Emperor Mage (The Immortals, Book 3)
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Sent to Carthak as part of the Tortallan peace delegation, Daine finds herself in the middle of a sticky political situation. She doesn't like the Carthaki practice of keeping slaves, but it's not her place to say anything -- she's just there to heal the emperor's birds. It's extremely frustrating! What's more, her power has grown in a mysterious way.
As the peace talks stall, Daine puzzles over Carthak's two-faced Emperor Ozorne. How can he be so caring with his birds and so cruel to his people? Daine is sure he's planning something. Daine must fight the powerful Emperor Mage, knowing that the safety and peace of the realm depend on stopping Ozorne's power-hungry schemes.
suitable for meeting the emperor’s welcoming party. They wouldn’t see the emperor himself until that night—the palace lay three hours’ sail upriver—but it was still important to make a good impression on those sent to welcome them. First came the gray silk shirt with bloused sleeves. Carefully she tucked her claw underneath, then slid into blue linen breeches. She checked the mirror to fasten silver buttons that closed the embroidered neck band high on her throat. Over all this splendor (as she
guest wing, even with her hands over her ears, she thought the screams followed her. Numair said nothing when she came late to breakfast, picking at his food as she told the others she’d paid a predawn visit to the aviary and gotten lost coming back. If anyone noticed that she barely ate, or that she trembled so hard that she spilled her juice, they made no comment. Afterward, as they were preparing to go, Numair said, “Daine, you asked to speak to me alone. Let’s go to my room.” Alanna heard.
out, after a time.” She wanted to add that she wasn’t sure if the vulture had run down, since the old woman had taken him, but thought the better of it at the last minute. She didn’t want to start coughing again. “You should try this in the Hall of Bones,” the older man remarked, turning the skeleton’s head from a necklace he wore under his shirt. “Stop that. If you bite it, you’ll hurt yourself. Although I suppose it would be a bit inconvenient if any of the dinosaurs were to walk away.”
“Stormwings,” Daine muttered. “Anything they do, they have to be disgusting first.” “How else may we act, mortal?” demanded Hebakh, burning eyes fixed on Daine. “Our nature is what it is, don’t you see? Our very immortality makes us immune to change.” “Mortal? No, no!” The protest came from Tano, the Banjiku who had done most of the talking when Daine first met him and his people. “She is a god, or the daughter of a god whose name she does not know. She is no mortal.” “Nonsense,” scoffed
talking to herself. He could tell she was worried, but not about what. Then a section of the wall that was farthest from him swung open with a sound. Zek/Daine leaped from the bed, and hid underneath. Kitten whirled, turning orange with fright, as the Emperor Mage came in, a solid black crystal in his hand. He lobbed it gently at the dragon. It shattered on the floor without a sound, filling the air with smoke. When Zek could see Kitten once more, she was frozen in place, unmoving. Ozorne knelt