Episode 6

The Final Card

From The Final Card…

  “Her Ladyship is rumoured to be well-loved, you know; the realm would be in uproar.  Is one princess really worth that much to you?”

  “Oh invaluable,” he replied lightly, “Though not for the reasons you’d think.  Indeed the fact that she is popular is but a helpful coincidence that will see me solidify the link between old and new.  The people will like that because the people like her and what she represents. And as for war…? Well, wars come and go – don’t they?  Some bloody, some of paper and pen and words, some more subtle. You might be uneducated in these matters, but one could argue that we are already at war: at war with the Senate; at war with these modern traditions that we try to hold dear, yet secretly know to be worth nothing as it is but a set of shambles upheld to gloss over what goes on behind those damned Etruian gossamer curtains! The bribes, the corruption, the underhanded distribution of power, the impotent Crown, the ‘stale’ Senate?  

  “Progress has turned stagnant and War is in the very air we breathe.  War – and the absolute need to remember the ideals we once revered! Come it as it may, I will restore us to The Golden Age!  Come as it may, Iambre Actarione will wear my marriage torque! I have support and I intend to use it. My claim will be realised and the rest is but a formality.”

                                                                                *****

  To bring warning to her mentor, Solancei must dig deep one final time, but the necessary skill involved in this exercise is not for the fainthearted, nor the untrained.  As Zulavi prepares to rip the answers to his questions from her, in the end even Solancei could not have guessed the depth to which he is prepared to go as she pits herself against his will.  

  But Knight’s Commander Zulavi is not a man anyone thwarts.  

  Can Solancei stop his plans in time? Or will he successfully break her before she has a chance to use the State of Veranto to seek the necessary, but forbidden, knowledge now hidden in past memories?  

  Whilst Guardian Malandar faces his own demons, Solancei prepares to sacrifice her all to protect her beloved friend, Iambre.  One way other another, either she or Zulavi will stand the victor in this crooked race, and Solancei is nothing if not true to her oaths and to her heart.

  NB. This book contains adult scenes that some readers could find upsetting.  

The Final Card - Episode 6