Ink and Steel: A Novel of the Promethean Age

By Elizabeth Bear

On the heels of Hell and Earth

equipment Marley, playwright and undercover agent within the provider of Queen Elizabeth, has been murdered. His precise present to Her Majesty was once his method with phrases, crafting performs infused with a sophisticated magic that maintained her rule. He played this job on behalf of the Prometheus membership, a mystery society of nobles engaged in conflict opposed to sorcerers made up our minds to ruin England. Assuming Marley’s position is William Shakespeare— yet he's not able to create the magic had to carry the Queen’s enemies at bay.

Resurrected by way of appeal in Faerie, Marley is England’s in basic terms desire. yet earlier than he may help Will within the artwork of magic, he needs to discover the traitor one of the Prometheans chargeable for his demise…

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It wouldn’t have taken a lot to ship him to his knees, actual, yet Robin used to be there, and made the stumble glance a genuflection. equipment didn’t lookup, however the photo of the Queen’s golden hair knotted in braided ropes stayed with him, and the haunting perfection of eyes that stuck the sunshine and glimmered one second eco-friendly, one second violet, like orient jade. that almost all ideal creature below heaven, he inspiration, the moon complete within the fingers of stressed evening. She moved an arm, via the sound of it. Stretched in leonine grace. Unfeeling of the challenging, chilly stone he knelt on, he imagined the crimson silk of her mantle drifting from a wrist as white and delicate as a willow department. He imagined the ideal light masks of her face marked with a rosebud smile, and shivered deep in his soul. Her voice was once furred like catkins, smooth because the wind brushing his hair, and he heard a rustle of slick textile and a jingle of bells, as though she stood, or stretched, or danced a step and stopped. His breath iced over in his stomach while she acknowledged his identify. She’s only a wench, he idea desperately. She’s ensorcelled me. this is often sorcery. Glamourie. “Gentle Christofer. ” one other whisper of bells. Robin acquired up and shuffled apart. He didn’t dare increase his eyes. “You grace our courtroom together with your presence. we've seen your paintings. It pleases us, and we all know of your different tasks earlier than your Queen, and Gloriana pleases us to boot. ” someplace, he chanced on a voice, even though it didn’t sound like his personal. “You are gracious, Your Majesty. ” “Look upon us,” she stated, and his chin lifted with out his unsleeping will. i'm bewitched, he notion, after which discovered how shut she had by some means drifted, silent as a thistledown. She reached out with tender fingertips, laced them via his hair, and traced the description of his ear as though exploring a flower petal. He whimpered low in his throat, an fearful whine, and gritted his tooth as a low, amused snigger swept the room. They knew what she was once doing to him. His breath got here like a runner’s round the fireplace in his chest, yet he controlled to respond to in friendly tones. “Yes, Your Highness. ” Like velvet stroked alongside his backbone, like a hand within the hole of his again, her voice stored on. “I’d furnish you a spot in my courtroom, grasp Poet. Your previous lifestyles is misplaced to you. Will you play for my excitement, sir? ” a bit ripple of enjoyment coloured her tone at her personal double that means. “I’m sworn to another—” he started. the toughest phrases he might think conversing then, however the Mebd lower him brief with a wave of her lily-white hand. Pearls and diamonds slid approximately her wrist whilst she moved, and emeralds and amethysts sparkled on her palms. “Hath been our royal excitement to help our sovereign sister Elizabeth in upkeep of her realm, no matter if she wits it or no longer. She’ll now not grudge us your carrier, grasp Poet—” “Sir Poet. ” A voice just like the yowl of a cat after the Mebd’s silken perfection. A voice from his blind part. equipment became his head. Morgan stood beside him and some steps again, her palms unfastened via her aspects as she dropped a short curtsey to the Queen.

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