GENRE: Epic Fantasy
When Talyn gained the ability to transfer death from one person to another, he never imagined the king would exploit this power to incite a war. Now, he'll have to commit treason and rely on the honor of a convicted murderer if he wants to prevent thousands of deaths -- including his own.
A hint of citrus drifted past Talyn, but it could not overcome the stench of blood.
Talyn squinted against the light of hundreds of candles, held aloft by golden chandeliers. For all their beauty, the flames provided the royal dining hall with no warmth. Neither did the stone-faced guards—twenty men, at least.
Yet one assassin had eluded them all.
The massive oaken doors behind Talyn slammed shut. He tensed, fighting the urge to hide behind Gariss as the dark-skinned behemoth of a man eyed every shadow in the room.
Talyn leaned closer. "The royal family wouldn't summon me until they caught the killer, would they?"
"Probably not," his bodyguard said. "Though maybe they have servants to bear their deaths."
Talyn shivered. "I can’t kill an innocent. I won’t."
"Even if they order you to?"
Yes, Talyn wanted to say, but he couldn't force the word past his lips. A handful of people watched him from the far end of the hall, where a dais of red marble supported the royal table. Upon that table lay the remains of a small feast, a decanter of spilled wine, and a lifeless body.
The body of King Arlan.
"You are ready?" Gariss asked.
Talyn shook his head, but edged forward anyway. He should have faked a confident stride, but no amount of bravado would make an assassin fear a scrawny young man like him. He dared not vocalize the question on his mind, lest the killer arrive to answer it.
Why would someone murder the king without killing me first?