To the North of the Holy Roman Empire lie the pagan Norse-lands. It is here that Manfred, Prince of Brittany, and his Icelandic bodyguard, Erik, must venture in the dead of winter. To a rugged land of trolls and ice, to find a Pagan relic, something so magical that should not be possible to touch it, let alone steal it. Yet, it is gone. Unless it is recovered before Yuletide, a new Viking age will be born. King Vortenbras will lead his berserks in an orgy of rapine, looting and destruction across the Empire's unguarded flank.Princess Signy is the King's older stepsister. Everyone believes her to be the thief, a witch and murderess. Everyone but Cair, her stable-thrall, an ocean-plucked man with a hidden past. Cair doesn't believe in witches or magic, let alone that Signy could steal and murder. And if he has to drag the foremost knight of the age and his bodyguard kicking and screaming through the entire Norse underworld to prove it, he'll do it. No kobold, dwarf or troll is going to stop him or his scepticism. Not the wild hunt. Not even a grendel. He doesn't believe in this superstitious rubbish. He's a man of science, and he's used that to fake his way into being feared as magic-worker. But for Signy, he'll be all of mankind's witches. He'll have to be. Because that's what it'll take to defeat the dark magics massed against her. A tale of intrigue, murder, love and magic set in the alternate history world SHADOW OF LION and THIS ROUGH MAGIC. About the Author: Dave Freer is an Ichthyologist turned author because he'd heard that the spelling requirements were simpler. They lied about that. He lives in a remote part of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, with his wife and chief proof-reader, Barbara, four dogs and four cats, two sons (Paddy and James) and just at the moment no shrews, birds, bats or any other rescued wildlife. He does his best to blame his extraordinary spelling on an Old English Sheepdog nose, or the cat/s on his lap. It has nothing to do with falling out of pear trees onto his head or spending too long underwater freediving for spiny lobster. His first book — The Forlorn (Baen) came out in 1999. Since then he has co-authored with Eric Flint (Rats, Bats and Vats, Pyramid Scheme, and The Rat, Bat and the Ugly) and, with Mercedes Lackey and Eric Flint (Shadow of the Lion, This Rough Magic, Wizard of Karres) as well writing as various shorter works. Besides working as a Fisheries Scientist for the Western Cape shark fishery, running a couple of fish farms, he has worked as a commercial diver, and as a relief chef at several luxury game lodges. Yes: he can both cook and change diapers. (No man ever really gets tired of danger sports.) He spent two years as a conscripted soldier along the way, so he can iron too. His interests are rock climbing (he's still good at it), diving, fly-fishing (he's still bad at it), fly-tying, wine-tasting and the preparation of food, especially by traditional means - smoking and salting, all the good unhealthy things.
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