Each time I polished my father’s sword while under my brother’s roof, I wanted nothing more than to cut into the man who had taken Richard Hardi away from me.Christian Richardson, Deathspell
In 15th century England, royal houses warred, rising aristocrats seized power, and old families ruthlessly defended their holdings. It was a perfect world for magicians and mercenaries.
Secretive and ambitious, magic users are rare in medieval England. Needing to secure their futures, some craft alliances with noble families. The only way to make good on their promises is to find those capable of magic and bring them into the fold, and the best way to identify the gift is to trace magical lines of succession. Or to create them.
Richard Hardi was a man who knew what a taste of magic could do to a person. He’d escaped from the cabal who had taught him to use his gifts and thought he could protect his sons from making the same mistakes. Neither of his children knew about the magic in their blood, and their mother had taken the secret to an untimely grave.
When Richard is murdered, Christian loses the one person who had given him understanding, patience, and unrepentant kindness. And although their father had taught them the value of family, Christian wanted no part of his older brother Jeffery’s advice regarding what to do with his future. So he became a mercenary.
The day his magic stirred awake, suddenly noblewomen wanted to hire him, thieves tried to seduce him, and fire spoke to him. It might have been exciting if he didn’t need to be worried about staying alive.
No one who knew him would accuse Christian Richardson of being the sort of person who took the easy road.
Stranded in the Moorlands in fifteenth century England, Christian must come to terms with the aftermath of his quest for vengeance. Embracing the gifts passed on by his father has put everyone he cares for in danger, and any hesitation to face the road before him could cost someone he loves their life. In no position to be choosy, he finds himself working with a secretive new ally who is more than what they seem. First, they must locate Christian’s brother, Jeffrey, and from there everyone’s safety will depend on getting the scroll his father had left them as far away as possible.
Between them and their goal is a sect of magicians with a vast network of spies bent on claiming ownership of the scroll. Some are vicious creatures that make even Christian’s assassin blood run cold, and leave him with no doubt that the Luminaries are both patient and deadly when it comes to dealing with their enemies.
Learning the reality of his father’s past shatters the idolized memories Christian kept tucked in his heart, and forces him to contemplate a soul-deep sense of betrayal. His desire for vengeance is replaced with a urgent need to protect the things that had mattered to him, even if that means confronting the shattered remnants of the life he left behind. Feeling as though there is always some secret waiting around the corner, he struggles to offer words of comfort while wishing he could receive some of his own. In the wake of such life-changing revelations, only two things ring true.
He loves Paolo with everything he has. And life would never be the same again.