T C Southwell Books

The Queen's Blade Prequel I - Conash: Dead Son

He will change the fate of three kingdoms with his deadly skills...

Born in a midwinter blizzard, under a Death Moon, the boy who will become a legend comes into the world in a river of blood, dead. His father names him Conash: Dead Son. A humble goat herder’s son and kin of the wood cat, Conash bonds with his familiar, Rivan, when he is just six years old. The sickly boy teeters on the brink of death, so much so that he is given the Death Rites three times before he is ten years old.

Against all odds, Conash grows up a happy, laughing child, the apple of his mother’s eye and his father’s most cherished son. The village priestess refuses to give him the Life Rites, however, insisting that the boy will not live to puberty. Conash is beloved of the beasts; able to charm the birds from the trees with his smile, and his parents know he is God Touched.

When the Cotti invade his village in the Rout of Ashtalon, Conash is twelve years old, and witnesses the slaughter of his family and the death of his familiar. He wakes from his death sleep a castrated Cotti slave, and suffers their abuse for four years, until the night when he is able to slip away into the desert. He crawls from it maddened and convinced that he is dead, like the ghost of his familiar, which haunts him. He journeys to Jondar, capital of Jashimari, to become a thief and murderer and live in the gutter, fighting for scraps with stray dogs.

Thus begins the legend of the Queen’s Blade.