Mazarkis Williams: Tower and Knife Trilogy

Mazarkis Williams 2 KnifeSwornHofintriger, magisk pest og mindcontrol
Lyder det godt? Det synes jeg. Særligt når man tilsætter en aldrende snigmorder, end ung, smuk og viljestærk kvinde samt en konge, der kæmper for at overleve ovenstående magiske pest, mens han samtidig beordrer de af sine undersåtter, der lider af samme sygdom, henrettet. Omtalte ingredienser findes i Mazarkis Williams’ Tower and Knife trilogi, hvoraf de to første bind, The Emperors Knife og Knifesworn indtil videre er udkommet. Mazarkis Williams debuterede i 2011 med The Emperors Knife, der har fået gode anmeldelser på bl.a. denne fantasy blog.

Grundlæggende er der tale om en fantasy historie sat i en orientalsk inspireret verden a la Tusind og en nat, og selvom ovenstående blog nævner nogle svagheder i forhold til klicheer i fortællingen, lyder det grundlæggende som om, at Mazarkis Williams har fået skruet en spændende historie sammen. Jeg har i hvert fald tænkt mig at bestille begge de to første bind hjem og konstatere ved selvsyn hvad det er for noget fantasy, der er tale om. Jeg har ikke lige kunnet finde ud af, om Mazarkis Williams (der vist er et synonym) er mand eller kvinde, men under alle omstændigheder kan man følge ham eller hende på Twitter (hvilket jeg har gjort).

Mazarkis Williams’ egne ord om Tower and Knife trilogien

There is a cancer at the heart of the mighty Cerani Empire: a plague that attacks young and old, rich and poor alike, marking each victim with a fragment of a greater pattern. Anyone showing the marks is put to death. That is Emperor Beyon’s law …

But now the pattern is reaching closer to the palace than ever before. In a hidden room, a forgotten prince has grown from child to man, and as the empire sickens, Sarmin, the emperor’s only surviving brother, is remembered. He awaits the bride his mother has chosen: a chieftain’s daughter from the northern plains. Mesema travels from her homeland, an offering for the empire’s favour. She is a Windreader, used to riding free across the grasslands, not posing and primping in rare silks. She finds the Imperial Court’s protocols stifling, but she doesn’t take long to realise the politicking and intrigues are not a game, but deadly earnest.

Eyul is burdened both by years and by the horrors he has carried out in service to the throne. At his emperor’s command he bears the emperor’s Knife to the desert in search of a cure for the pattern-markings. As long-planned conspiracies boil over into open violence and rebellion, the enemy moves toward victory. Now only three people stand in his way: a lost prince, a world-weary killer, and a young girl from the steppes who once saw a path through a pattern, among the waving grasses.

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