Tales From Briantha-Kava
Adventure will find you. Bring allies.
The Garden of Night Trilogy
by Emery Ayres
Book I: Ghondatha
The power to love.
The power to heed your own voice.
The power to hope in a world of blood and shadow.
Yesterday morning, most of Saphrona Melioska's family were executed. Today, at dawn, she and her brother's widow would have followed them to the block. But something changed.
Saphrona doesn't know who paid for their sentence to be commuted, but by that act of kindness, she and her hearth sister are exiled to the remote island of Ghondatha, where Saphrona's only relatives live.
She has nothing to take with her but the legacy of ten generations of master sculptors, a family name beloved in the world of Art, and her own credo: there is goodness and beauty in everything.
Only one of those things defines her now.
Art remains. And in Art, one can find both goodness and beauty. And if one can find them there, one can find them anywhere, even on a wet rock in the sea.
Saphrona is sure that if she can find one thing on Ghondatha that remains unchanged from her childhood visits there, just one unbroken piece of her life she can recognize, it will be enough for her.
Upon their arrival, however, Saphrona and Leigh find that even ageless Ghondatha is not what it once was. The island has a new liege-lord, a nobleman from the lavish Amkadan Empire, with deep pockets and extravagant ideas about progress.
Lord Gideon has introduced the Ghondathans to wealth and leisure. He sees them through bad harvests and shoulders the risk of getting their goods to market. Life is so kindly on Ghondatha, the populace has nothing to consider but keeping his good favor and achieving a wealthy spouse or benefactor among his aristocratic friends.
The benevolent Lord of Ghondatha asks only that they obey three laws: no one may leave the island; all who are invited to his nightly masquerades must attend; and those who are not invited must mind the curfew and stay home.
These laws are believed to keep everyone safe from the beasts that roam the island at night, bloodthirsty creatures driven to Ghondatha's shores by the violence of the king's war.
Guild-born Saphrona has been taught from the cradle to be wary of aristocrats. She believes they are corrupt and wasteful, and she expects Lord Gideon will be no exception.
What kind of game is he playing with the Ghondathans? Why would he and his friends leave their luxurious estates in Amkada for a toehold of land with nothing to offer them?
Who is this man who has stolen the last familiar piece of life she has left in the world?
Someone who will change forever how she defines that which is good and beautiful.
Tales from Briantha-Kava is a trademark of Emery Ayres.