Adjusting to her new life as a soul-bound agent of the Fallen has Chavali pushing herself harder than ever before. Between learning to fight, dealing with idiots, and climbing stairs – lots of stairs – she has little time to waste on thoughts of the future. Or the past.
When another agent fails to report in, Chavali is sent on the mission to discover her fate. Ready or not, she saddles up for a new adventure with new dangers.
The search takes her to Ket, a coastal city slathered in mystery. There, she faces ghosts from her past and demons of her future as she seeks answers. All she seems to find are more questions.
Plague, murder, lies, espionage…this city harbours much more than meets the eye, and maybe too much to handle.
Lee French lives in Olympia, WA with two kids, two bicycles, and too much stuff. She is an avid gamer and active member of the Myth-Weavers online RPG community, where she is known for her fondness for Angry Ninja Squirrels of Doom. In addition to spending much time there, she also trains year-round for the one-week of glorious madness that is RAGBRAI, has a nice flower garden with one dragon and absolutely no lawn gnomes, and tries in vain every year to grow vegetables that don’t get devoured by neighbourhood wildlife.
Excerpt from Harbinger:
Eldrack sat behind his desk, closing a folder and setting it aside. With lines in his face, comfortably worn clothing, and gray in his hair, he looked like what he was: a clerk of advanced years with adventures well behind him. His office suited him with small potted plants, books on shelves behind him, and worn, comfortable furniture. “Ah, Chavali.” He smiled at her and gestured to the chair across from him, then saw Harris. His smile didn’t falter and he showed no surprise at seeing the man. He gestured for Harris to sit in the chair beside hers. Lacing his hands together on his desk, he looked at her expectantly.
“The mission went smoothly.” Digging in her pack, she pulled out the wooden box with the roses and slid it across the desk to him. “This man and his companions were bandits. They tried to rob and kill us. He survived. I did not think it wise to turn him loose. He has an interesting and useful skill set, as well as a base of knowledge in certain unusual areas, and I thought perhaps he might be a valuable asset for us.”
Eldrack opened the lid of the box as she spoke, then shut it without touching the roses. His eyes flicked over Harris. “I see. What do you think of him otherwise?”
Chavali shrugged. “He has issues with authority not derived from fear and strength, but also a quick enough wit and knows better than to stab the hand that feeds him. He can be counted on to hold secrets close so long as he is treated fairly and fed well.”
Harris stared at her. “Uh, thank you?”
Eldrack’s smile grew broader, and suggested he stifled down amusement. “I’ll take that to mean you feel her assessment is fair. I trust your judgment, Chavali. You can leave him here.”
Taking that as a dismissal, Chavali stood and nodded to him. She had nothing else to say and left the room, shutting the door behind herself. At the doorway to the stairs, she paused and looked up, then down. On the one hand, she could use a good meal. On the other, she wanted a bath and to go see her clan.
“Chavali! Welcome back.” Eliot came down the stairs in fresh, clean clothes. “We should spar.”
Her shoulders slumped. “Not now. I returned only minutes ago. Tomorrow.”
“Bah.” The short, slim man cuffed the air in front of her with a rough hand. “Do you expect your enemies to sit down and wait while you fill your belly and take a nap? Tired and cranky is the best time to practice what you already know.” He ignored the withering glare she gave him and grabbed her hand. “It’s good for the digestion you’ll do later, when you get a chance to eat.”
His thoughts informed her that if she didn’t cooperate, he’d follow her around until she gave in. “Fine, fine,” she snapped. He only wanted to help her protect herself. “At least go to my floor, so I have a short walk to my room when we are done.” So much for seeing the children today. She yanked her hand away and climbed the stairs to the tenth floor with him. “How long have you been lurking, waiting to ambush me?”
Eliot gave her his sly little smirk, the one that spoke of mischief. “One of the things I like the best about you is your ego.”