Kalyna the Cutthroat

ebook Failures of Four Kingdoms

By Elijah Kinch Spector

cover image of Kalyna the Cutthroat

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The Daughters of Izdihar meets The Foxglove King: An ex-soothsayer and stranded scholar of curses upend a Utopian community that has no love for refugees.
Radiant Basket of Rainbow Shells, scholar of curses and magical history, has spent several years on a research expedition abroad in Quruscan, one of the four kingdoms of theTetrarchia. When Tetrarchia and Radiant's home country of Loasht suddenly revoke their tenuous peace, Quruscan is no longer the safe haven for Radiant that it once was. He needs someone to help him escape: a bodyguard, perhaps, or someone with the sheer cunning to escort him to safety. The perfect candidate is Kalyna Aljosanova: a crafty, mysterious mercenary with an uncanny reputation.
But the political situation in Loasht is far more volatile and dangerous than Radiant left it; it soon becomes clear that he may never be able to return home to his family. With a little of Kalyna's signature guile, she finds Radiant asylum in a utopian community on the border between Loasht and the Tetrarchia, and, for a moment, it seems like they might finally have a safe place to stay. But when the group's charismatic leader grows wary of the refugees flocking to his community—and suspicious of Kalyna in particular—that sense of safety begins to unravel once more.
Kalyna the Cutthroat deftly imagines how the pressures of heroism can warp even the most unshakeable of survivors, asking what responsibilities human beings have to one another, and whether one good deed—of any magnitude—can absolve you of your past for the sake of a future.
Kalyna the Cutthroat