Child of Sunlight, Woman of Blood

"Every day they march to feed my glory," said Yan to me. "They hate it--still they come. Oh, your people are equal enough now. Junglefolk, plainsfolk--they all mingle together, dally in the sheets and knife each other for coin. And every day they make sacrifice. Blood I get. Toes, ears, fingers. Lives. And all willing... so to speak."

In a narrow cave of a hot green earth that circled a red sun, I faced off against a woman who would command the world.
Kraken’s Honor

The kraken watched us from the safety of a four-fathom gap, craning its horned head back and forth. It seemed content to wait; already the sea had claimed the remains of the Ice Queen. We, however, would freeze to death before the creature ran out of patience.

Gradually the kraken slowed, and hope all but choked me.