A new city and a fresh start was what former thief Catt Zago was looking for, but what she found instead was Great Bakak, a city-state ruled ancient tradition and full of everyday magic. A place full of many gods and many people. A place where the King rules supreme, but the royal executioners seem to be calling the shots.
What Catt didn't expect was to meet a fascinating woman, a professor of magic at the local wizard university, doomed by a strange bit of luck to become the next King.
Catt wasn't planning on committing any crimes, this was supposed to be a safe place to start over, but now, could she really be contemplating stealing a King?
Catt Zago used to be a thief and a mercenary. She definitely might have stolen some of gold, and she could possibly have made various people very angry for various good reasons.
No, she would rather not discuss that right now, she has put it behind her.
In this case, “putting it behind her” means fleeing across deserts, and forests and mountains (and maybe just one more desert to be safe) until she arrives at the isolated but thriving city-state of Great Bakak, where she hopes to start a new life.
What kind of a new life? Well, Catt is going to play it by ear, but she would like to stay out of trouble with the law, avoid any complicated entanglements, and try to take it easy for a while.
What could possibly go wrong?
Segna is a Professor of Magic at the University of Bakak. Devoting her life to the study of magic, and to the education of young wizards has left her with little time for much of a social life, but sometimes she does like to get dressed up and attend a public festival for the feasting and the dancing.
She was an only child, and an adopted child, and her parents have passed on, and although she has been too busy with her work to examine the feelings, she is a bit lonely, and is more open to a change in her life than she might even know herself.
When the opportunity comes up to add her name to the Royal Lots, she would normally decline politely, and continue enjoying the festival, but today? Today maybe she will say “yes”.
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A collection of my older short stories from 1998 to 2008 are available here, free to read online, or in a paperback collection.
This is Bob the Hamster. Maybe he wrote this book, and "James Robert Paige" is just a nom de plume, who knows for sure?