9780553591378

Havemercy

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780553591378

  • ISBN10:

    0553591371

  • Edition: Reprint
  • Format: Trade Book
  • Copyright: 2009-07-28
  • Publisher: Spectra
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Summary

With a unique and imaginative blend of epic fantasy, humor, and heroism, this debut author team crafts a riveting tale of magical mechanisms, a kingdom at war, and the four men who stand poised to defend it.

Author Biography

Danielle Bennett is from Victoria, BC, where she studied English literature at Camosun College. She has never seen a firefly, but has held many interesting jobs that merely got in the way of writing, and knows exactly how to make your decaf iced Venti unsweetened one pump mocha soy café con leche. Her parts of Havemercy were written between four A.M. openings at Starbucks. This is her first published work, but definitely not her last.

Jaida Jones is a nervous Japanese student at Barnard College, Columbia University, studying monsters in modern Japanese literature and film. She's a native New Yorker, and lives in Brooklyn with her two cartoonish cats and equally cartoonish parents. She has had poems published in Mythic Delirium, Jabberwocky and Hanging Loose Press Magazine, and a collection of poetry, "Cinquefoil," published by New Babel Books. At some point, she assumes someone is going to wake her up and tell her she's not allowed to write books about giant metal dragons. Until then: more metal dragons.


From the Hardcover edition.

Excerpts

Chapter One


Royston

That morning, I awaited my arrest in Our Lady of a Thousand Fans. I wasn't alone, but it seemed I might as well have been, for the young man in the bed next to me was asleep. He had no particular reason not to be—after all, it wasn't his future upon which fell the shadow of impending arrest—and though I found that I could not look at him, neither did I begrudge him the repose.

It was rather a curious situation in which I'd found myself. Truth be told, I'd considered myself clever enough to avoid such entanglements altogether. Yet the problem with doing foolish things was that it was quite often impossible to tell what was foolish and what wasn't until you'd swum too far out to turn back again. After that point, it was either carry on or drown.

Of course, you were hanged either way if another man stood up to accuse you of doing all manner of things you were relatively sure you hadn't.

And that was the thing about men: They could so easily change their minds, become frightened of what might happen to them, and throw you to the wolves. If you were very, very unlucky, they might even do all three.

At least—if you were more than passably wealthy—you might be able to go out in style.

I was waiting that morning for the footfalls I knew were coming. They were neither the trained, delicate rhythms of Our Lady's skilled professionals nor the uneven steps of sated patrons, but rather those that held all the surety and sharpness of a man of the law. The man who was coming for me was one who did not need to hunt his quarry because he knew very well where it would be. Though my offense was by all accounts a serious one, the way in which it must be handled would demand a touch of finesse. Most political matters did, though it was a philosophy lost on some men.
Despite my assumptions, I couldn't have said quite what I was expecting, but it certainly wasn't the Provost of the city himself, leaning in the doorframe as though he hadn't a care in the world.

There was a large mirror hanging on the wall opposite the bed—for people who liked that sort of thing, I supposed—ornately framed in dark cherrywood. So I saw the scene as it must have appeared to him: the lines forming thin and faint at the corners of my eyes, gray hairs glinting at my temples more obviously than I'd have liked in the late- morning sun. I thought ruefully of how little I deserved those marks of age, and how well I had won them, for a man just past thirty-five years of age. Next to me the young man slept on, his tanned shoulders smooth, his mouth open and vulnerable. I tilted my head, fingers measuring the dark unkempt edges of the beard creeping over my cheeks and under my chin.

I'd not had the time to shave before—and after, it had seemed like something of a trifle. After my betrayal by Erik, many things had seemed a trifle.

"Margrave Royston," said the Provost. "You're a hard man to track down."

"Not particularly," I said.

His nose wrinkled at the smell of burnt cloves that permeated the air, and I could sense how very badly he wished to tell me to stop smoking. His excellent comportment prevented him from doing so; or perhaps it was his keen attention to protocol. Nevertheless, there were those who believed the Esar had made a grievous error in letting a commoner enforce his laws. The Provost was a man of the Charlotte district, center-born and center-bred. The people liked him because he didn't put on airs, and everyone else liked him because he minded his own business—with the exception, of course, of those rare occasions when the noblesse went out of their way to do something exceedingly imprudent or alarming; and then his intervention was required.

There was a bowl carved from black stone on the nightstand, in anticipation of the possibility that the wealthy patrons of

Excerpted from Havemercy by Jaida Jones, Danielle Bennett
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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