It should have been so simple . . .
Durine, Kethol, and Pirojil are three mercenaries who have spent twenty years fighting other people's battles, defeating the Tsurani and the Bugs and the goblins. Yet now it seems there are no more enemies to vanquish, leaving them with a few months of welcomed garrison duty as the Riftwar rages on in the west.
When the trio is ordered to accompany a lady and her husband safely to the city of LaMut, it looks like an easy--even cushy--assignment. But in Midkemia, nothing is that straightforward, and the men find themselves trapped by a vicious winter storm in a castle with scheming lords and ladies, an unsolved murder, and nothing less than the political future of Midkemia at stake. . . .
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Posted January 04, 2012 by miko , La Selva BeachI was familiar with these characters from reading Joel's books (it's been several years). I believe they appear in a three series set. It was nice to see him use them a bit differently but keep the characters intact. Check out Joel's other works.
July 31, 2007
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Excerpt from Murder in LaMut by Raymond E. Feist
It was a dark and stormy night.
That was fine with Durine.
Not that the goddess Killian, whose province was the weather, was asking his opinion. Nor were any of the other gods--or any mortals--for that matter.
In more than twenty years of a soldier's life, both fealty-bound and mercenary--as well as during the dimly-remembered time before he took blade and bow in hand--few of those in charge of anything had asked Durine's opinions before making their decisions.
And that was fine with him, too. The good thing about a soldier's life was that you could concentrate on the small but important decisions, like where to put the point of your sword next, and leave the big decisions to others.
Anyway, there was no point in objecting: complaining didn't make it any warmer, griping didn't stop the sleet from pelting down, bitching didn't stop the ice from clinging to his increasingly heavy sailcloth overcoat as he made his way, half-blinded, down the muddy street.
Mud seemed to go with LaMut the way salt seemed to go with fish.
But that was just fine with Durine, too. Wading through this half-frozen mud was just part of the trade, and at least here and now it was just this vile slush, not the hideous sort of mud made from soil mixing with dying men's blood and shit. Now, the sight and particularly the smell of that kind of mud could make even Durine gag, and he had seen more than enough of it in his time.
What wasn't fine with him was the cold. It was still too damn cold. His toes had ceased to feel the cold and the pain, which wasn't good.
Locals were talking about the 'thaw', something they apparently expected any day now that Midwinter was behind them. Durine glanced up at the sleet smacking him in the face, and decided that this was an odd sort of thaw. To his way of thinking, there was far too damn much of this half-frozen stuff falling from the sky for a reasonable thaw, or even an unreasonable one. Yes, before the current storm they had had three days of clear skies, but there was no change in the air; it was still too damn wet, and too damn cold.
Too cold to fight, perhaps?
Well, yes, maybe, in the view of the Bugs and the Tsurani, and that was a good thing. They had fought Tsurani and goblins and Bugs in the north, and now, it seemed, they had run out of Tsurani and goblins and Bugs to kill--at least around here--and as soon as things thawed out enough, it was time for him and the other two to be paid and to be going.
A few months of garrison duty until then was just fine.Actually, as long as they were stuck here, Durine preferred the idea of garrison duty to being paid off today and having to spend his own coin to eat and lodge. Durine's perfect situation would have been to have the Earl pay for everything except drink and women until this hypothetical thaw--and he included that limitation only because he didn't think that even Pirojil could conceive of a way to cadge ale and whores from the paymaster--then pay them their wages the day they rode south for Ylith and a ship heading somewhere warmer.
Which made this, despite the mud and the cold, pretty close to perfect.
The heavy action was supposedly at Crydee these days, which meant that the one place they could be sure the three of them were not going was Crydee. Come spring, the privateer Melanie was due in Ylith. Captain Thorn could be counted on for a swift conveyance and be relied upon not to try to murder them in their sleep. That would be bad for one's health, as Thorn's predecessor had barely realized in the instant before Pirojil had stuck a knife in his right kidney while the late captain was standing, sword in hand, over what he had thought was Durine's sleeping form. Given that Thorn owed his captaincy to Durine and his companions' suspicious natures, he should be willing to transport them for free, Durine thought.