Her attempt at escape, after undergoing a brutal test of Virtue, sets in motion forces beyond anyone's control Even more mysterious is the rising of Iridor, heralding a new cycle in the war of faith that will enmesh them all in a deadly battle between gods.
Editorial Reviews. From Publishers Weekly. A magnificent setting distinguishes this first of a Odalisque: Percheron Book One (Percheron Series 1) Kindle Edition. by. Odalisque: Book One of The Percheron Saga [Fiona McIntosh] on onnatinalcha.cf *FREE* shipping on of 5 stars 40 ratings. Book 1 of 3 in the Percheron Series.
Born in and raised in southern England, Fiona McIntosh spent an early childhood in the gold-mining camp of Bibiani in Ghana, where her father was working. She studied in Brighton before starting a career in PR and marketing in London. She made Australia her home in , continuing in a travel-marketing career with an ad agency, a tourism authority, and an international airline.
Fiona married her magazine-publisher husband, Ian, and they now live in Adelaide with their teenage twin sons, Will and Jack. A magnificent setting distinguishes this first of a new fantasy trilogy from McIntosh The Quickening , who imbues the city-state of Percheron with many attributes of Constantinople under the Ottoman Turks.
Joreb, the zar or ruler of Percheron, is well served by his military leader, the handsome Lazar, who fought his way to freedom from slavery. When Joreb dies an untimely death, Boaz—Joreb's year-old son by his beautiful, intelligent and ambitious first wife—becomes zar. But not even Lazar or Pez, a dwarf jester whom nearly everyone thinks is mad, can shield young Boaz from the cruel necessities of ruling Percheron.
McIntosh, who doesn't stint on depicting the brutality of slaughter, includes a disturbing castration scene. Meanwhile, gods and goddesses feud, a new odalisque joins the harem, and a neighboring kingdom threatens invasion. While the author leaves the culture's religious aspects undeveloped, strong characters and an enticing plot bode well for future installments. All rights reserved. Convert currency.
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Next day dispatch. International delivery available. Please contact us with any enquiries. No, Joreb liked subtlety and understatement; his preference was for paler hues and simpler design. Herezah felt a fleeting pang that the man who had given her the opportunity to rise out of the slush of the harem would give up his soul in a room as vulgar as this. Her regret passed quickly, however, replaced by the thrill of knowing that her ultimate goal, the one she had been striving toward these past two decades, would be achieved in merely hours.
She calmed her racing pulse and tried to focus. Despite her anticipation at what her husband's death meant for her, Herezah had been shocked to learn that his injuries were, in fact, fatal, and she had made every effort to make him as comfortable as possible. The large chamber they were in might be vulgar but it was cooled by a gentle breeze blowing from the massive, semicircular aquamarine harbor the famed city of Percheron overlooked.
It was here that for thousands of years cultures had collided and mingled to yield the Percheron of today. Its strategic position and seemingly endless reserves of precious stones and metals gave the city riches beyond most realms' dreams. But while those elements had once given Percheron such power, they were now its greatest threat.
He had disclosed to her his concerns that their warlike neighbor to the west had designs on Percheron.
Herezah's wandering attention was arrested by the worried expressions of the court's two most senior physicians. The Zar would not see sunset, that much was obvious, and in turn their lives were forfeit for failing His Majesty. Understandably they continued to consult each other, desperately considering new, and hopeless, strategies. At the foot of the Zar's bed cavorted a dwarf, sumptuously outfitted but looking ridiculous all the same.
Herezah quelled a scowl. The fool was a constant annoyance in her life. He was "closed" too, which only served to irritate Herezah further.
Not even a blood-telling by her crone, Yozem, had revealed anything about him. The Practitioner of the Blood Arts had termed him a blank, claiming the dwarf offered no clues about himself, thereby accounting for his madness. Herezah felt sickened to see the awkward antics he performed on his thick, short legs. If Percheron was credited as being the most idyllic cove in the Faranel Sea, then its Stone Palace was the most breathtaking aspect of that cove.
And within that Stone Palace its harem was the magnificent prize where beauty ruled supreme.
It disturbed Herezah constantly that such vulgar deformity as this dwarf roamed among the beauty. He was the flaw in Percheron's jewel. She despaired that her son adored Pez in equal measure to her hatred. She sighed; at least the palace buffoon, with his strange yellow eyes, would keep Boaz amused during the difficult times ahead. He might even prove a blessing, for there were occasions when time spent with Pez seemed to help her only child emotionally. Boaz was intense, often too serious, but the dwarf made him laugh with his ramblings. She couldn't imagine how.
The dwarf could hardly string together a single sensible sentence without breaking into song, or acrobatics, or without his mind wandering elsewhere. How Boaz and Pez managed to hold even a simple conversation was a mystery to her. A small movement at the corner of the room distracted her. She glanced over at the silent mountain of black flesh that went by the name of Salmeo. He put the fear of a thousand angry gods into most people around the palace, including herself. She had lost count of the times the giant man had reduced her to a shaking wreck.
But never again, she promised, now that absolute power was within her grasp. He was as cunning as he was dangerous.
ligakuti.tk He was also cruelty personified. Salmeo embodied so many unpalatable characteristics, it was hard to imagine how they all came together in one person.
For the umpteenth time her amazement was triggered by the sheer size of him beneath the richly patterned garments he draped over his folds of loose, flabby skin. Heavy folds, she knew all too well from her own experience, that had to be lifted away in order for him to be cleaned. He matched his revolting looks with a vicious demeanor more befitting a scorned woman than a grown man.
Which wasn't far from the truth, perhaps. Salmeo had been cut at the age of seven, when his height and size fooled the Grand Master Eunuch of the day into believing he was older.
He was an "almost complete": nothing much was left of his manhood save the painful yearning of desire. No toys, no tricks, no magicks helped ease Salmeo with his frustrations, so he took his pleasures in other ways. Herezah's gaze was helplessly drawn toward the sinister, sharply pointed nail on the index finger of his right hand. He stained it red, so no woman could ever forget its purpose and no naive boy went beyond wondering at its use. She masked the shudder of the memory of that nail's cruel touch. Salmeo must have sensed her attention and she just had time, before hurriedly looking away, to see the pale rope of the scar that ran the length of one of his fleshy cheeks pull as he raised an eyebrow at her interest.
As she turned away, Herezah's focus finally fell upon the Zar himself. He groaned and moved restlessly beneath silken sheets, fighting the unseen spirits who had come to claim him.
No need, Boaz replied nonchalantly. I see no reason why the Zar—and whomever he chooses to enjoy the palace surrounds with him—should not be permitted to walk alongside certain buildings without permission. Indeed, Highness, Maliz said, surprised and delighted. Is the Grand Master Eunuch comfortable with this…relaxing of the old rules?