Buffer Zone

SubtleDemon Publishing, LLC
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A full moon hung over the Mississippi's dark waters, meaning this was the time for hunters to arrive and take whatever they could capture. A device would be clamped to the backs of our necks and we'd never be able to shift back to human again. It was how they justified their enslavement of us; that we were only animals instead of sentient humans.

The Krelk had killed more than two-thirds of the human population, too, but they made the excuse that they'd thought them animal as well, until their High Council, wherever that was, decided otherwise.

When I heard the first yelp, even underground, I couldn't breathe. Was that a shifter? Few shifters could take on a Krelk and their weapons and either survive or avoid being stunned. That's how we were captured—frozen and only barely able to breathe while we were caged, tagged and hauled away from the buffer zone.

Another yelp—followed quickly by a third.

This was no shifter—the Krelk were the ones screaming. Terrified but still curious, I dipped into the watery entrance and slowly made my way out of my cave to peek at the river bank above my head.

A dead Krelk dropped into the water nearby, making me jump and squeak in terror.

"An otter?" Someone leaned down to look at me.

Not a Krelk—I knew their scent. This—I'd never scented someone like this before. I scrabbled backward, afraid of this newcomer, too, even if he did appear humanoid.

"Don't be afraid—I killed all of them."

I backed all the way into the water and scrambled to swim to my cave before he could grab me. Once there, I refused to come out.

"I understand," he said, loud enough that I could still hear him. "Be safe. I'll patrol farther down, tonight."

I listened, my heart beating so rapidly I feared it would burst while his footsteps, light as they were, faded as he walked southward.

He'd killed six Krelk, and I'd never heard one of their weapons fire.

Who could do that?
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About the author

Reinvention/Reincarnation. Those words describe Connie best. She has worked as a janitor, a waitress, a mower of lawns and house cleaner, a clerk, secretary, teacher, bookseller and (finally) an author. The last occupation is the best one, because she sees it as a labor of love and therefore no labor at all.

Connie has lived in Oklahoma all her life, with brief forays into other states for visits. She and her husband have been married for more years than she prefers to tell and together they have one son.

After earning an MFA in Film Production and Animation from the University of Oklahoma, Connie taught courses in those subjects for a few years before taking a job as a manager for Borders. When she left the company in 2007, she fully intended to find a desk job somewhere. She found the job. And the desk. At home, writing.

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Additional Information

Publisher
SubtleDemon Publishing, LLC
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Published on
Apr 28, 2018
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Pages
260
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ISBN
9781634780292
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Fantasy / Action & Adventure
Fiction / Science Fiction / Action & Adventure
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Content Protection
This content is DRM free.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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The #1 New York Times bestselling sequel to Words of Radiance, from epic fantasy author Brandon Sanderson at the top of his game.

In Oathbringer, the third volume of the New York Times bestselling Stormlight Archive, humanity faces a new Desolation with the return of the Voidbringers, a foe with numbers as great as their thirst for vengeance.

Dalinar Kholin’s Alethi armies won a fleeting victory at a terrible cost: The enemy Parshendi summoned the violent Everstorm, which now sweeps the world with destruction, and in its passing awakens the once peaceful and subservient parshmen to the horror of their millennia-long enslavement by humans. While on a desperate flight to warn his family of the threat, Kaladin Stormblessed must come to grips with the fact that the newly kindled anger of the parshmen may be wholly justified.

Nestled in the mountains high above the storms, in the tower city of Urithiru, Shallan Davar investigates the wonders of the ancient stronghold of the Knights Radiant and unearths dark secrets lurking in its depths. And Dalinar realizes that his holy mission to unite his homeland of Alethkar was too narrow in scope. Unless all the nations of Roshar can put aside Dalinar’s blood-soaked past and stand together—and unless Dalinar himself can confront that past—even the restoration of the Knights Radiant will not prevent the end of civilization.


Other Tor books by Brandon Sanderson

The Cosmere

The Stormlight Archive
The Way of Kings
Words of Radiance
Edgedancer (Novella)
Oathbringer

The Mistborn trilogy
Mistborn: The Final Empire
The Well of Ascension
The Hero of Ages

Mistborn: The Wax and Wayne series
Alloy of Law
Shadows of Self
Bands of Mourning

Collection
Arcanum Unbounded

Other Cosmere novels
Elantris
Warbreaker

The Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians series
Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians
The Scrivener's Bones
The Knights of Crystallia
The Shattered Lens
The Dark Talent

The Rithmatist series
The Rithmatist

Other books by Brandon Sanderson

The Reckoners
Steelheart
Firefight
Calamity

At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Brandon Sanderson, The Way of Kings, Book One of the Stormlight Archive begins an incredible new saga of epic proportion.

Roshar is a world of stone and storms. Uncanny tempests of incredible power sweep across the rocky terrain so frequently that they have shaped ecology and civilization alike. Animals hide in shells, trees pull in branches, and grass retracts into the soilless ground. Cities are built only where the topography offers shelter.

It has been centuries since the fall of the ten consecrated orders known as the Knights Radiant, but their Shardblades and Shardplate remain: mystical swords and suits of armor that transform ordinary men into near-invincible warriors. Men trade kingdoms for Shardblades. Wars were fought for them, and won by them.

One such war rages on a ruined landscape called the Shattered Plains. There, Kaladin, who traded his medical apprenticeship for a spear to protect his little brother, has been reduced to slavery. In a war that makes no sense, where ten armies fight separately against a single foe, he struggles to save his men and to fathom the leaders who consider them expendable.

Brightlord Dalinar Kholin commands one of those other armies. Like his brother, the late king, he is fascinated by an ancient text called The Way of Kings. Troubled by over-powering visions of ancient times and the Knights Radiant, he has begun to doubt his own sanity.

Across the ocean, an untried young woman named Shallan seeks to train under an eminent scholar and notorious heretic, Dalinar's niece, Jasnah. Though she genuinely loves learning, Shallan's motives are less than pure. As she plans a daring theft, her research for Jasnah hints at secrets of the Knights Radiant and the true cause of the war.

The result of over ten years of planning, writing, and world-building, The Way of Kings is but the opening movement of the Stormlight Archive, a bold masterpiece in the making.

Speak again the ancient oaths:

Life before death.
Strength before weakness.
Journey before Destination.

and return to men the Shards they once bore.

The Knights Radiant must stand again.

Other Tor books by Brandon Sanderson

The Cosmere

The Stormlight Archive
The Way of Kings
Words of Radiance
Edgedancer (Novella)
Oathbringer (forthcoming)

The Mistborn trilogy
Mistborn: The Final Empire
The Well of Ascension
The Hero of Ages

Mistborn: The Wax and Wayne series
Alloy of Law
Shadows of Self
Bands of Mourning

Collection
Arcanum Unbounded

Other Cosmere novels
Elantris
Warbreaker

The Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians series
Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians
The Scrivener's Bones
The Knights of Crystallia
The Shattered Lens
The Dark Talent

The Rithmatist series
The Rithmatist

Other books by Brandon Sanderson

The Reckoners
Steelheart
Firefight
Calamity

At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.

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