T C Southwell Books

Book VI - Lord Protector

The Queen’s Blade returns to Jashimari to await the reward the Idol of the Beasts promised him for saving Minna-Satu’s life – the rebirth of his familiar. Rivan is reborn in the spring, and Blade knows the wonder and joy of bonding with his familiar again, which he lost when the Cotti slew the wood cat at the Rout of Ashtalon, when Blade was a twelve-year-old child.

Prince Dravis, however, who has fled to Contara to evade the Cotti courts that have condemned him for murdering Trelath, seeks vengeance. His soldiers capture Blade in the village where he is living while Rivan reaches adulthood in the wild, and take him to Contara. There, Dravis discovers that Blade has a familiar and tries to force the assassin to kill Kerrion by threatening to slay Rivan. Blade agrees and, since the wood cat Dravis has captured is not Rivan, assassinates the Prince instead, but then falls foul of another of Kerrion’s half-brothers, this time an older, illegitimate one.

In Jondar, Chiana receives a message that the Queen’s Blade is dead, along with a half-rotted head. Although Kerra refuses to accept it at first, Chiana fears that it is true and sends a company of soldiers to Ashmarad, capital of Contara, to find him, or his body. In Cotti, the news of Blade’s death saddens Minna-Satu, and Kerrion promises her retribution, but no one knows who killed the Queen’s Blade… or if the legendary assassin is truly dead…