Empires rise and fall, but Sanctuary lives on. Sanctuary, a lawless city governed by evil forces, powerful magic, and political intrigue where survival is an unexpected bonus. The Age of the Rankan reign of Kadakithis, the occupation of the Beysib, and even the erstwhile Renaissance are all in the past. It is years later and the heroes of the past, Jubal, Tempus, Shadowspawn, and the Stormchildren, are memories, myth, and rumor. New outsiders are ruling with an iron hand and a bloody dagger. Molin Torchholder, the secret guardian of the city is now dead, his mantle and staff secretly passed to another. But Sanctuary and its inhabitants carry on.The city has reached a turning point... and only the fates know where it will lead. This is the first of a new series of shared-world anthologies that continues Sanctuary's story with tales of necromancers and assassins, urchins and knaves, and of course the thieves who lurk in its alleys and shadows. At the publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management software (DRM) applied.
There are no customer reviews available at this time. Would you like to write a review?
December 07, 2003
Number of Print Pages*
* Number of eBook pages may differ. Click here for more information.
Excerpt from Thieves' World: Turning Points by Lynn Abbey
Home Is Where the Hate Is
Mickey Zucker Reichert
Heaven and dimmed the early afternoon sunlight to a dusk-like gray. Light rain stung Dysan's face as he slouched along the Avenue of Temples that led to the shattered ruin he alone called home. The dampness added volume and curl to raven hair already too thick to comb. It fell to his shoulders in a chaotic snarl that he clipped only when it persistently fell into his eyes. Few bothered with this quarter of the city, though Dysan guessed it had once bustled with priests and their pious. In the ten years since Arizak and his Irrune warriors had destroyed the Bloody Hand of Dyareela and banished all but their own religion from the inner regions of Sanctuary, no one had bothered to pick up the desecrated pieces the Dyareelans had left of their former temples. Instead, the buildings fell prey to ten years of disrepair, beset by Sanctuary's infernal storms and soggy climate.
At sixteen, Dysan was only just beginning to learn his way around the city that bred, bore, and neglected to raise him. He recalled only flashes of his first four years, when he, his mother, and his brother, Kharmael, had lived in a hovel near the Street of Red Lanterns. Only in the last few years had he figured out what so many must have known all along: Kharmael's father, Ilmaris, the man Dysan had once blindly believed his own, had died three years before his birth. Their mother had supported them with her body. Dysan's father might be any man who had lived in or passed through Sanctuary, and his mother, in what the Rankans had proclaimed was the 86th year of their crumbling empire and the Ilsigis called the 3,553rd year of theirs.
Dysan flicked water from his lashes and wiped his dripping nose with the back of a grimy, tattered sleeve. He had managed to swipe a handful of bread and some lumps of fish from an unwatched stew pot, enough to fill his small belly. Tonight, he planned to use his meager store of wood to light a fire in the Yard -- his name for the roofless two-walled main room of his home -- beneath an overhang sheltered from the rain. It was a luxury he did not often allow himself. The flames sometimes managed to chase away the chill that had haunted his heart for every one of the ten years he had lived without his brother, but it was a bittersweet trade-off. Even small, controlled fires sometimes stirred flashbacks to the worst moments of his life.
Tears rose, unbidden, mingling with the rainwater dribbling down Dysan's face. Kharmael and the Dyareelans had raised him from a toddler to a child in a world of pain and blood that no one should ever have to endure. Lightning flashed, igniting the sky and a memory of a stranger: skinned and mutilated by laughing children trained to kill with cruel and guiltless pleasure. Dysan had personally suffered the lash of the whip only once. Small and frail, half the size of a normal four-year-old, he had passed out at the agony of the first strike. Only the scars that striped his shoulders and back, and the aches that had assailed him on awakening, made it clear that his lack of mental presence had not ended the torture. The Hand had labeled him as weak, a sure sacrifice to their blood-loving, hermaphrodite god/goddess; and he would have become one in his first few weeks had Kharmael not been there to comfort him, to rally and bully him, when necessary, into moving when he would rather have surrendered to whatever death the Hand pronounced.