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Shadow Hunt [Shadow Series Book 2] [MultiFormat]
eBook by Anne Logston

eBook Category: Fantasy
eBook Description: She's a master thief as elusive as her name whose dagger is as sharp as her eyes and wits. Where there's a rich merchant to rob, good food and wine to be had, or a lusty fellow to kiss ... there's Shadow. What do the Guild of Thieves, the deadliest assassin in Allanmere, a long-vanished mage, a treacherous swamp, and a gem missing from a temple have in common? Shadow, of course. When Shadow is accused of a theft of guild-wrecking proportions, she forms an unlikely alliance with the strange immortal creature known only as Blade to find out who has framed her and the Guild of Thieves for the theft--and why. Deadly Companion! When shadow has to recover a stolen jewel from the wizard Baloran, her journey is as perilous as her destination. For only Blade can guide Shadow to the sorcerer's lair ... and Blade is an assassin who takes a life as easily as she takes a breath. Shadow's score with Baloran can end only in destruction. But in the final battle, will Blade be at Shadow's side--or in her way?

eBook Publisher: Mundania Press LLC/Mundania Press LLC, Published: 1992, 2006
Fictionwise Release Date: December 2006


76 Reader Ratings:
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"Shadow is bright, cheerful, and charming, hotly spiced with magic and intrigue ... a lass who'll steal your heart and your wallet with equal verve."--Simon R. Green, author of Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves

"A rollicking good adventure!"--Science Fiction Review

"A highly entertaining fantasy ... with considerable humor. Logston has a definite knack with the elements that make medieval fantasies so popular."--LOCUS Magazine


Prologue

The room was dim, lit by scented lamps. The air was redolent with smells: aged wood, expensive oils and incense, fear. Most of the smells emanated from the fat merchant who cowered upon the cushions.

"How--how did you pass my guards?" he whispered, his heavily jeweled hands twisting together.

She shrugged slightly.

"As I passed Rivero's guards. So many guards, Merchant Tomor. So many more than when we spoke last. If I were the suspicious sort, I would imagine you wished to keep me out. And that would be most ungrateful of you, would it not? Most ungrateful." Her slender, black-gloved hands rested, poised, on her thighs as she crouched just inside the doorway.

Tomor's curiosity overcame, for a moment, his nervousness.

"It's done, then?"

The jet eyes never wavered.

"You doubted? It is done, as you wished. Your competitor is dead. It will not be linked to you. He did not deserve what I did to him."

Despite his nervousness, Tomor barked with harsh laughter.

"That troubles you, a paid killer?"

Chin-length, straight black hair shook slightly with her head.

"It does not trouble me. Do you bait me, Merchant Tomor? It would be unwise of you to do that."

She was all in black leather from chin to toe, and lamplight was swallowed, unreflected, in the darkness of her eyes.

"No. No," Tumor said hurriedly. Then he paused. "Did you torture him?"

The barest hint of a smile touched her pale lips.

"No. It was quick, at least." Her eyes were cold. "You stall, Merchant Tomor. I have come for my payment."

Tomor shivered, his hand clenching around the small, black mark in his palm.

"I've paid your hellish price already."

Her head tilted slightly.

"Need I remind you of the rest of our bargain, Merchant Tomor? I was promised ten thousand Suns in gems when the task was completed."

"You've already been paid more than enough for such a task," Tomor shuddered.

Amusement tinged her voice.

"How typical of you, Merchant Tomor, that you would not balk at giving a part of your life, but a part of your purse is held so dear."

Tomor visibly mustered his courage.

"You have no proof of our agreement, no contract."

"What use is a contract to me?" Her voice was still smooth, but a hint of steel had entered into it. "I am no paid knife of the Aconite Circle. Contracts are for those bargains to be enforced by others, not for bargains whispered in dark rooms. Those bargains I must enforce myself, as I have done, as I will do. Will you pay? Take care, Merchant Tomor. You are less safe than you think. Will you pay?"

Tomor's eyes narrowed.

"You dare threaten me in my own house?" he sneered. "You can't touch me. One word and my guards will be upon you. Eyes watch us even now. You can't threaten me out of my money--''

Even before the last word left his lips, she was at his side, knife at his throat. He trembled. He had not seen her move.

Her voice was cold, caressing.

"No, Merchant Tomor, nor will you threaten me out of mine. There were eyes upon you, and guards at your door, but now they sleep past all waking." She briefly glanced at the steel blade of the knife at his throat.

"No. This time, by my own choice."

The knife poised, her eyes never leaving Tomor's, her left hand went to the sheath at her hip. It drew a dagger blacker than night, shining darkly in the lamplight. Its tip replaced the other at Tomor's throat, just under his chin.

Tomor was shaking violently, perspiration dripping from his forehead to the cushions.

"No. I'll pay. I'll pay."

She smiled.

"Yes, Merchant Tomor. You will pay."

Tomor had no time to scream as the black dagger thrust upward into his brain.

She who called herself Blade withdrew the dagger, wiping it fastidiously on the cushion, then laying it on the floor. It shimmered, vanished.

A tall man, hairless, his naked skin blacker than night, stood beside Blade on the cushions.

"A fine gift," he said. "I really must thank you. Much more tasty than the soul of that Rivero fellow. He hardly had time to feel fear."

He reached into the cushions, drew out a small silk bag.

"And he had your payment ready, all along."

Blade took the pouch and tucked it into her sash. She picked up the black dagger from the floor of the room where she now stood alone, and sheathed it.

Her steps in the hallway, in the entry, on the street, were as silent as shadows in the moonlight.


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