realm. There are factions both within and without Montival whose loyalty died with the king, and whispers of treachery and war grow ever louder.

And the Malevolence that underlies the enemy will bend all its forces to destroy them.

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whirled and slumped, trying to hold himself up on the frame of a catapult, and then falling. “Waegu! Waegu!” they screamed; an officer or underofficer of some sort got them lined up and moving away towards the Japanese position. Then a war-cry: “Juche! Juche!” Not something I’d like to do, playing where’s-the-spear in the dark with the Nihonjin. But not our concern. Now, those Chatsworth Lancers . . . The way the Topangans put it was that the Lancers loved their warhorses more than their

at her wine—they had not set out their own stock with the barrels of the local stuff everyone could tap. “Not a surprise, but good it is to have confirmation anyway. There’s more, I’d be assuming.” Feldman finished the drumstick of the chicken, wiped his fingers on the coarse linen napkin and nodded. “This goes back to the Change, more or less,” he said. “A group . . . mainly of my people . . . came through here from LA, just as things were getting very bad indeed. Needless to say, a crazy Jew

had enough of a concept of outsider to be much afraid of one. Probably she saves fear for the ones she knows, Reiko thought. Two, perhaps three . . . at that age children can still live as an animal does, wholly in the moment, accepting anything. The girl made an inarticulate sound and crawled back under the sofa as Reiko ghosted away; as she did she drew the wakizashi with her left hand, walking with a springy tensile lightness. Into another room, also large, but full of counters and sinks

the name,” Reiko said neutrally, and Egawa frowned more emphatically. Oooops, Órlaith thought. Yes, he was the one who ruled here during that war the old Americans fought with Nihon back a century ago, when they were allied with the ruler of Deutschland—the one Reiko’s folk call the Pacific War. Ah, well, even I can’t be diplomatic all the time! Her eyes rested on the bridge. Its beauty tugged at the heart, but her mind was still working. How fast they could make the landing stage in Ithilien

carefully. Let what’s beneath your feet fight for you, her father had joked once, when he and some of his old friends were talking on a hunting trip and she’d been a silent presence hugging her knees at the edge of the light while the venison grilled. It’s so much easier that way than doing it all yourself, sure and it is. They could . . . “Sir Aleaume, get your detachment out fast and form up at the base where the floating wharf joins the pier,” she said crisply. “You from the Queen’s crew,

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