Lanterne excels at three things: arithmetic, arranging furniture, and manslaughter.
With the ability to spawn teeth from her skin at will, she’s an impenetrable wall for would-be assassins. Illegally hired to protect one of the few noble houses remaining in Armaze, Lanterne prowls the city to prevent others like herself from killing her employer in a bloody battle for the king’s seat.
In the beginning, Lanterne is complacent standing by while her city falls apart. But when she discovers the sudden murder of the one person she trusts, Lanterne realizes her greatest enemy may not be assassins lurking in the dark, but a reigning priest who will stop at nothing to convert a “heathen” people--even if it means awakening a centuries-old plague to drive them to his gods.
is a 101,000-word adult epic fantasy. I hold a degree in English and editing
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Lanterne paused at the end of the hallway, eyes flickering between the fallen guard and the Scion who had murdered him--a young man with narrow shoulders and a third arm protruding from his chest, the hand of which gripped a bloody dagger. Tamus’s kerosene lamp glinted against the floor, not three inches from his lifeless hand.
The Scion smiled and sucked his third arm back into his exposed chest, passing the dagger to his right hand as he did so. Oddly early for an assassination--Lanterne had only been on patrol half an hour before hearing Tamus’s shout. She didn’t recognize the Scion before her, even as he stepped over the guard’s body and into the light. He was new.
He was stupid.
Lanterne reached for the
on her back--small crescent scythes with jagged blades--and the Scion charged,
spawning a new arm under each of his own. Lanterne ran to meet him, shoulder
sliding against the left wall. He tried to grab her with the left spawned arm
as he slashed with his natural right. She ducked, blocked the blade with the
handle of a kama. Where were his other knives?
No arm-spawning Scion would bring only one weapon.
And she was right; he reached for a sword at his left side; a poor choice, in these closed quarters. A poor choice, to start a fight wielding only one dagger. The breeders had gotten stupid with their training.