The Exiled Blade
Tycho, ‘broken angel,’ is, like his lover Giulietta, seemingly about seventeen years old. But this mysterious hater of sunlight and drinker of blood is told, ‘Time is your playground.’ Snow freezes as it falls and, with the canals and lagoon of Venice solidly frozen, gondolas give place to wheeled traffic. Marco the Simpleton, Duke of Venice, is deemed unfit to rule. His mother, Duchess Alexa, wily and experienced in politics, is terminally sick. Tycho of the Assassini, her incomparable ‘Blade’, gives the coup-de-grace of instant death. Venice is in disarray, and treachery is the norm. The abduction of Giuletta’s infant son sends Tycho on a search through the icy wastes of war-torn lands and encounters with monstrosities of ancient wickedness and contemporary cruelties fit to make Heaven despair. At home, Marco the Simpleton throws off idiocy to become a strong, if eccentric ruler. Giulietta, now his heir to the dukedom, is courted by Frederick, bastard son of Sigismund, Holy Roman Emperor, one of Christendom’s greatest rulers.
A many-stranded story of great complexity culminates in a 60-page sustained final desperate and extraordinarily bloody battle. A novel that will repay re-reading before readers are overtaken by the next series.