Read The Office of Shadow Online

Authors: Matthew Sturges

Tags: #General, #Fiction, #Epic, #Fantasy, #Fantasy fiction, #Traitors, #Prisoners

The Office of Shadow

This book is dedicated to

MY PMTni-)

reat thanks are due, as always, to the boys of Clockwork Storybook: Bill
Willingham, Chris Roberson, Mark Finn, and Bill Williams, for providing encouragement and feedback during the writing of this book.

As with Midwinter, a special debt of gratitude is owed to Bill Willingham, who again graciously allowed me to borrow a couple of concepts that
he included in his (as yet!) unfinished novel Just Another Ranker, back in the
days when we all wrote stories set in the same worlds. If he ever asks for them
back, I'll be in dire straits.

Thanks to Dave Justus, who worked tirelessly to comment upon and
proof the original manuscript, and to my editor at Pyr, Lou Anders, who is
basically awesome.

Thanks to Margaret and Kevin for watching the girls that time.

Thanks to Samantha, Amy, Jenn, Terrie, Lynn, Emma, Jacob, Abby,
Patti, Nate, Jeremy, James, Alison, and Yvonne for keeping me fueled up
throughout.

And especially, thanks to my wife, Stacy, and my daughters, Millie and
Mercy, for allowing me to essentially abandon them for two months while I
finished.

Pibil.

Uvenra slept among the ash at Belekh; the daughter of
Uvenchaud was dead by the hand of Uvenchaud and
slept among the ash. For a week and a day the king wept.
Then Uvenchaud took his chariot and drove it to Prythme, where the gods dwelled.To confront the gods he
went there. He shook his sword at the gate; he shook his
shield at the gate. Uvenchaud struck the earth with his
sword and the earth trembled. The gate opened. At
Uvenchaud's threat did it move upon its mighty hinge.

Uvenchaud went into the courtyard at Prythme. In
the courtyard Uvenchaud called out. "I am Uvenchaud,
whose fist is iron, who united the wild Fae clans; the Fae
clans have submitted to my will. As the ruler of them I
demand parley."

Uvenchaud stood in the courtyard for a week and a
day. For another week and for another day he stood and
there was no answer. Uvenchaud struck the earth again
with his sword and called out. One of the gods came.The
bearded god Althoin, god of Wisdom whose Gift is
Insight, came to match his wits against Uvenchaud.

"Why do you come here?" said wise Althoin. "Why
does Uvenchaud come here to disturb the thoughts of
the gods?"

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