The Fire Prince (The Cursed Kingdoms Trilogy Book 2)

BOOK: The Fire Prince (The Cursed Kingdoms Trilogy Book 2)
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THE

FIRE

PRINCE

EMILY GEE

 

 

SOLARIS

 

Also by Emily Gee for Solaris Books

 

Thief With No Shadow

The Laurentine Spy

 

The Cursed Kingdoms Trilogy

The Sentinel Mage

The Fire Prince

 

More fantasy from Solaris Books

 

The Chronicles of King Rolen's Kin
Trilogy

by Rowena Cory Daniells

The King's Bastard

The Uncrowned King

The Usurper

 

The Macht Trilogy
by Paul Kearney

The Ten Thousand

Corvus

Kings of Morning

 

The Chronicles of the Necromancer
by Gail Z. Martin

The Summoner

The Blood King

Dark Haven

Dark Lady's Chosen

 

First published 2014 by Solaris

an imprint of Rebellion Publishing Ltd,

Riverside House, Osney Mead,

Oxford, OX2 0ES, UK

 

 

www.solarisbooks.com

 

ISBN: 978-1-84997-768-5

 

Copyright © 2014 Emily Gee

 

Cover art by Larry Rostant

 

The right of the author to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.

 

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, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the copyright owners.

 

A thousand thanks to Moss,

without whom this book wouldn’t be what it is!

 

 

CHAPTER ONE

 

 

J
AUMÉ RODE A
tough little pony with short legs and a bony spine. He used his folded blanket as a saddle. The one thing he knew he mustn’t do was complain. These men watched him, even Bennick watched, with a scant glance now and then, and they had ears for everything, without seeming to listen.

Bennick gave a grin of approval when he saw the use Jaumé put his blanket to.

The other men didn’t grin, or wink at him the way Bennick sometimes did. They were neither friendly nor hostile. Jaumé knew they’d all been what he was—orphaned—but it was Bennick who’d found him. Bennick whose charge he was.

Before dusk, Nolt led his band away from the road. They followed a stream across the fields to a small copse.

Jaumé let his pony drink, then rubbed her down, copying the actions of the men. He helped Bennick dig a firepit and ring it with stones, watching the other men unload the packhorses, seeing the way they worked together with the ease of long familiarity, hardly needing to speak. This was his second night on the road with them and he knew all their names now. Nolt. Old Maati and young Kimbel. Odil. Black-skinned Gant. Steadfast, called Stead by the others, and Ashandel, called Ash.

And Bennick.

The men were Brothers, and Bennick had said he could be one too, if he was quick and tough and brave enough.

When the firepit was finished, Jaumé sat back on his heels and looked at Bennick.

“Now what do we need?” Bennick asked.

“Firewood,” Jaumé said promptly.

Bennick laughed and ruffled Jaumé’s hair, the way Da used to do. “Good lad.” He crossed to the pile of unloaded equipment and fished out an axe. “Come on. Help me find some wood.”

Jaumé hurried after him.

Not far into the copse they found a fallen tree. The wood was as pale and dry as bone.

Jaumé gathered the firewood Bennick chopped, stacking it in piles. After several minutes, Bennick stripped off his shirt. His chest was tanned, furred with red-blond hair. On his right bicep was a small mark, blue-black.

“What’s that?”

“A tattoo. You never seen one?”

Jaumé shook his head. “Is it a picture?”

“It’s a picture of this.” Bennick reached down to his waist, where a round pouch of dark leather was fastened. One moment his hand was empty, the next, he held a metal disk. No, not a disk, a knife with five blades.

“What is it?”

“We call it a Star.” Bennick flicked it in the air with a flashing twirl of blades and caught it again. He held it out to Jaumé.

Jaumé took the Star reverently. The metal was polished to a gleaming brightness, the blades as sharp as razors.

“The tattoo marks me for a Brother,” Bennick said. “We all have them. If you join us, you’ll have one too.”

“Will I have one of these?” Jaumé didn’t dare throw the Star as Bennick had done. Those blades would slice off his fingers.

BOOK: The Fire Prince (The Cursed Kingdoms Trilogy Book 2)
6.06Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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