Blood of the Prophet By Kat Ross Summary
Kat Ross is back with a very addictive sequel in the form of Blood of the Prophet…Fast-paced, exciting, and endlessly well written, A crazy, intense ride of a story…Ross masterfully pens a fantastical series with a flawed but brave heroine and a ragtag group of heroes that sometimes skirt the line, but always end up finding the right avenue.
The Prophet Zarathustra has been called many things. Now he spends his time drawing pictures of weird-looking goats. That’s what happens when you’ve been stuck in a prison cell for two hundred years. But the man who might be mad, and is definitely supposed to be dead, has suddenly become very valuable again.
It’s only been a few weeks since Nazafareen escaped the King’s dungeons with her daēva, Darius. She hoped never to set foot in the empire again, but the search for the Prophet has led them to the ancient city of Karnopolis. They have to find him before Alexander of Macydon burns Persepolae, and Darius’s mother with it. But they’re not the only ones looking.
The necromancer Balthazar has his own plans for the Prophet, and so does the sinister spymaster of the Numerators. As Nazafareen is drawn into a dangerous game of cat and mouse, her newfound powers take a decidedly dark turn. Only the Prophet understands the secret of her gift, but the price of that knowledge may turn out to be more than Nazafareen is willing to pay.
About the Author
Kat Ross worked as a journalist at the United Nations for ten years before happily falling back into what she likes best: making stuff up. She’s the author of the new Nightmarked epic/urban fantasy series, the western steampunk Lingua Magika trilogy, the Fourth Element (The Midnight Sea, Blood of the Prophet, Queen of Chaos) and Fourth Talisman historical fantasy series, the Gaslamp Gothic paranormal mysteries, and the dystopian thriller Some Fine Day. She loves myths, monsters, and doomsday scenarios.
The Fourth Element (3 book series)
Blood of the Prophet By Kat Ross Introduction
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
“We are here.”
Shuffling feet paused before an iron-bound door. A single torch cast a pool of wavering light on rough stone walls stained black with mildew. The torch had been soaked in an aromatic resin called galbanum which, when first lit, would give off a bitter and peculiar scent. After it burned for a few minutes, however, the resin mellowed to something reminiscent of green apples or evergreens. But even the sweet smoke failed to mask the air in the tunnel, which had a dank, unpleasant quality, as though it had absorbed the darkness pressing in from all sides.
The Numerator holding the torch raised it to examine the door more closely, then gave a satisfied nod. His face was all hard planes and angles, yet none of them seemed to fit quite right, like the walls of a shoddily built house. Thinning brown hair swept back from a high, pale forehead.
“Are you certain?” asked the second man. “This section has been bricked up for decades.”
“I am certain.” An elegant finger traced the hinges. “See? There are no signs of rust. Check the map yourself, Hierarch. This is the place.”
The honeycomb of tunnels beneath the temple district of Karnopolis had been used for many things over the last thousand years. When invaders came to loot and burn, as they often did in the city’s early days, the magi would hide there until it was safe to come out. Later, the tunnels had served as wine cellars, smugglers’ dens, and, naturally, dungeons.
But peace had now reigned for more than two centuries. Most of the tunnels had fallen into disuse, and few remembered they even existed. Only one prisoner remained. He had been there a very long time. In fact, he should have died decades ago and no one knew for certain why he hadn’t, although they had their suspicions. The prisoner was both feared and pitied, a relic from the war left to quietly gather dust in the darkness. When they thought of him at all, it was mainly to wonder when he would die and spare them the indignity of his upkeep.
The two Numerators who stood outside his cell were the first people other than his jailers to come see him in recent memory. Food and water arrived twice a day through a slot in the heavy oak door, and a bucket of waste was removed, but the prisoner had not spoken in a generation except to request certain harmless items, such as pens and vellum, which no one objected to.
Until recently, only the King and a handful of magi knew he still lived. He had been one of them once, so they refrained from killing him outright. That might be considered a sin in the eyes of the Holy Father. The prisoner also had certain arcane knowledge he refused to share, so it was only prudent to keep him around in case they needed it someday.
That day had now arrived.
“Is this truly necessary?” the older Numerator demanded. He was the head of their order and a hard man, but the thought of seeing the prisoner made his voice quaver.
“If we are to take charge of him, it would be wise to assess his condition first,” replied the much younger man, whose name was Araxa.
“I know that,” snapped the Hierarch. “But do you not find it strange he still lives?” He made the sign of the flame, touching forehead, lips and heart. “There is some dark magic at work here.”
“It must be related to the cuff he wears,” Araxa said. “They have assured me it keeps him docile. If he could have broken free, he would have done it years ago. I do not deny he is dangerous. That is why we must take him from the magi before their incompetence causes yet another disaster.”
The Hierarch nodded his grey head. “It is a blessing that the King has charged us with purging the magi of traitors. They’ve probably been infested for years.”
The Numerators of Karnopolis despised the magi, and vice versa. As the Hierarch’s spymaster, Araxa had been given the task of leading this purge. One of his first acts was to demand the transfer of the prisoner to the Numerators’ custody. He had been shocked to discover the old man still lived, both because it shouldn’t be possible and because Araxa traded in secrets. He had informants in the magi, but none had ever breathed a hint of this. It was only after two of their own Purified had brazenly stolen the holy fire that the King revealed the truth. The Prophet Zarathustra had been—quite literally—under their noses for the last two hundred years.
“By the time I am finished, the magi will be grateful if we allow them to crawl back to their flyspeck villages,” Araxa said. “Their power will be broken, and the Numerators will be given full control over the daēvas as well. Then we can dispose of them as we see fit.”
The Hierarch frowned a little at this. “But we need the daēvas to fight for us.”
“Only to defeat the Druj once and for all. Let them serve their purpose and return to hell, where they belong.” He gave a sly, reptilian smile. “They may heal quickly, but they are not immune to a knife in the heart. Or fire.”
“Perhaps.” The Hierarch waved a blue-veined hand. “Are there no guards?”
“Not in a hundred years. They say he has never attempted to escape. No one even remembers these tunnels exist, Your Excellency. And a man could stumble around in the dark for weeks without finding a way out.”
“It is still a foolish risk.”
“As you say. In any event, it will soon be a moot point. I agree he cannot be left down here. Not with devil-worshipping heretics running loose, and traitors amongst those who are supposed to be his keepers.”
The Hierarch cleared his throat with a wet harrumph. “Let’s get this over with. Open it.”
Araxa produced a crude bronze key and turned it in the lock. He thrust his lantern through the door first, expecting darkness, but the chamber beyond was filled with candlelight. A straw mattress had been pushed against one stone wall. The Hierarch wrinkled his nose at the smell wafting through the doorway, stale and waxy and animal.
He clutched his pristine white robes and peered over Araxa’s shoulder with morbid curiosity. What state would the prisoner be in after two hundred years in a windowless cell? He had been offered chances to repent, to return to the fold. But Zarathustra was a stubborn man. And apparently a mad one.
Araxa drew in a sharp breath at the scene before him.
“It’s a wonder he hasn’t burned to death,” he said. “The magi truly are fools to have indulged him so.”
Stacks of vellum towered from floor to vaulted ceiling, many of them mere inches away from wavering candles. One wall appeared to be devoted to charts of the heavens, drawn from memory. Another was covered with incomprehensible diagrams, while the stretch nearest the door consisted of sketches of goats, some with disturbingly human eyes. There was no rhyme or reason to it that Araxa could discern. It was the cell of a lunatic.
He knew the old man had been considered a genius in his time, an inventor and alchemist. Ironically enough, he had even designed the gold cuff trapping him in this place.
“I’ve run out of ink,” a tremulous voice said. “You promised me ink two months ago. Have you brought it?”
The Numerators exchanged a look. “I’ll see that it’s done,” Araxa said soothingly, with no intention of doing so.
The Prophet Zarathustra, believed by all the world to be dead, sucked his rotten teeth and turned back to the vellum between his knees. One filthy, ragged fingernail scraped its surface as he traced intricate symbols on it, long grey hair hanging in cobwebs across his face. Within moments, he seemed to have forgotten anyone else was there.
“You see?” Araxa said. “He’ll give us no trouble.”
“Make the arrangements,” the Hierarch said. “And burn these papers once he’s gone. They’re nonsense, but they could lead to questions we don’t wish answered. How many know of his existence?”
“The High Magus of Karnopolis, of course. The King and his closest advisors. A handful of magi who see to his daily needs.”
“Put the last ones on your list to be questioned,” the Hierarch said. “I wouldn’t be surprised if they had ties to the so-called Followers.”
“They are already on it,” Araxa said. “At the top.”
“Good.” The Hierarch took a last look at the prisoner, shook his head in disgust, and exited the cell, Araxa at his heels. The iron-bound door was once again locked. Araxa lifted the torch and they retraced their steps through the darkness. Altogether, the spymaster was pleased with the situation. He had worried the Hierarch was too old and weak-minded to do what needed to be done, but that no longer mattered, since he had ceded authority over the entire affair to Araxa.
“Would you join me for a cup of wine in my study?” the Hierarch asked as they reached the final passage leading out of the labyrinth. “It does ease my gout.”
Araxa smiled. Thoughts of poison danced in his head, but the time was not yet right.
“I’d be delighted to, Your Excellency,” he said.
I used to think the stars were angels. A great army waiting for the last battle against the Undead Druj. The light shone from their swords, which were made of silver and inlaid with precious stones. When the time came to return to Earth and pass judgment on the wicked, this celestial horde would be led by the Holy Father himself, riding a stallion that breathed cold blue fire.
Really, it made perfect sense.
Then my daēva, Darius, told me the stars were actually suns, only very far away. That they were, in fact, flaming orbs of vast magnitude. This flew in the face of all reason. Next he would claim the Earth was a sphere as well.
But as I lay on my back, listening to the waves lap at the ship’s hull and staring up at the dome of the night sky, I knew he was right. I could sense their ferocious energy myself now. It made me uneasy. I dreamt of fire often these days. The dreams always ended with my daēva dead, his blood boiled in his veins, and me untouched.
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Blood of the Prophet PDF
|Posted on||August 26, 2016|
|Page Count||342 pages|
Blood of the Prophet By Kat Ross PDF Free Download - Epicpdf
Kat Ross is back with a very addictive sequel in the form of Blood of the Prophet...Fast-paced, exciting, and endlessly well written, A crazy, intense ride of a story...Ross masterfully pens a fantastical series with a flawed but brave heroine and a ragtag group of heroes that sometimes skirt the line, but always end up finding the right avenue.
Author: Kat Ross