The very ink with which all history is written is merely fluid prejudice. Mark Twain
Devin Roché, the sixth and youngest son of the Chancellor Elité of Llisé, has trained as an archivist in Vienne’s prestigious Académie. When the Master Bard of Perouse dies without passing on the oral Chronicle of his province, Devin and his friend Gaspard undertake a 15 month journey to collect and memorize all of the Provinces’ Chronicles. Their quest takes a dangerous turn when some of the Master Bards they plan to visit are murdered and an attempt is made on their own lives. Is the government trying to conceal information and could it cost Devin his life?
From Book One:
Devin unfolded his itinerary, thinking it seemed thicker than before. Something dropped to the floor from between the pages – a black cross wrapped in colored twine that formed a red central diamond. He stooped to pick it up but Marcus grabbed his wrist.
“Don’t touch it,” he warned.
“Why?” Gaspard asked, bending over to see it better.
“It carries a curse. Superstition claims that the curse will come true for the first one who touches it.”
“What kind of a curse?” Devin asked.
“It depends on the color of the twine.” Marcus explained. “A blue center promises misfortune, a yellow one – illness, gray – disappointment and red symbolizes death.”
“So someone wants me dead?” Devin asked incredulously.
“It would seem so.” Marcus stooped to slide the offending object onto a piece of paper but it eluded him, skittering across the polished wooden floor.
“For God’s sake!” Gaspard protested, picking the thing up between his thumb and forefinger. “It’s only two twigs and some twine. What possible harm could it do?”
Devin watched with a shiver of apprehension as Gaspard unlatched the tiny window and flung it out into the sea. Whoever wished him ill, had entered his locked room and tampered once again with his belongings. The theft and return of the itinerary no longer seemed quite so trivial.
Gaspard turned from the window with a grin. “There, it’s gone. Put it out of your head, Dev. You never touched the thing so the curse can’t come true!”
“But you touched it,” Marcus pointed out darkly.
Gaspard tipped the wine bottle to his lips. “What are friends for?”
Among Wolves, from HarperVoyager.
Ebook also available through iTunes/iBooks and Barnes and Noble. Available in paperback November 19, 2015
Wolf art by wyldraven