Author: Matthew Woodring Stover
Plot Summary – Renowned throughout the land of Ankhana as the Blade of Tyshalle, Caine has killed his share of monarchs and commoners, villains and heroes. He is relentless, unstoppable, simply the best there is at what he does.
At home on Earth, Caine is Hari Michaelson, a superstar whose adventures in Ankhana command an audience of billions. Yet he is shackled by a rigid caste society, bound to ignore the grim fact that he kills men on a far-off world for the entertainment of his own planet–and bound to keep his rage in check.
But now Michaelson has crossed the line. His estranged wife, Pallas Rill, has mysteriously disappeared in the slums of Ankhana. To save her, he must confront the greatest challenge of his life: a lethal game of cat and mouse with the most treacherous rulers of two worlds . . .
Now that it’s too late, now that I lie here dying on this bloodstained sand, I finally get it.
I understand, now.
I understand. I know what he meant. My father told me that to know
the enemy is half the battle. I know you, now. That’s right.
All of you who sit in comfort and watch me die, who see the twitch of
my bowels through my own eyes: You are my enemy.
Corpses lie scattered around me, gleanings left in a wheat field by a careless reaper. Berne’s body cools beneath the bend of my back, and I can’t feel him anymore. The sky darkens over my head—but no, I think that’s my eyes; Pallas’ light seems to have faded.
Every drop of the blood that soaks into this sand stains my hands and the hands of the monsters that put me here.
That’s you, again.
It’s your money that supports me, and everyone like me; it’s your lust that we serve.
You could thumb your emergency cut-off, turn your eyes from the screen, walk out of the theatre, close the book . . .
But you don’t.
You are my accomplice, and my destroyer.
My insatiable blood-crazed god.
Ah, ahhh, Christ . . . it hurts .
Next Time: Sacré Blue by Christopher Moore
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