Veil of the Deserters is the second book of Bloodsounder's Arc, which picks up as Captain Braylar Killcoin and his army continue to sow chaos among the political elite of Alespell. Braylar is still poisoned by the memories of those slain by his unholy flail, Bloodsounder, and attempts to counter this sickness have proven ineffectual. The Syldoonian Emperor Cynead has solidified his power base in unprecedented ways and demands loyalty from all operatives. Braylar and company are recalled to the capital to swear fealty, and the captain must decide if he can trust his sister, Soffjian, with the secret that is killing him. She has powerful memory magics that might be able to save him from Bloodsounder's effects, but she has political allegiances that are not his own. Arki and others in the company try to get Soffjian and Braylar to trust one another, but politics in the capital prove to be far more complicated and dangerous than even Killcoin could predict. Deposed emperor Thumaar plots to remove the repressive Cynead, and Braylar and his sister lie at the heart of his plans. The distance between "favored shadow agent of the emperor" and "exiled traitor" is an unsurprisingly short road. But it is a road filled with blind twists and unexpected turns. Before the journey is over, Arki will chronicle the true intentions of Emperor Cynead and Soffjian. And old enemies in Alespell may prove to be surprising allies in a conflict no one could have foreseen. Skyhorse Publishing, under our Night Shade and Talos imprints, is proud to publish a broad range of titles for readers interested in science fiction (space opera, time travel, hard SF, alien invasion, near-future dystopia), fantasy (grimdark, sword and sorcery, contemporary urban fantasy, steampunk, alternative history), and horror (zombies, vampires, and the occult and supernatural), and much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller, a national bestseller, or a Hugo or Nebula award-winner, we are committed to publishing quality books from a diverse group of authors.
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