Monday, February 22, 2016

Spirit of the Sword: Faith and Virtue (The First Sword Chronicles, Book 2) by Frances Smith

Release date: February 12, 2016
Subgenre: Epic fantasy, historical fantasy

About Spirit of the Sword: Faith and Virtue:


Michael has survived his battle with the Voice of Corona, and is determined to walk the path of service to the immortal Empress Aegea. But opposing him is none other than his own beloved brother, Felix, who was thought dead but is the chief servant to Michael’s enemy, Quirian.

Meanwhile, the quarrels between the Empire's feuding factions continue as Miranda finds herself increasingly entangled in the treacherous currents of Imperial politics. As plots multiply, Miranda finds herself increasingly unsure of her loyalties to anyone but her lover Octavia and her dear friend, Empress Portia. But as the Empire hurtles towards civil war the day approaches when she will have to choose a side once and for all.

The roads of Michael, Felix and Miranda entwine in Eternal Pantheia, the Empire’s capital, where betrayals and revelations try their resolve. As the city burns around them the three divided siblings must reunite and put their faith in one another, for only together can they save the Empire, or let the fires of its hubris consume the nation. 

This is the sequel to Spirit of the Sword: Pride and Fury



"I see," Miranda growled, seeing nothing. "Thank you for that enlightening piece of information, my lord. Good day." She turned away, and began to walk towards Metella and Felix, hoping that Octavia had had better luck with them.
Octavia met her halfway, her face pale.
"Did you find anything out?"
"It's more than just Felix and Metella," Octavia said. "Aelia, Danaus, Telamon...I think all of the Lost are in the palace."
"All of them?" Miranda said. "That can't be right? Why?"
"I don't know, they wouldn't tell me," Octavia said. "I think...I'm not one of them any more, and they don't trust me because they know that I'm with you. But...Felix wouldn't meet my eyes and Metella... I know it's hard to tell with her, but I think she's upset about something. She keeps grabbing hold of her knife and then letting go of it, as though she's nervous. But I've never known anything make Metella nervous before. Miranda, something's going to happen here...I'm scared."
"So am I," Miranda confessed, feeling the ice grip the pit of her stomach. "Your sword is still in your room, isn't it?"
"Yes," Octavia said. "But I've sent for it, and for Ascanius and Julian, too."
"Good," Miranda said. She looked around the room. The press was too thick, she couldn't see Portia or Demodocus anywhere. "I need you to find Portia and her husband, and then bring them over here at once, do you understand, they have to come with you. We’re leaving, all four of us. I’ll join you in a moment.”
"Where are we going?"
"Away from here," Miranda said. "Somewhere safer than this, less exposed. The Emperor's quarters, with that heavy door. Off you go, I'll catch up."
"Why don't you come with me?"
"I need to speak to Quirian again, first," Miranda said. She watched Octavia go, and then caught Romana's eye. The former princess tilted her head quizzically, and Miranda gestured for her to join her as she went back to Quirian, who had not moved and, indeed, looked as though he had been expecting her.
"Ah, Filia, back again," he said lightly. "I had no idea our separation pained you so much."
"You lied to me," Miranda hissed. "You told me you would accept my decision!"
"Have I not accepted your decision, unpalatable as it was?"
"Then what is going on?" Miranda said. "I know something is planned for today; if you mean to go against me, if you mean to hurt Portia or her husband I will stop you. I told you I would not allow any harm to come to them."
Quirian smiled sadly. "There was a time when I swore that I would protect all my dear friends the same way. Alas, as I told you, Filia, in life we do not always get what we fondly desire."



About Frances Smith:


Frances Smith has led a rather uneventful life, which did include studying ancient and modern history at Oxford. The combination of a lifelong passion for classical history and the consumption of large numbers of fantasy novels led to the creation of the Divine Empire, with its many Greco-Roman stylings.

When not exploring fantasy worlds, Frances works as a data analyst in the Life and Pensions industry.



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