As he pursues a man who is not what he seems, Constable Dallin Brayden learns the lines between enemy and ally, truth and deception, and conscience and obedience are not only blurred, but malleable.
Constable Dallin Brayden knows who he is, what he’s about, and he doesn’t believe in Fate. “Wilfred Calder” has no idea who he is or what he’s about, and he’s been running from Fate for as long as he can remember. When Wil flees after witnessing a murder, it’s Dallin’s job to pursue him. Along the way, he’s pulled into a maelstrom of ancient myth, fanatical religion, and the delicate politics of a shaky truce between two perpetually warring countries—all of which rests on the slender shoulders of the man he knows is not Wilfred Calder.
Even Dallin’s success proves a hollow victory. Wil is vengeful, rebellious, and lethal, and his tale of magic and betrayal rocks the carefully constructed foundations of Dallin’s world. Suspicious and only half believing, Dallin must question not only his own integrity and his half-forgotten past, but the morality and motives of everyone around him—including those who hold his own country’s fate in their hands.
To reveal the intricate machinations threatening them, two men must learn to trust each other. But how can they, when their hearts and minds—their realities—are subject to manipulation?
When he set out to escort the prisoner Wilfred Calder back to Putnam, Constable Dallin Brayden didn’t anticipate the political betrayal and malicious magic threatening their lives at every turn. To his surprise, he slips into the role of protector—and it’s more than duty compelling him to ensure Wil’s safety as they’re haunted by strange dreams. But does Wil dare put himself in the hands of a man he believes wants him dead?
Wil’s past weighs heavily on him, tainting his perceptions as he struggles his way through a tangle of lies. With both will and magic as his weapons, he fights desperately for survival—and his soul. For the Aisling is coveted by more than the Guild and the Brethren; ancient gods and soul-eating spirits also want what lives within him. His only chance might be Dallin and his goddess, the Mother, who Wil has been taught to despise above all others.
When a man’s identity is built on lies, can he find the true self buried beneath? For Wil and Dallin, newfound love might not be enough. To heal themselves and their world, they must learn to see things as they truly are and break free of what they have been tricked into believing.
Wil and Dallin stand at the center of an approaching convergence they’re not sure they’re strong enough to face. The power of the land and the Mother waits for Wil in the bowels of Lind, but it comes at a price: he must defeat the soul-eater and save the Father, Her Beloved, and manage to keep his soul in the process. He can’t do it alone. But where can he turn for aid when friends are not necessarily friends, trusted mentors are not necessarily to be trusted, and good intentions are sometimes the most dangerous kind?
Dallin and Wil must accept their roles as the Guardian and the Aisling and stand together against a ruthless god in a cataclysmic battle of dreams and wills, the fates of both of their souls and those of all mortals hanging in the balance. Trust, if they can finally embrace it, holds both the promise of salvation and the risk of damnation.
What inspires some to reach the pinnacles of virtue while others cannot resist the temptations of vice? Is it something innate, or a result of destiny and circumstance?
Delve into the minds and spirits of saints and sinners alike with a collection of stories that explore the call toward good or evil—and the consequences of answering it. For while rewards certainly await the righteous, there are also pleasures to be found in the darkness. Venture off the expected path with some of the most innovative voices in LGBT speculative fiction as they present their unique takes on the classic vices and virtues.
The Dark of the Sun by Amy Rae Durreson
The Bank Job by Andrea Speed
Prudence for Fools by Sean Michael
The Gate by J.S. Cook
Heirs to Grace and Infinity by Carole Cummings
The Rendering by John Inman
Beyond the Temperance Effect by Serena Yates
Covetous by Pearl Love
Hope by Rick R. Reed
Horseboy by J Tullos Hennig
Train to Sevmash by Jamie Fessenden
Red Light Special by Rhys Ford
Traitor by Clare London
Couches of Fabric and Snow by Brandon Witt
Bas is convinced the notoriously covetous and corrupt Stanslo had something to do with Kimolijah Adani’s tragic and suspicious end. A Directorate Tracker, Bas has finally managed to catch the scent of Kimolijah Adani’s killer, and it leads right into Stanslo’s little desert barony. For almost three years, Bas has tried to find a way into Stanslo’s Bridge, and when he finally makes it, shock is too small a word for what—or, rather, whom—he finds there.
Untouchable. Ghost. Assassin. Mad. Fen Jacin-rei is all these and none. His mind is host to the spirits of long-dead magicians, and Fen's fate should be one of madness and ignoble death. So how is it Fen lives, carrying out shadowy vengeance for his subjugated people and protecting the family he loves?
Kamen Malick means to find out. When Malick and his own small band of assassins ambush Fen in an alley, Malick offers Fen a choice: Join us or die.
Determined to decode the intrigue that surrounds Fen, Malick sets to unraveling the mysteries of Fen's past. As Fen's secrets slowly unfold, Malick finds irony a bitter thing when he discovers the one he wants is already hopelessly entangled with the one he hunts.
Wrong. When his sister’s new suitor suddenly disappears, Lucas is drawn into an adventure of a lifetime—kicking and screaming all the way. Magical beings who were allegedly banished hundreds of years ago are coming through portals that were supposed to be shut against them—and that’s only part of Lucas’s problem. The rest consists of missing princes, breaking and entering, suspicious magicians, well-meaning women who are far too interested in Lucas’s sex life... the list goes on. Lucas is decidedly Not Amused, but he’ll get over it someday. Probably. After all, there’s always Alex.
The amorality of gods makes it hard to tell bad from good and right from wrong. Fen Jacin-rei doesn’t care. All Fen cares about is saving his family, and he’ll sacrifice anything that gets in his way. Including his own soul.
No longer willing to wait for the machinations of the gods’ minions, Fen accepts the trade Kamen Malick offers. Together they set out to rescue Fen’s family and kill the man who betrayed them. But Fen is an Untouchable, one whose mind hosts the spirits of long-dead magicians, and with Voices of the Ancestors screaming in his head, Fen finds it harder and harder to stave off madness.
Malick has his own reasons to hand over everything Fen wants and equally compelling reasons to withhold everything Fen needs. In over his head with his timing as bad as ever, Malick must devise a way to do his god’s bidding without breaking his god’s laws—and keep Fen sane and on Malick’s side in the bargain.