The Exiled Blade: Act Three of the Assassini

BOOK: The Exiled Blade: Act Three of the Assassini
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Table of Contents

By Jon Courtenay Grimwood

About the Author

Title Page

Copyright Page

Dedication

Map

The Millioni family tree

Dramatis Personae

Part 1

Chapter 1: Austria

Chapter 2: Venice

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Part 2

Chapter 14: Montenegro

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Chapter 26

Chapter 27

Chapter 28

Chapter 29

Chapter 30

Chapter 31

Chapter 32

Chapter 33

Chapter 34

Chapter 35

Chapter 36

Chapter 37

Chapter 38

Chapter 39

Chapter 40

Chapter 41

Chapter 42

Chapter 43

Chapter 44

Chapter 45

Chapter 46

Acknowledgements

B
Y
J
ON
C
OURTENAY
G
RIMWOOD

The Assassini

The Fallen Blade

The Outcast Blade

The Exiled Blade

About the Author

Jon Courtenay Grimwood
was born in Malta and christened in the upturned bell of a ship. He grew up in the Far East, Britain and Scandinavia. For five years he wrote a monthly review column for the
Guardian
. He has also written for
The Times
, the
Telegraph
and the
Independent.

Shortlisted for the Arthur C. Clarke Award twice and the BSFA seven times, he won the BSFA Award for best novel with
Felaheen
, featuring Asraf Bey, his half-Berber detective. He won it again with
End of the World Blues
, about a British ex-sniper running an Irish bar in Tokyo.

His work is published in French, German, Spanish, Polish, Czech, Hungarian, Russian, Turkish, Japanese, Danish, Finnish and American among others. He is married to the journalist and novelist Sam Baker, currently editor-in-chief of
Red
magazine. They divide their time between London and Winchester.

www.orbitbooks.net

ORBIT

First published in Great Britain in 2013 by Orbit

Copyright © 2013 by JonCGLimited

The moral right of the author has been asserted.

All characters and events in this publication, other than those clearly in the public domain, are fictitious and any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

All rights reserved.

No part of this publication may be reproduced,

stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any

form or by any means, without the prior

permission in writing of the publisher, nor be

otherwise circulated in any form of binding or

cover other than that in which it is published and

without a similar condition including this

condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser.

A CIP catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library.

eISBN 978-0-748-11287-6

ISBN 978-1-84149-850-8

Orbit

An imprint of

Little, Brown Book Group

100 Victoria Embankment

London EC4Y 0DY

An Hachette UK Company

www.hachette.co.uk

www.orbitbooks.net

“He’d been proud of her from the moment they met. Her fierce intelligence, the quiet fury with which she met life full on . . .”

For Sam, who shares more with Giulietta than simply red hair

The Millioni family tree
Dramatis Personae

Tycho
, a youth with strange hungers

The Millioni

Marco IV
, known as Marco the Simpleton, duke of Venice and Prince of Serenissima

Lady Giulietta di Millioni
, his young cousin, widow of Prince Leopold, mother of Leo and lover of Tycho

Duchess Alexa
, the late duke’s widow, mother to Marco IV. A Mongol princess in her own right. She hates . . .

Prince Alonzo
, Regent of Venice, who wants the throne

Marco III
, known as Marco the Just. The late lamented duke of Venice, elder brother of Alonzo, godfather of Lady Giulietta and the ghost at every feast

Members of the Venetian court

Lord Bribanzo
, member of the Council of Ten, the inner council that rules Venice. One of the richest men in the city. Sides with Alonzo

Lord Roderigo
, Captain of the Dogana, Alonzo’s ally

Lady Maria Dolphini
, heiress

Captain Weimer
, new head of the palace guard

Amelia
, a Nubian slave and member of the Assassini

Pietro
, an ex-street child, now a royal page

Prince Frederick zum Bas Friedland
, bastard son of Sigismund, ruler of the Holy Roman Empire, one-time suitor for Lady Giulietta and a guest at the court

Late members of the Venetian court

Atilo il Mauros
, once adviser to the late Marco III, and head of Venice’s secret assassins. Alexa’s lover and long-term supporter. Was engaged to the late Lady Desdaio, daughter of Lord Bribanzo

Prince Leopold zum Bas Friedland
. Also dead. Until lately leader of the
krieghund
, Emperor Sigismund’s werewolf shock troops. (Brother of Prince Frederick)

Dr Hightown Crow
, alchemist, astrologer and anatomist to the duke. Using a goose quill he inseminated Giulietta with Alonzo’s seed, leaving her with child

Iacopo
, once Atilo’s servant and member of the Assassini

Captain Towler
, mercenary leader in Montenegro

The Three Emperors

Sigismund
, Holy Roman emperor, King of Germany, Hungary and Croatia. Wants to add Lombardy and Venice to that list

John V Palaiologos
, the Basilius, ruler of the Byzantine Empire (known as the Eastern Roman Empire), also wants Venice. He barely admits Sigismund is an emperor at all

Tamburlaine
, Khan of Khans, ruler of the Mongols and newly created emperor of China. The most powerful man in the world and a distant cousin to Duchess Alexa. He regards Europe as a minor irritation

PART 1

“There is special providence in the fall of a sparrow. If it be now, ’tis not to come; if it be not to come, it will be now . . .”

Hamlet
, William Shakespeare

1
Austria

The emperor rode ahead on a high-stepping stallion draped with a cloth of gold, and behind him came his flag bearer, the double-headed eagle of the Holy Roman Empire snapping in the winter wind. A small group of carefully selected courtiers followed wrapped tightly in furs against the early snow. Old men riding down a valley towards a troop of younger men who were the future if they lived long enough.

Sigismund of Germany had come to meet his son.

The emperor was in his fifties, long-facedx and tired eyed, exhausted by the effort of controlling an empire for which he hadn’t provided a proper heir. The boy he approached was a youthful indiscretion. Well, as Frederick was seventeen, perhaps not that youthful on Sigismund’s part, but still an indiscretion.

BOOK: The Exiled Blade: Act Three of the Assassini
13.77Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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