State of Grace : John R. Phythyon, Jr.
State of Grace
When his friend and colleague in Urland’s Shadow Service, Sara Wensley-James, is murdered in the elf nation of Alfar, Wolf Dasher’s mission seems simple: track down her killer and bring him to justice. But nothing is going to be easy about this case.
Sara named Sagaius Silverleaf, Alfar’s ambassador to Urland as the culprit, but he couldn’t have done it. He was in Urland at the time of the murder.
Sent to Alfar under cover as Urland’s new ambassador, Wolf begins the most difficult and dangerous mission of his career. The once-lush and magical land of the elves is decaying. Its once-verdant countryside is putrefying before its citizens’ eyes. Some blame the presence of human occupiers – Urlish military units present to keep order and support Alfar’s shaky coalition government. Some blame losing the message of the great prophet, Frey, and turning away from God’s plan. But many think it is simply the schism in elfin religion that spawned a civil war and daily acts of terrorism by fundamentalist martyrs.
Wolf must navigate this nightmarish environment to find Sara’s killer. Could Silverleaf have been responsible? If so, why? His investigation leads him into an intricate web of assassination, betrayal, and zealotry. With the help of Aflar’s Elite Guard captain, May Honeyflower, Wolf uncovers piece after piece of a sinister puzzle: a psychotic killer, a mad general bent on conquest, an ancient, evil artifact, and a terrorist organization planning a grand act of devastation. But how do they all fit together? What did Sara discover that got her killed?
As the Feast of the Revelation, the holiest day on the elfin calendar, approaches, Wolf and Honeyflower find themselves in a race against time to unravel a plot that could topple Alfar’s government, plunge it into war, and change the balance of power in the world forever.
STATE OF GRACE is the first in a series of fantasy-thriller mashup novels, blending magic, super spies, and politics in an exciting brew of action and adventure. From the chilling opening scene to the pulse-pounding climax, STATE OF GRACE takes the best elements of an espionage thriller and a court intrigue and weaves them into a world both familiar and fantastic.
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