Steelflower [Steelflower Chronicles, Book One]
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by Lilith Saintcrow
Description: Picking the wrong pocket can get a girl in trouble? First of the Steelflower Chronicles Thief, assassin, sellsword--Kaia Steelflower is famous. Well, mostly famous, and mostly for the wrong reasons. She's made a good life for herself, despite being kicked out of her homeland for having no magic. She's saving up for her retirement, when she can settle down, run an inn, and leave the excitement for others. Then she picks the wrong pocket, wakes up with a hangover, and gets far more than she bargained for. Now she has a huge, furry barbarian to look after, a princeling from her homeland to fend off, and an old debt to fulfill. And for some reason, the God-Emperor's assassins want to kill her. It's never easy being an elvish sellsword, and this time it just might be fatal? This book is a partial re-release.
eBook Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd., 2007
eBookwise Release Date: February 2011
31 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [475 KB]
Reading time: 300-420 min.
Try To Look Innocent
I woke from a fuzzy trance with my mead-filled head ringing and four Hain Guards seeking to separate said head from my shoulders.
In strictest point of fact, they did not seek to kill me. They sought to kill the barbarian whose pocket I had picked last night, and I dove into the fray without realizing it, still half-asleep. The case could further be made that things were a general mess because of one small reflexive action.
I am not my usual charming self with my head pounding like Baiiar drums and my mouth full of foul Kshanti camel-piss, and I was a bit more enthusiastic than twas necessary. As I wiped my dotanii, after the last Hain lay flopping and gasping on the floor, I finally had a chance to look about me.
I had killed three of them, two with short thrusts and one with the piri-splitter cut, carving half his face off. He drowned in his own blood.
The tavern's commonroom was full of patrons who had either slept through the fray or pretended to. Nevertheless, there was a wide space around the table I had used--leaping atop it to get some altitude, while smashing a Hain on the head with a crockery tankard--and I remembered a general scurry from the vicinity as soon as my eyes opened and my sword cleared its sheath. It says something for my reputation that I am allowed to sleep in a tavern commonroom unmolested--and without my pocket being picked.
I dropped down to the rough, splintered floor of the commonroom, my dotanii sliding back into its sheath. I considered spitting as I strode for the door, decided against it. My mouth tasted foul, but spitting here might start another fight.
"Off so soon?" A low male voice with a strange guttural accent, behind me. My mind automatically catalogued it--barbarian.