J. R. Karlsson
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When troubled author Jakob Sandberg breaks free of the Clearer Minds mental institute, he finds himself falling into Escana, the world of his own creation.
Therein he must view the land through the eyes of his protagonist, a man tasked with killing six powerful individuals that threaten the stability of an empire.
Hounded by the law, Jakob's fate is intrinsicly linked to many figures both kind and monstrous:
An innkeeper's son is torn from his comfortable life and thrown into chaos after uncovering a murderer's secret.
A farmer's daughter flees the murder of her abusive former lover into the arms of something entirely worse.
A Warden uncovers old enemies and relives a painful decision in his task of upholding the law.
A woman schemes in high places against a former love at the feet of the Emperor himself.
A blacksmith's past finally catches up with him and the consequences of his denials soon become fatal.
A sewer-dwelling fugitive attempts to undermine a tyrant with the help of a mysterious and powerful ally.
A desert creature is captive to the very beasts its kind hunted.
An assassin is exiled for a subversive truth implied and must exact vengeance in dangerous circumstances.
From the peaks of the white city of Levanin to the deserts of Sah'kel, these entwined characters drive the plot forth to its inevitable conclusion.
A conclusion that Jakob himself has never written.
goad an opinion out of him? He had already lost the job, it didn't really matter if he went even further in his criticism now, did it? 'It was reactionary, and he only heard one side of the story,' he began, feeling the anger rise in a manner that was impossible not to show. 'If he's that distrustful of his potential employees I'm surprised there's anyone other than Jimmy working there.' Harvester let out a laugh. 'That's what I've been telling his friends ever since I laid eyes on him, boy!
run, the very wind itself seemed to fly with him. The corridors were a sterilised blur, his strides short and controlled as sprinted through each winding passage way. The name badge attached to him would soon attract the attention of security if his hectic pace didn't. He knew that there was no choice, he couldn't afford to slow with the lumbering men chasing after him. What kind of person needed to bring toughs to a simple conversation regarding a manuscript he hadn't sent out? Was he really
to keep moving before the security managed to pick their way through the wreckage and pin him down. Rising to his feet, he lurched onward and out into the hills where no car could follow. The surrounding countryside turned into a blur of panting and the thuds of his own feet. He felt his lungs burning and his legs had seized up entirely, they had brought him as far as they were willing. He knew this place, he had been here once before. It was a large bridge, several miles out from the
hadn't. In fact there was a certain simple sense of belonging and empowerment that came from helping his elderly parents. After all, they had helped him so much throughout the course of his troubled life, it was time he returned that favour with interest. They were all under one roof now, the empty nest syndrome had long been expunged and the homestead had a real communal atmosphere that had developed between the 'seven children, three grandchildren, two girlfriends, three wives and one
beyond all other things.' He walked forward into the dim light and poked a weathered finger into Jakob's chest. 'You have been nothing all your life, constantly yearning for a chance or opportunity to arise that never came. You have lived in a world that has beaten you down innumerable times for the impertinent hope that you hold close to your heart.' He waved his hand wildly toward the light outside. 'This is your opportunity to be something. You have been blessed with powers beyond your