Title: BLOOD ROAD
Author: Amanda McCrina
Pub. Date: April 25, 2017
Format: Paperback, eBook
Nineteen-year-old Torien Risto has seen dissidents dealt with before. He knows the young local girl who just knifed him will hang for assaulting an Imperial officer, unless he can stop it.
Someone inside the provincial government is kidnapping Imperial citizens and selling them across the desert to the salt mines, silencing anyone who tries to intervene. The girl’s brother is one of those who has been taken. Rejected by the corrupt courts, she’s waging a personal war against the Empire.
Determined to save her life, Torien sets out in search of answers on the Salt Road, the ancient trade route running deep into the heart of a desert—territory claimed by the hostile Mayaso tribe.
Now, Torien is no longer sure where his own loyalty lies, or how far he will go to break the cycle of tyranny, political bullying, and social injustice in an empire that seals its borders in blood.
Amanda McCrina has studied in Italy, taught English in Japan, and currently tutors Latin in Atlanta, Georgia. She received her BA in History from the University of West Georgia, and is now pursuing her MA. She writes stories that incorporate her love of history, languages, and world travel. She drinks far too much coffee and dreams of one day having a winning fantasy-hockey season.
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Read an Excerpt!
He took the horse off the street into a smith’s shop. Ædyn tagged at his heels like a shadow. The shop was open-faced to catch the breeze off the water, but there were coals smoldering on the wide, open hearth, the heat curling off the hearthstones and hanging heavy on the air under the leather awning. The smith was bare-chested at his anvil. He saw Torien across the anvil and put his hammer down and wiped his dripping face with the back of one hand. He pulled his tunic over his head as he came over to the doorway. He bowed, but he was looking at the black horse. “You will want him shod, Lord, if you mean to use him in the city.”
“He won’t be long for the city. I came for this.” Torien reached with his free hand for the lead tag hung on the collar around Ædyn’s neck. He indicated it to the smith, running his thumb over the name etched on the face of the tag. “It can be amended?”
“It is a simple thing, Lord.”
“My name is Risto. I want it to read thus.”
“For a bronze, Lord.”
He explained to Ædyn, in Cesino, “For your protection, until I can file your manumission.”
The boy looked as though he had been struck across the face. His skin was pale under the tan. “My lord is the governor’s son.”
“My mother told him so, anyway. Listen to me, Ædyn. I’ve business in the city. I shouldn’t be long—an hour, maybe two. I’ll be back for you here.”
The boy did not say anything. He was standing as rigid as death at the horse’s shoulder.
Torien put two bronze pieces into Ædyn’s hand and closed the boy’s fingers over them. “Buy yourself something to eat,” he said. “Don’t stray too far. These streets can be rough.”
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