Publishers:
Jo Fletcher Books
Category:
Epic Fantasy
Age range:
Adult
David Hair

Scarlet Tides

Moontide Quartet

The Moontide has come and the Leviathan Bridge stands open: now thrones will shake and hearts will be torn apart in a world at war. A scarlet tide of Rondian legions is flooding into the East, led by the Inquisition’s windships flying the Sacred Heat, the bright banner of the Church’s darkest sons. They are slaughtering and pillaging their way across Antiopia in the name of Emperor Constant. But the emperor's greatest treasure, the Scytale of Corineus, has slipped through his fingers and his ruthless Inquisitors must scour two continents for the artefact, the source of all magical power. Against them are the unlikeliest of heroes. Alaron, a failed mage, the gypsy Cmbellea and Ramita, once just a lowly market-girl, have pledged to end the cycle of war and restore peace to Urte. East and West have clashed before, but this time, as secret factions and cabals emerge from the shadows, the world is about to discover that love, loyalty and truth can be forged into weapons as strong as swords and magic.

'The Scarlet Tides represents modern epic fantasy at its best.’

Fantasy Book Critic

EXTRACT

Jeris Muhren, Watch Captain of Norostein, descended the clockwise curving stairs.  The dank, stale smell rose from below, along with the clank and clatter of stone and steel.  It was early morning on a summer’s day outside, but winter’s cold still lurked in the dungeons of Norostein’s Governor’s Palace. There were no guards down here, unusually.  Their absence made him wary and he loosened his sword as he strode on.
He pushed open the door at the bottom of the stair and entered a small chamber, where he was surprised to find another before him: a youngish-looking man with a a weak chin partially hidden by wispy blond beard.  His thin body was draped in heavy velvet robes and a gold band encircled his worry-creased brow.
Muhren hastily dropped to his knee.  “Your Majesty,” he murmured.  What’s he dong here?
“Captian Muhren, ‘ King Phyllios III of Noros responded formally. “Please stand.”
Muhren rose, puzzled.  Phyllios III was a puppet ruler, with the governor’s hand firmly up his arse-  at least, that was the word on the street.  The failed Revolt had broken the Noros monarchy, leaving the king a powerless sideshow in a decrepit palace.  The Governor ruled Noros now, in the name of the emperor - but right now that same Governor was a prisoner in his own dungeons.
“My King, you should not be here.”
Phyllis shrugged lightly.  “The guards were ordered away an hour ago, Captain, and no one saw me arrive.  I am not so confined to my palace as you might think.”
Muhren blinked. Last day on the job and I’m still learning.
“How is our prisoner, Captain?” the king asked.  His voice was tentative, but there was a certain vengeful cunning Muhren had not heard before.  Phyllios had been a young man during the Revolt, when he had seen his people crushed.  The Ronda's made an example of him, forcing him to become a parade-attraction: he had been flogged naked before his people before being forced to crawl before the emperor and beg forgiveness.  That had broken  whatever manner of man he might have become and turned him into powerless cringer - at least, so Muhren had once thought.  Appointing the watch captain was one of the very few prerogatives left to he king and Muhren had been Phyllios’ choice. That pact had revealed a stronger man than most knew, but he was still very cautious, even timid.
“He is deeply unhappy, my liege. Cold, uncomfortable, and very much afraid.”
“Of whom? Surely not you or me?” Phyllios’ tone was self-mocking, but not self-pitying.
“Of the Inquisition, my liege.”
“Inquisitors are coming here?” Phyllios’ calm wavered.
“Inevitably, my liege.  He’s an Imperial Governor, arrested for treason.  They will most certainly be here in days, and the will take him away and break him in the process of deciding whether he is guilty of anything.  The emperor cannot afford to permit any governor to appear to be acting beyond his authority.’
Phyllis nodded gravely.  “What will they learn from hm, Captain?”
Ah, now that is the question……