Ahjvar, the assassin known as the Leopard, wants only to die, to end the curse that binds him to a life of horror. Although he has no reason to trust the goddess Catairanach or her messenger Deyandara, fugitive heir to a murdered tribal queen, desperation leads him to accept her bargain: if he kills the mad prophet known as the Voice of Marakand, Catairanach will free him of his curse. Accompanying him on his mission is the one person he has let close to him in a lifetime of death, a runaway slave named Ghu. Ahj knows Ghu is far from the half-wit others think him, but in Marakand, the great city where the caravan roads of east and west meet, both will need to face the deepest secrets of their souls, if either is to survive the undying enemies who hunt them and find a way through the darkness that damns the Leopard.
To Marakand, too, come a Northron wanderer and her demon verrbjarn lover, carrying the obsidian sword Lakkariss, a weapon forged by the Old Great Gods to bring their justice to the seven devils who escaped the cold hells so long before.
Review: “…the work highlights Johansen’s strengths. A surprising number of characters and plot threads are deftly interwoven…” – Publishers Weekly
Johansen attended Ad Astra in Toronto, April 4-6, where she was on panels discussing social media for writers, book covers, non-European fantasy worlds, and the role of research in world building. She has three blog posts about her time at Ad Astra here:
| Part One | Part Two | Part Three |
For more about the Marakand series and the author, see K.V. Johansen’s website at www.kvj.ca