When the Gods Slept [Timura Trilogy Book 1]
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by Allan George Cole
Description: King of Kings, Lord over Men and Demons Alike: Only one ruler had ever held that title, and now Iraj Protarus, an orphaned prince exiled to a small village high in the Valley of the Clouds, dreamed of being the next great conqueror. The key to his destiny would be Safar Timura, a youth with an awesome gift for sorcery, whose visions foretold Iraj's rise to power. And in those visions, Safar stood at Iraj's side, his soul-blasting spells enabling his friend to attain his dreams. But Safar had other visions with darker portents, and his spellbound knowledge raised secrets better left buried. The road the two men followed would be rich in titles and fortunes, but it would also be rich in death and disaster, in intrigue--and in unforgivable betrayal ...
eBook Publisher: Wildside Press/Wildside Press, 1998
eBookwise Release Date: February 2005
31 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [657 KB]
Reading time: 439-615 min.
Part One When The Gods Slept PROLOGUE STRANGER ON A HILL
The villagers fear him.
They draw lots each day to see who must fill his beggar's bowl.
The loser creeps up the hill trembling and clutching a talisman. The stranger knows they fear the evil eye so he doesn't look when the approach is made. He makes no sound or movement until the deed is done and the villager flees as if there were a dervish at his heels.
The villagers think the stranger is a mad priest and curse the day he came to hide in these hills.
He's not mad and he is no priest. But he lets them believe what they like. If his true identity were revealed the village treasury would soon be bursting with gold. For the stranger is a fugitive from the King. Safar Timura, who was once Grand Wazier to King Protarus, is hunted by him now.
They were blood oath brothers. Safar sat by his friend's throne and gave him counsel and exorcised the devils troubling his sleep. Several times he saved the King's life. He was rewarded with lands and palaces and jewels and more honors than most men have ever dreamed.
When the history of King Protarus is written they'll say it was Lord Timura who betrayed him. They'll say Safar gambled and lost all for love.
To the first he pleads innocent. It's Safar's view it was the King who betrayed him. As for the second he admits guilt. And it is for that crime Protarus wants his head. But for the King's offense Safar demands more.
And he will have his payment--if the king doesn't catch him first.
Safar can see his enemy's city from his lonely post. At night, under the swirling Demon Moon, he can see the lights of Zanzair blur the stars. See the smoke from the foundries and kitchens rise up each morning to haze the day. And he can see the King's Grand Palace quite clearly, its windows a rosy glow in the dawn.
He models the palace in clay of the purest white--skillfully forming the towers between wet palms, etching the designs on the parapets with his silver witch's knife. He whispers potter's spells as he shapes the domes and pillars. Breathing his hate into the clay.
At night he wraps the model in wet leaves and sets it aside to await the new day. He empties the beggar's bowl, then wraps himself against the chill in a black mourning cloak. At dawn he begins anew.
When the palace is done and the great spell is cast Safar Timura's revenge will be complete.
Then he'll depart that lonely hill. He'll flee across deserts and grasslands and wide rocky plains to the mountains of his birth.
Where the snowy passes carry the high caravans to clear horizons.
The place he should never have left.
The place where this tale begins.