Winter's King

Winter's King

Bryce O'Connor

Bryce O'Connor

The Monster of Karth has risen once more. Quin Tern of Azbar has met his fate, and his council has borne the price of crossing Raz i'Syul Arro. Now, as the cruel walls of the city fade into the winter storms at his back, Raz rides north, seeking to take the High Priest Talo Brahnt up on an offer he never should have refused. The path Raz has chosen, though, is a bloody one, and before long he and his new companions find themselves pitted against hardships they can neither anticipate nor ignore. As man and snow and beast alike rise up to block their path, it seems almost as though the North itself has woken to wage war against the Monster. And yet, Raz's greatest challenge still looms ahead. Far to the north, like a plague beneath the trees, Gûlraht Baoill, Kayle of the savage mountain tribes, leads his armies further east with each passing day. He has set his hungry gaze upon the reaches of Cyurgi' Di, the High Citadel, and desires nothing more than to see it razed from the face of the world, offering it and its blasphemous "false-prophets" up as sacrifice to his Stone Gods. Syrah Brahnt, the High Priest's adopted daughter and protégé, has found him out, discovering his plan to lay siege to her home, cutting her and the rest of the Laorin off from the world. As it is, though, there is little and less that she can do, and when the first of the Kayle's generals reaches the base of the mountain pass, Syrah is left with only one option. In the end, she will have to face the wrath of the tribes herself... Little does she know that the Monster is coming, riding hard to lend her his blades.
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The Warring Son (The Wings of War Book 2)

The Warring Son (The Wings of War Book 2)

Bryce O'Connor

Bryce O'Connor

Tilus was not expecting the pounce. For a time during his charge he might have been wary of a counterattack, but after a while all fights tend to settle into a rhythm. It is the primary weakness of inexperience, the true cost of youthful ignorance, though, that leads young fighters into embracing the pattern. For Tilus, paths like this would have always been in his favor, his superior strength and skill allowing him to lead the dance until he won.
When the dance is forcibly changed, though, such men are often left reeling.
The boy had just brought his blade up for another crossward blow when Raz was suddenly moving at him rather than away from him. To his credit he didn’t hesitate in his strike, bringing it down just as he’d intended, aiming for Raz’s left shoulder. Raz, though, closed the gap between them faster than any steel could fall. He was already beside Tilus by the time the blow would have reached him, and the sword—driven downward with all the hopes of a killing strike—dug into the snow and earth, sticking there. Before the boy had the chance to pull it out, Raz’s foot collided with the back of his weight-bearing leg, bringing him to his knees. He still clung one-handed to the blade, his grasp at an awkward angle with the sword lodged in the ground. Without hesitating, Raz punched down with a mailed fist, crushing the boy’s right shoulder. As Tilus screamed in pain, his hand dropping loosely from the bastard sword’s handle, Raz reached out and pulled the blade free.
Then, in a single motion, he swung the blade around and dragged its razor edge across Brek Tilus’ throat.
If one has never seen the force with which arterial blood can spray, it is a terrifying thing. A gush of red, misting in the icy air, erupted across the snowy ground and stained the stone of the angled wall beside them. Tilus didn’t even have time to choke on his own blood. Raz had cut so quick and so deep that he was gone in seconds, allowing for only one bubbling rasp from his severed windpipe before he was still.
Putting a foot to his back, Raz shoved the boy so that he fell facedown into the slush and mud.
“Fool,” he said sadly, watching the red creep into the brown and white of the snow.
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