Ranvir ripped meat from bone, the dew of deep wounds dribbling between his fingers. He packed the flesh into his teeth-house, chewing happily.
His wife gaped at him, word-land soundless, forehead-stones devoured long ago, and wound-necklace torn from ear to ear.
She had never looked more beautiful.
His hands probed into her blood’s-seat for another bite, nails scraping against cartilage, fingers squeezing organ and fat, seeking a tasty morsel.
Ranvir heard the rasping of his tent flap open, but did not turn from his meal. Snaer’s brisk breath briefly touched his back. and then he felt it no more. He swallowed another mouthful and pulled at his wife’s skin to gaze at the glossy remains.
A voice, light and feminine, spoke.
The payment can't be settled with money or favors. He only wants one thing. Me.
Every action gets a reward. A button. Once I fill his jar with three hundred and sixty-five buttons, he'll let me go. He'll let me walk away.
But I have to earn every single one. By submitting to the darkest, cruelest, and most beautiful man I've ever known.
** TRIGGER WARNING ** There are some dark and disturbing scenes of abuse and punishment.
Drast and Tyran might be considered a bit black-hearted, or even immoral. Drast is cunning but reckless, hunting for admiration. Tyran is calculating but tactless, searching for affection. When the two brothers set aside their ambitions to fulfill their father's desire for immortality, they readily discover many opportunities for redemption. Now, while wielding a powerful magic that drains their life, Drast and Tyran will embark on a maddening quest, facing skin-switchers, dragons, and the God of the Dead.
Bran is a Kras, a race enslaved by the Highborn for generations. He witnesses the forging of the forbidden dagger, kaelandur, created to execute Nedezhda, a Highborn found guilty of practicing death magic. But Nedezhda rises again with a horde of demons, leaving Branimir and his companions to seek out the Tree of Life with hopes of stopping them from destroying it. Over a thousand years, the looming threat grows to extend across all lands. When Branimir hears the dead are spilling over from the Netherworld, he not only realizes kaelandur may have a greater purpose, but also that the desires of the gods are incongruent with the interests of mortals. Against all odds, he is left to protect the magical dagger or leave the whole world to fall to ruin.
While the first ennead of books in Thrice Nine Legends can be read separate of one another, the following is the chronological reading order for full enjoyment.
Anaerfell, The Blood of Dragons, Book 1
Warden of the Ash Tree
The Highborn Longwalker
Melkorka, The Kaelandur Series, Book 1
When Blood Falls
Dyndaer, The Kaelandur Series, Book 2
The Name of Death
Maharia, The Kaelandur Series, Book 3
Heshayol, The Blood of Dragons, Book 2
Branimir emerges from the Netherworld as a living legend and learns the Ash Tree is still in danger from the cursed dagger, kaelandur. An old friend compels Branimir to finish what they started at Melkorka. Once again, the former slave must keep kaelandur out of uncertain hands, while struggling to separate heroes from villains and friends from foes.