The planet the story occurs in is driven by trade, the rulers discovering that if all kingdoms are interconnected by trade war is unlikely. To further this goal, Bloodcost is founded. Simply put, if a person, or group fight, a formal penalty must be agreed on beforehand. The cost is usually steep, making conflicts less likely.
Vik Tardress is the Head of House Tardress, the premier trader in the Eight Kingdom. His father and grandfather brutally murdered, he inherits the empire at fourteen, in an age when most people never see fifty. With the help of his brothers, one the leader of a band of mercenaries, the other a priest of an obscure religion, he secures their legacy.
At seventeen, he buys a young slave on impulse, after a soothsayer urged him to make a purchase radically different from any he’s made before. He buys a slave, a tiny, bedraggled creature he isn’t sure will live the night. She’s a lost child of the Woodfolk, a secretive nation that discourages contact with outsiders.
The action takes place in a time roughly equivalent to the thirteenth century of earth, with tribes occasionally resembling the American Indians of the sixteenth.
As the child grows, so do their feelings, until they form a union that will change the shape of their world, fighting a greedy religious order and an old, old enemy.
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