- STAFF PICKS
- GIFTS + GIFT CARDS
- SELL BOOKS
- FIND A STORE
This item may be
Check for Availability
The Ruling Seaby Robert V. S. Redick
Synopses & Reviews
7 Teala 941
86th day from Etherhorde
(Treaty Day—six hours earlier)
“Eyes open, Neda.”
The Father had come to her alone. He held his own cup and candle, and he smiled at the girl asleep on the granite slab under the woolen shift, who obeyed him and smiled in kind and yet did not wake or stir. Her eyes when they winked open were blue; he had seen nothing like them in any other living face. A strand of weed in her hair. Dry streaks of salt water on her neck and forehead. Like his other children she had spent the night in the sea.
She was twenty-two, the man six times her age, unbent, unwearied, his years betrayed only in the whiteness of his beard and in the voice deep and traveled and kindly and mad. The girl knew that he was mad, and knew also that the day she revealed such knowledge by glance or sigh or question would be the day she died.
She knew many secret things. Until the Father woke her she would sleep like the other aspirants, but there was a disobedient flame in her that gleamed on, thought on, insensible to his orders. She wished it out. She tried to snuff it with meditation, inner exorcisms, prayers: it danced on, full of heresies and mirth. And because the Father could peer into her mind as through a frosted window it was but a matter of time before he saw it. Perhaps he saw it now, this very minute. Perhaps he was considering her fate.
She loved him. She had never loved another thus. It was not an earthly or a simple love but he could read its contours in her sleeper’s smile as he had on his children’s faces for a century.
“You dream, do you not?”
“I do,” she replied.
“And yet the dream is unsteady. You are nearer to waking than I’ve asked you to be.”
It was not a question. The girl lay watching him, asleep and not asleep. The Old Faith she had taken for her own states that life is not a struggle against death, but rather toward that authentic death inscribed at the instant of one’s birth. If he had come to kill her it meant fulfillment, the end of her work.
“You must not wake, best beloved. Turn your face to the dream. And when it surrounds you again, describe it.”
The girl’s eyes rolled, the lids half lowered, and watching her the Father trembled as he always did at the immensity of creation. She would see nothing more of the shrine about her—not the dawn light on the huddled sleepers nor the west arch open to the sea nor the quartz knife on his belt nor the pure white milk in his cup—but what endured were the territories within. Outside, fishermen were picking a trail through the sawgrass down to the shore, greeting one another in the happy lilt of Simja, this island unclaimed by any empire. Under the sheer wool the girl’s limbs began to twitch. She was not quiet in the place of the dream.
“I am in the hills,” she said.
“Your hills. Your Chereste Highlands.”
“Yes, Father. I am very near my house—my old house, before I became your daughter and was yet simple Neda of Ormael. My city is burning. It is on fire and the smoke trails out to sea.”
“Are you alone?”
“Not yet. In a moment Suthinia my birth-mother will kiss me and run. Then the gate will
The great ship "Chathrand's" mission of peace was a lie. Now Thasha Isiq and her allies must contrive a way to stop the spies and sorcerers intent on launching a worldwide war, in this high-seas epic fantasy sequel to "The Red Wolf Conspiracy."
The plans of the dark sorcerer Arunis have been thwarted--for now. But the battle for control of the gargantuan ship Chathrand, on which hinges the fate of empires, isfar from over. A small band of allies on board, bound together less by trust than by need, must scramble to fight an imperial conspiracy, while the sword-wielding Lady Thasha Isiq and the deckhand Pazel Pathkendle findthemselves unwillingly drawn in to Arunis's shadow games by unexpected secrets. Worst of all, in the belly of the Chathrand there lurks a festering horror, the product of amalevolent power determined to tear down the pillars of the world. Now, as the Chathrand sets course through the vast Ruling Sea--so large it has never been crossed in livingmemory--the fragile bonds of trust and love between the unlikely allies will be tested to the breaking point as they face unspeakable terrors, unimaginable wonders, and shattering betrayals that dwarf everythingthat has come before.
About the Author
Robert V. S. Redick is the author of The Red Wolf Conspiracy. His unpublished first novel, Conquistadors, was a finalist for the AWP/Thomas Dunne Novel Award, and his essay “Uncrossed River” won the New Millennium Writings Award for nonfiction. A former theater critic and international development researcher, he worked most recently for the antipoverty organization Oxfam. He lives in western Massachusetts.
What Our Readers Are Saying