Exclusive excerpt from R. Scott Bakker's THE JUDGING EYE


Well, Bakker finally agree to let me post an excerpt, so here it is! And no teaser, as was originally planned! You get the full prologue from The Judging Eye (Canada, USA, Europe)!;-)

You know Bakker has a visceral fear of them, so this sample chapter is spoiler-free! Actually, I'm quite pleased that he agreed to let me post this.

Though it doesn't contain any spoilers, I'm sure it will whet your appetite!

Enjoy!
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Exalt-Minister, most glorious, many be your days.

For the sin of apostasy, they were buried up to their necks in the ancient way, and stones were cast into their faces until their breathing was stopped. Three men and two women. The child recanted, even cursed his parents in the name of our glorious Aspect-Emperor. The World has lost five souls, but the Heavens have gained one, praise be the God of Gods.

As for the text, I fear that your prohibition has come too late. It was, as you suspected, an account of the First Holy War as witnessed by the exiled Schoolman, Drusas Achamian. Verily, my hand trembles at the prospect of reproducing his vile and abhorrent claims, but as the original text has already been committed to the flames, I see no other way to satisfy your request. You are quite correct: Heresy is rarely singular in its essence or its effects. As with diseases, deviations must be studied, curatives prepared, lest they erupt in more virulent form.

For the sake of brevity, I will limit my review to those particulars that either directly or indirectly contradict Doctrine and Scripture. In this text, Drusas Achamian claims:

I) To have had sexual congress with our Holy Empress on the eve of the First Holy War’s triumph over the heathen Fanim at Shimeh.

II) To have learned certain secrets regarding our Holy Aspect-Emperor, to whit: that He is not the incarnation of the God of Gods but rather a son of the Dûnyain, a secret sect devoted to the mastery of all things, body and spirit. That He transcends us not as gods transcend men, but as adults transcend children. That His Zaudunyani interpretation of Inrithism is nothing more than a tool, a means for the manipulation of nations. That ignorance has rendered us his slaves.

(I admit to finding this most unnerving, for though I have always known that words and events, no matter how holy, always admit wicked interpretations, I have never before considered the way beliefs command our actions. For as this Achamian asks, if all men lay claim to righteousness, and they do, who is to say which man claims true? The conviction, the belief unto death, of those I send from this world now troubles me, such is the treachery of the idle intellect.)

III) That our Holy Aspect-Emperor’s war to prevent the resurrection of the No-God is false. Granted, this is merely implied, since the text was plainly written before the Great Ordeal. But the fact that Drusus Achamian was once a Mandate Schoolman, and so cursed with dreams of the First Apocalypse, renders his suspicions extraordinary. Should not such a man hail the coming of Anasûrimbor Kellhus and his war to prevent the Second Apocalypse?

This is the sum of what I remember.

Having suffered this blasphemy, I understand the profundity of your concern. To hear that everything we have endured and cherished these past twenty years of war and revelation has been a lie is outrage enough. But to hear such from a man who not only walked with our Master in the beginning, but taught him as well? I have already ordered the execution of my body-slave, though I mourn him, for he only read the text at my behest. As for myself, I await your summary judgment. I neither beg nor expect your pardon: It is our doom to suffer the consequences of our acts, regardless of the piety of our intentions.

Some pollution begs not the cloth, but the knife; this I accept and understand.

Sin is sin.

Prologue

When a man possesses the innocence of a child, we call him a fool. When a child possesses the cunning of a man, we call him an abomination. As with love, knowledge has its season.

—AJENCIS, The Third Analytic of Men

Autumn, 19 New Imperial Year (4131 Year-of-the-Tusk), the “Long Side”

A horn pealed long and lonely beneath the forest canopies. A human horn.

For a moment all was quiet. Limbs arched across the imperious heights, and great trunks bullied the hollows beneath. Shorn saplings thatched the intervening spaces. A squirrel screeched warning from the gloom of interlocking branches. Starlings burst into the squinting sky.

They came, flickering across bands of sunlight and shadow.

Running with rutting fury, howling with rutting fury, through the lashing undergrowth, into the tabernacle deep. They swarmed over pitched slopes, kicking up leaves and humus. They parted about the trunks, chopping at the bark with rust-pitted blades. They sniffed the sky with slender noses. When they grimaced, their blank and beautiful faces were clenched like crumpled silk, becoming the expressions of ancient and inbred men.

Sranc. Bearing shields of lacquered human leather. Wearing corselets scaled with human fingernails and necklaces of human teeth.

The distant horn sounded again, and they paused, a vicious milling rabble. Words were barked among them. A number melted into the undergrowth, loping with the swiftness of wolves. The others jerked at their groins in anticipation. Blood. They could smell mannish blood.

Seed jetted black across the forest floor. They stamped it into the muck. They exulted in the stink of it.

The scouts returned, and at their jabbering the others shuddered and convulsed. It had been so long since they had last glutted their rapacious hunger. So long since they knelt at the altar of jerking limbs and mewling flesh. They could see the panicked faces. They could see the gushing blood, the knife-made orifices.

They ran, weeping for joy.

Cresting a low ridge, they found their prey hastening along the base of a back-broken cliff, trying to make their way to the far side of a gorge that opened as though by miracle several hundred paces away. The Sranc howled and chattered their teeth, raced in wild files down the slope, skidding across leaves, their legs kicking in long leaps. They hit the ground where it flattened, scrambling, running, burning hard in their rotten breeches, watching the soft Men turning mere paces before them, their faces as enticing as thighs, coming closer and closer, almost within the circle of wild-swinging swords—

But the ground! The ground! Collapsing beneath them, like leaves thrown across sky!

Dozens of them were sucked shrieking into the black. The others clutched and jostled, tried to stop, only to be bumped screeching by their crazed kin. Their screams trailed as they plummeted into the concealed gorge, popped into silence one by one. Suddenly all was uncertain, all was threat. The war-party yammered in fear and frustration. None dared move. Eyes rolling, they stared in lust and apprehension …

Men.

A hard-bitten handful, running as though by magic across the false forest floor. They lunged into the Sranc’s midst, their heavy swords high and pitching. Shields cracked. Mouldered iron was bent and broken. Limbs and heads were thrown on arcs of glittering blood.

The Men roared and bellowed, hammered them to earth, hacked them to twitching ruin.

***

“Scalper!” the lone traveller cried out. His voice possessed the gravel of an old officer’s bawl. It boomed through the gorge, easily audible over the white roar of water. As one, the men upriver stood and stared in his direction.

Just like animals, he thought.

Indifferent to their gaze, he continued picking his way along the treacherous stones, sloshing through water every several steps. He passed a Sranc, white as a drowned fish, floating face down in a pool of translucent red.

The traveller glanced up to where the gorge walls pinched the sky into a wandering slot. Trees had been felled across the opening, forming the rafters for an improvised ceiling of saplings and sticks, covered over with leaves. The sky glared bright through numerous holes. Leaves still twittered down in a steady cascade. If the numbers of inert forms scattered and heaped about the rocks were any indication, it had been a very effective trap. In places, the river’s foam spouted pink and violet.

Most of the men had returned to their work, but three continued to watch him warily. He had no doubt that the one he sought was among them.

The traveller tramped into their midst. The smell of burst entrails soured that of water and scoured stone. Most of the party sorted through the dead Sranc. Bodies were kicked off bodies. Broken heads were pulled from the water. Knives flashed. It was the same each time: pinch, saw, swipe, then on to the next one. Pinch, saw, swipe—again and again. A flap of skin cut from the crown of every one.

Nearby, a young Galeoth swordsman washed a small hoard of scalps. He rinsed them, then laid them out, glistening and fatty white across dry stone. He handled each swatch with ludicrous care, the way a halfwit might handle gold—which scalps had pretty much become in the High Middle-North. Though the Aspect-Emperor had lowered the Hallow Bounty, a scalp still fetched a full silver kellic from honest brokers.

They were all extremely conscious of his arrival, the traveller knew. They simply pretended to be indifferent. Usually, they encountered outsiders only when they trekked south to the brokers, flush with hundreds of tanned scalps, bound and dangling from lengths of leather string. This work, the work of collecting and counting, was the least manly portion of their trade. It was their menial secret.

It was also the point.

Nearly eleven years had passed since the Aspect-Emperor had declared his bounty on Sranc scalps, before the last of the Unification Wars had ended. He placed the bounty on Sranc because of their vast numbers. He placed the bounty on scalps because their hairlessness made them distinctive to Sranc. Men such as these, the traveller supposed, would be far happier poaching something less inclined to kill back—like women and children.

So began the Scalping Years. Over that time, countless thousands had trudged into the northern wilderness, expedition after expedition, come to make their fortune as Scalpoi. Most died in a matter of weeks. But those who learned, who were wily and every bit as ruthless as their foe, prospered.

And some—a few—became legendary.

The man the traveller sought stood upon a rounded stone, watching the others work. He knew him from his dogged devotion to the traditional costume of his caste and race: the pleated war-skirt, stained grey and black and shot through with holes; the corselet with rusty scales stitched into rotting leather; the conical helm, bent back like a single ram’s horn. He looked a wraith from another age. A second man, his face concealed by a black cowl, sat three paces behind him, leaning forward as though straining to hear something in the water’s ambient rush. The traveller peered at him for a moment, as though trying to judge some peculiarity, then returned his gaze to the first man.

“I’m looking for the Ainoni,” he said. “The one they call Ironsoul.”

“That would be me,” the standing man replied. His face had been tattooed with the cosmetics favoured by his countrymen. Black lines about his eyes. Purpled lips. His look neither accused nor questioned but remained mild in the manner of bored assassins. Incurious.

“Veteran,” the traveller said, bowing his head in due respect. Failing to properly acknowledge and venerate a survivor of the First Holy War was no small offence.

“How did you find us?” the man asked in his native tongue. From the cadence of his voice, it was obvious that he despised speaking, that he was as jealous of his voice as he was of his women or his blood.

The traveller did not care. Men prized what they would.

“We find everyone.”

A barely perceptible nod. “What do you want?”

“You, Scalper. We want you.”

The Ainoni glanced back toward his cowled companion. No words were exchanged, only an inscrutable look.

Late Autumn, 19 New Imperial Year (4131 Year-of-the-Tusk), Momemn

Ever do Men seek to hide what is base and mean in their natures. This is why they talked of wolves or lions or even dragons when they likened themselves to animals. But it was the lowly beetle, the young boy decided, whom they most resembled. Belly to the ground. Back hunched against the world. Eyes blind to everything save the small circle before them.

His Whelming complete, Anasûrimbor Kelmomas crouched in the granite shadows, leaning between his knees to better watch the insect scuttle across the ancient floor. One of the great iron candle-wheels hung soundless between the pillars above, but its light was little more than a dull gleam across the beetle’s wagging back. Holding his knees, Kelmomas shuffled forward, absorbed by the insect’s tiny terrestrial struggles. Despite the gloomy forest of columns behind him, the choral voices sounded as close as his many shadows, singing hymns to frame the more fulsome reverberations of the Temple Prayer.

Sweet God of Gods
Who walk among us
Innumerable are your holy names …

“Show me,” Kelmomas whispered to the beetle. “Lead …”

Together they wandered into the deeper recesses of the Allosium, to where only the floating pinpricks of the godhouse votives illuminated the gloom. The beetle clambered about a column’s graven base, left tracks that resembled sutures across a swatch of dust—tracks that Kelmomas obliterated with his small sandalled foot. Soon they reached the Forum’s outermost aisle, where the idols of the Hundred Gods resided in their adorned recesses.

“Where are you going?” he murmured, smiling. He glimpsed the gauze of his exhalation on the chill air, puffed two breaths just to consider his breathing—spectral proof of material life. He laid his cheek to the cool tile and stared out across the vast plain of the aisle. The glazing soothed his skin. Quite oblivious to his scrutiny, the beetle continued its trek, tipping in and out of the joints between the cerulean tiles. Kelmomas watched it toil toward the leering mountain that was the idol of Ajokli, the Four-Horned Brother.

“The Thief?”

Compared to that of his brothers and sisters, the godhouse of Ajokli was as poor as a crippled fuller. The floor tiles stopped at the threshold. The stonework rimming the recess was bare, save for a series of notches scratched into the right post. The idol—a horned little fat man crouching as though over a chamberpot—was not much more than a play of shadow and gleam emerging from the velvet darkness. It was carved of black diorite, but without the jewelled eyes or silver fingernails that even Yatwer boasted. Rigid with the sensibilities of some long-dead artisan, its expression struck Kelmomas as improbable, if not outright inhuman. Grinning like a monkey. Snarling like a dog. Staring like a dew-eyed virgin.

It also watched the beetle as it scurried into its gloomy bower.

The young Prince-Imperial skipped into the cramped recess, ducking even though the decorative vaults reached far above his head. The air smelled of tallow, dusty stone and something coppery. He smiled at the graven God, nodded more than bowed, then assumed much the same posture, crouching over his witless subject. Moved by some unaccountable whim, he pinned the beetle to the gritty floor with his index finger. It writhed like a little automaton beneath his fingertip. He held it for a moment, savouring its impotence, the knowledge that he could, at any moment, crush it like a rotted seed. Then, with his other hand, he pinched off two of its legs.

“Watch,” he whispered to the laughing idol. Its eyes gazed down, blank and bulbous.

He raised his hand, fingers outstretched in a dramatic flourish. The beetle scrambled in shining panic, but the arrow of its course had been bent, so that it chipped around and around, sketching little ovals at the idol’s stump-toed feet. Around and around.

See?” he exclaimed to Ajokli. They laughed together, child and idol, loud enough to blot out the chorus of chanting voices.

“They’re all like that,” he explained. “All you have to do is pinch.”

“Pinch what, Kelmomas?” a rich, feminine voice asked from behind him. Mother.

Another boy would have been startled, even ashamed, to be surprised by his mother after doing such a thing, but not Kelmomas. Despite the obscuring pillars and voices, he had known where she was all along, following her prim footsteps (though he knew not how) in a corner of his soul.

“Are you done?” he exclaimed, whirling. Her body-slaves had painted her white, so that she looked like statuary beneath the folds of her crimson gown. A girdle etched with Kyranean motifs cinched her waist. A headdress of jade serpents framed her cheeks and pressed order on her luxurious black hair. But even disguised like this she seemed the world’s most beautiful thing.

“Quite done,” the Empress replied. She smiled and secretly rolled her eyes, letting him know that she would much rather dote on her precocious son than languish in the company of priests and ministers. So much of what she did, Kelmomas knew, she did for the sake of appearances.
Just like him—only not nearly so well.

“You prefer my company, don’t you, Mommy?” He spoke this as a question even though he knew the answer; it troubled her when he read aloud the movements of her soul.

Smiling, she bent and held out her arms. He fell into her myrrh-scented embrace, breathed deep her encompassing warmth. Her fingers combed through his unkempt hair, and he looked up into her smiling gaze. Even so far from the candle-wheels she seemed to shine. He pressed his cheek against the golden-plates of her girdle, held her so tight that tears were squeezed from his eyes. Never was there such a beacon, it seemed. Never was there such a sanctuary.

Mommy

“Come,” she said, drawing him by the hand back through the pillared gallery. He followed, more out of devotion than obedience. He glanced back for one last look at Ajokli, saw with satisfaction that he still laughed at the little beetle scuttling in circles at his feet.

Hand in hand, they walked toward the slots of white light. The singing had trailed into a gaggle of hushed voices, and a deeper, more forbidding resonance had risen to take its place—one that shivered through the very floor. Kelmomas paused, suddenly loath to leave the Allosium’s dust-and-stone quiet. His mother’s arm was drawn out like a rope behind her; their interlocked fingers broke apart.

She turned. “Kel? What’s wrong, sweetling?”

From where he stood a bar of white sky framed her, reaching as high as any tree. She seemed little more than smoke beneath it, something any draft could dissolve and carry away.

“Nothing,” he lied.

Mommy! Mommy!

Kneeling before him, she licked the pads of her fingers, which were palm-pink against the white painted across the backs of her hands, and began fussing with his hair. Light twittered across the filigree of her rings, flashing like some kind of code. Such a mess! her grin said.

“It’s proper that you be anxious,” she said, distracted by her ministrations. She looked him square in the eye, and he stared into the pith of her, past the paint and skin, past the sheathe of interlocking muscles, down to the radiant truth of her love.

She would die for you, the secret voice—the voice that had been within him always—whispered.

“Your father,” she continued, “says that we need fear only when we lose our fear.” She ran her hand from his temple to his chin. “When we become too accustomed to power and luxury.”

Father was forever saying things.

He smiled, looked down in embarrassment, in the way that never failed to slow her pulse and quicken her eyes. An adorable little son on the surface, even as he sneered beneath.

Father.

Hate him, the secret voice said, but fear him more.

Yes, the Strength. He must never forget that the Strength burned brightest in Father.

“Was ever a mother so blessed?” the Empress beamed, clutching his shoulders. She hugged him once more, then stood with his hands cupped in her own. He allowed her, reluctantly, to tow him out to the towering eaves of the Allosium, then beyond, into the sunless brilliance.

Flanked by scarlet formations of Eothic Guardsmen, they stood blinking upon the crest of the monumental steps that fanned down to the expanse of the Scuari Campus. The long-weathered temples and tenements of Momemn crowded the horizon, growing indistinct the deeper they plumbed the humid distance. The great domes of the Temple Xothei rose chill and dark, a hazy, hulking presence in the heart of mud-brick warrens. The adjacent Kamposea Agora was little more than a gap in the rotted teeth of interposing streetscapes.

On and on it went, the vast and mottled vista of the Home City, the great capital of all the Three Seas. For his entire life it had encircled him, hedged him with its teeming intricacies. And for his entire life it had frightened him, so much so that he often refused to look when Samarmas, his idiot twin, pointed to something unnoticed in its nebulous weave.

But today it seemed the only safe thing.

“Look!” his mother cried through the roar. “Look, Kel!”

There were thousands of them packed throughout the Imperial Precincts: women, children, slaves, the healthy and the infirm, Momemnites and pilgrims from afar—uncounted thousands of them. Churning like floodwaters about the base of the Xatantian Arch. Crushed against the lower compounds of the Andiamine Heights. Perched like crows along the low walls of the Garrison. All of them crying out, two fingers raised to touch his image.

“Think of how far they have come!” his mother cried through the tumult. “From across all the New Empire, Kelmomas, come to witness your divinity!”

Though he nodded with the bewildered gratitude he knew she expected from him, the young Prince-Imperial felt nothing save brittle revulsion. Only fools, he decided, travelled in circles. Part of him wished he could drag the Grinning God out of his shrine to show him …

People were bugs.

They weathered the adulation for what seemed ages, standing side by side in their proscribed places, Esmenet, Empress of the Three Seas, and the youngest of her exalted children. Kelmomas looked up as he was taught, idly followed the course of pinprick pigeons against the smoke rising from the city. He watched sunlight gather distant rooftops in the wake of a retreating cloud. He decided he would ask for a model of the city when his mother was weak and eager to indulge. Something made of wood.

Something that would burn.

Thopsis, their Shigeki Master of Protocol, raised his massive eunuch arms, and the Imperial Apparati arrayed on the steps below turned as one toward them. The gold-ribbed Prayer Horns sounded, resonating through the roaring chorus. They had been fixed at intervals in the shadow of the Allosium’s facade, fashioned of jet and ivory and so long they nearly reached to the second landing.

Kelmomas looked down across his father’s Exalt-Ministers, saw everything from lust and tenderness to hatred and avarice in their blank faces. There was lumbering Ngarau, the Grand Seneschal from the Ikurei days. Phinersa, the Holy Master of Spies, a plain yet devious man of Kianene stock. The blue-tattooed Imhailas, the statuesque Exalt-Captain of the Eothic Guard, whose beauty sometimes turned his mother’s eye. The ever-cantankerous Werjau, the Prime Nascenti and ruler of the powerful Ministrate, whose far-flung agents ensured none went astray. The emaciated Vem-Mithriti, Grandmaster of Imperial Saik and Vizier-in-Proxy, which made him the temporary master of all things arcane in the Three Seas …

On and on, all sixty-seven of them, arranged in order of precedence along the monumental stair, gathered to witness the Whelming of Anasûrimbor Kelmomas, the youngest son of their Most Holy Aspect-Emperor. Only the face of his Uncle Maithanet, the Shriah of the Thousand Temples, defeated his momentary scrutiny. For an instant, his uncle’s shining look caught his own, and though Kelmomas smiled with a daft candour appropriate to his age, he did not at all like the flat consistency of the Shriah’s gaze.

He suspects, the secret voice whispered.

Suspects what?

That you are make-believe.

The last of the cacophony faded, until only the oceanic call of the Horns remained, thrumming so deep that Kelmomas’s tunic seemed to tingle against his skin. Then they too trailed into nothing.

Ear-ringing silence. With a cry from Thopsis, the whole world seemed to kneel, including the Exalt-Ministers. The peoples of the New Empire fell to the ground, fields of them, then slowly lowered their foreheads to the hot marble—every soul crowded into the Imperial Precincts. Only the Shriah, who knelt before no man save the Aspect-Emperor, remained standing. Only Uncle Maithanet. When the sun broke across the stair, his vestments flared with light: a hundred tiny Tusks kindled like fingers of flame. Kelmomas blinked at their brilliance, averted his eyes.

His mother led him down the steps by the hand. He clapped after her with his sandalled feet, giggled at her frown. They passed down the aisle opened between the Exalt-Ministers, and he laughed some more, struck by the absurdity of them, all shapes and ages and sizes, grovelling in the costumes of kings.

“They honour you, Kel,” his mother said. “Why would you laugh at them?”

Had he meant to laugh? Sometimes it was hard to keep count.

“Sorry,” he said with a glum sigh. Sorry. It was one of many words that confused him, but it never failed to spark compassion in his mother’s look.

At the base of the monumental stair, a company of green-and-gold dressed soldiers awaited them: some twenty men of his father’s hallowed bodyguard, the Hundred Pillars. They fell into formation about the Empress and her child, then, their shields bright and their looks fierce with concentration, they began leading them through the masses and across the Scuari Campus toward the Andiamine Heights.

As a Prince-Imperial, Kelmomas often found himself overshadowed by armed men, but the walk unnerved him for some reason. The smell was comforting at first: the perfumed muslin of their surcoats, the oils they used to quicken their blades and soften the leather straps of their harness. But with every step, the bitter-sweet bitumen of unwashed bodies came more and more to the fore, punctuated by the reek of the truly wretched. Murmurs rose like a haze about them. “Bless-bless-bless,” over and over, in a tone poised between asking and giving. Kelmomas found himself staring past the towering guards, out across the landscape of kneelers. He saw an old beggar, more husked than clothed, weeping, grinding his face against the cobbles as though trying to blot himself out. He saw a child only slightly younger than himself, a girl, her head turned in sacrilege, so that she could stare up at their monstrous passage. On and on the prostrate figures went, out to distant foundations.

He walked across a living ground.

And then he was among them, in them, watching his own steps, little more than a jewelled shadow behind a screen of merciless, chain-armoured men. A name. A rumour and a hope. A god-child, suckled at the breast of Empire, anointed by the palm of Fate. A son of the Aspect-Emperor.

They did not know him, he realized. They saw, they worshipped, they trusted what they could not fathom.

No one knows you, the secret voice said.

No one knows anyone.

He glanced at his mother, saw the blank stare that always accompanied her more painful reveries.

“Are you thinking of her, Mommy?” he asked. Between the two of them, “her” always meant Mimara, her first daughter, the one she loved with the most desperation—and hated.

The one the secret voice had told him to drive away.

The Empress smiled with a kind of sad relief. “I worry for your father and your brothers too.”

This, Kelmomas could plainly see, was a lie. She fretted for Mimara—even still, after all he had done.

Perhaps, the voice said, you should have killed the bitch.
"When will Father return?”

He knew the answer at least as well as she did, but at some level he understood that as much as mothers love their sons, they loved being mothers as well—and being a mother meant answering childish questions. They travelled several yards before she replied, passing through a fog of pleas and whispers. Kelmomas found himself comparing her to the countless cameos he had seen depicting her in her youth—back in the days of the First Holy War. Her hips were wider, perhaps, and her skin not so smooth beneath the veneer of white paint, but her beauty was legendary still. The seven-year-old could scarce imagine anyone more beautiful.

“Not for some time, Kel,” she said. “Not until the Great Ordeal is completed.”

He nearly clutched his breast, such was the ache, the joy.

If he fails, the secret voice said, he will die.

Anasûrimbor Kelmomas smiled what seemed his first true smile of the day.

Kneelers all around, their backs broken by awe. A plain of abject humanity. “Bless-bless-bless,” rising like whispers in a sick-house. Then a single, savage cry: “Curse! Curse!”

Somehow a madman managed to plunge past the shields and blades, to reach out, punctured and failing, with a knife that reflected shining sky. The Pillarian guardsmen traded shouts. The crowds heaved and screamed. The young boy glimpsed battling shadows.

Assassins.

11 commentaires:

Ben said...

Achamanian seriously leads off a letter denouncing Aspect-Emperor Kelhus by saying he boinked the Empress?

That takes balls of granite.

Anonymous said...

Such a tease indeed. If ever I win a competition on this site, I hope it's the one for the copy of The Judging Eye! I've had to wait for a lot of release dates, but I've never watched one quite like this!

Dream Girlzzz said...

We WANTS it! Hot damn but I want to read this book now!

Karl said...

Ah God! I want to read this book so bad.

Anonymous said...

Pat, you are the man!! I´m saying this before I´ve read the excerpt.

Anonymous said...

What a twisted child. On the Three-Seas forum, they debate whether the Consult will use the Tekne to revive the No-God.

Bah, they don't have to. He's already been reborn. I wonder how twisted the other son is. I'm interested in the role Maithanet will play while Kellhus is headed to Golgotterath.

Even though the series isn't over, I'm hard pressed to remember any other I like more.

Larry said...

I think it's going to be interesting to see how people's opinions of Kelmomas and a few others will shift as they read on into the book. Things seem to be much more complex for these characters this time...

Anonymous said...

You're a star Pat!!

Thanks to Bakker for agreeing to this.:D

Billy

The Amazing Buttcrack said...

January can't come quickly enough!!!

Anonymous said...

Good stuff, thanks for the excerpt.

Anonymous said...

I Just read it, it was the best book i have had the pleasure of reading for a long time.

Kelmomas is a pretty scary child aint he?