Fancy post title, right? It’s referring to the fact that Traitors’ Fate connects the story of Ilanna from the Queen of Thieves series directly to the Hunter of Voramis from the Hero of Darkness (fka The Last Bucelarii) series. To sum it up, Ilanna is responsible for hiring the Hunter to kill Lord Damuria, which in turn sets him against the Bloody Hand, which leads to all the fun of Darkblade Assassin (fka Blade of the Destroyer) and beyond.
I was so thrilled to have one last jaunt into Ilanna’s world, and I loved writing her life set eight years after the events of Queen of the Night Guild. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
One Death Changes Two Cities Forever
Ilanna, Master of the Night Guild, has waged a war for eight years to cleanse her city of the rival criminal organization that nearly destroyed it. When she uncovers a ring of slavers trafficking young girls for sexual servitude around the continent, she is forced to venture into the city of Voramis, the seat of her enemy’s power, to hunt down the true culprit and put an end to the enslavement of innocents.
But her enemies will not be so easily eliminated. She must turn to the one man certain to get the job done: the Hunter, legendary assassin of Voramis.
The Hunter willingly accepts a fortune in gold to kill one of the richest men in his city. A mansion fortress and a private army should prove no match for his inhuman abilities.
But as he stalks his target, he unmasks a bloodthirsty conspiracy in the guise of a holy mission. If he doesn’t stop the men responsible, the gruesome murders will continue and people—including those he has sworn to protect—will die.
Fans of Brent Weeks, Brandon Sanderson, and Joe Abercrombie will devour Traitors’ Fate!
Note: This book is a standalone that takes place after the events of Queen of Thieves Book 3. Suggested reading order:
Here’s a Little Taste:
Ilanna didn’t glance back—she had no need to worry about the dark-skinned woman—but sprinted across the rooftop toward the trapdoor that led into the warehouse’s upper level. Figures wearing dark grey cloaks seemed to appear from the darkness. She nodded at the apprentices of House Hawk, the third-story thieves of the Night Guild, and reached for the door.
“No!” hissed Tandril, a broad-shouldered youth with a patchy beard and long, dark hair. “I have express orders from Master Hawk not to let you take any unnecessary risks.”
Ilanna snorted. “Mother hen Bryden is worried for me, eh?”
Tandril’s eyes slid away. Everyone in the Night Guild knew Bryden, Master of House Hawk, had little love for his Guild Master.
“Get that door open and get out of my way, Tandril,” Ilanna commanded. “You and the other apprentices need to get back to the Aerie.”
Tandril bristled and opened his mouth, no doubt to protest that he wanted in on the action below.
“Mouth shut, and follow orders, apprentice.” Ilanna’s tone left no room for argument. “The Hawks have done their job to satisfaction. Let the others do theirs.”
Tandril hesitated a moment, and Ilanna stepped forward. Swallowing, the Hawk apprentice bent and tugged the trapdoor open.
A hand gripped Ilanna’s arm and held her back.
“Me first,” Ria said, stepping in front of her and drawing her assegai, a spear with a forearm-length shaft that ended in a long leaf-shaped blade.
Ilanna raised an eyebrow. “Don’t for a minute think I’ll let you order me around just because I’m sweet on you.”
Ria grinned. “I’m pretty sure you will.” With a wink, she twirled the spear once and descended the steps into the warehouse.
Ilanna followed a step behind, long, slim sword and dagger held at the ready.
Darkness met her eyes, but the sounds of fighting echoed from the lower floors. Ria slipped through the empty halls with the grace of a desert greatcoat. Ilanna couldn’t help admiring the lithe, willowy frame ahead of her.
The sound of booted feet grew louder, and a heavy-set man raced around the corner, lantern jangling in his hand. He lurched to a halt as he caught sight of the two women.
Ria danced forward, her short spear stabbing out like a viper’s flicking tongue. The man gave a strangled cry and crumpled. Blood gushed from the puncture in his throat, mixing with the oil seeping from the shattered lamp beside him.
Ilanna pushed past Ria and burst through the next door.
A disheveled, sweat-soaked man leapt to his feet, fumbling in desperation at the breeches around his ankles. His eyes flew wide as Ilanna rested the tip of her rapier against the base of his throat.
“Please!” The man’s hands flew up, causing his trousers to drop. “Don’t harm me. I-I’m just…”
“I know exactly who you are, Lord Illiran,” she snarled, her voice cold as the Frozen Sea.
The nobleman’s face turned an interesting shade of beet red, sickly green, and terrified white. “I-I…” he stammered.
Ilanna’s lip curled into a sneer. “Better you say nothing, my lord.” She spat the words. “I’ve no mind to kill you, but one wrong word from your mouth could change that.”
Lord Illiran’s mouth snapped shut.
“Good. Now sit in that corner and don’t move. If you’re not here when I return, the Night Guild will be paying you a visit shortly. Do you understand?”
The nobleman’s head bobbed as he hastened to obey.
Ilanna turned her attention to Ria. The dark-skinned girl hovered over the bed—if a pathetic pile of straw covered in a filthy sheet could be called such—that Lord Illiran had recently vacated. Its occupant was a girl that couldn’t be older than thirteen or fourteen, with an emaciated face, filthy skin, and little more than rags for covering.
“How bad is she?” Ilanna asked.
“Bad.” Ria pressed a finger to the girl’s neck. “Pulse is weak, and her breath is weak.”
Ria nodded, her face grim.
Ilanna swore and produced a corked phial from her pouch. “Will one dose suffice?”
“I don’t know.” Ria’s brow furrowed. “The way she’s lying there, it looks like they’ve been over-dosing her for weeks. But I’m no Tyman.”
Tyman was not only Master of the poisoners and potion-makers of House Scorpion; he was also the Night Guild’s preeminent healer. He had been the one to brew up the potion to counteract the hallucinogenic, paralytic, and addictive effects of Bonedust, the narcotic named for both its color and the way it caused rapid bone degeneration. Its effects simply slowed down the physical decay, but couldn’t fully stop it.
Ilanna cursed again. “The moment we’re done here, I’ll make sure the Bloodbears transport her and any others in bad shape back to Tyman first.”
Ria nodded and bent over the girl again. “I think it might be too late for her, but we can hope.”
Anger swirled in Ilanna’s gut, and it took all her self-control not to lash out at Lord Illiran. The thought of what he’d been doing to the girl, the same age as her own son and too drugged to resist, brought back memories of what had been done to her.
The girl muttered something inaudible. Ria bent her ear to the girl’s mouth.
“What’s she saying?” Ilanna asked.
Ria shook her head. “It’s too faint to—”
“…ti-dote.” The girl spoke louder.
“Antidote?” Ria demanded.
The girl nodded, a tiny movement of her chin. Ilanna waited with bated breath for her to say more, but the girl lay listless and silent, her lips blue, mouth hanging slack, only the whites of her eyes showing.
“Go,” Ria said. “Do what you need to do. I’ll stay with her.” She hefted her assegai. “And keep an eye on him.”
Lord Illiran refused to meet her eyes as she stalked from the room.
The book will be discounted to 99 cents for just a few more days, so get it now!