The Devil Lancer
Rampant cholera, missing supplies, and inept planning quickly mire the promise of a decisive summer victory for the British. Facing a harrowing winter campaign, Elliott must rally disheartened men through sickness, battle and starvation.
But when he is assigned the additional task of spying on a fellow officer, the inscrutable Cornet Ilyas Kovakin, he finds himself disconcerted and fascinated by both the work and the man.
The half-Russian officer reports to none in his division. Rumors of demonic power and black magic surround him, but the truth turns out to be worse than the suspicions.
For Ilyas, his return to the Crimea is marred by the terrible mistake that cursed him with a horrifying power nearly beyond his control. His grip on his humanity is slipping away daily. Torn between a master he cannot trust and the family he must not return to, his only hope for salvation lies hidden in the long-forgotten symbols of centuries-old relics. But their meanings remain a mystery until the cheerful Captain Parrish offers assistance.
Although Ilyas fears trusting the young captain, Elliott’s company is almost irresistible.
Surrounded by deprivation, cruelty and war, both men know the closer they are drawn together, the greater the stakes. But with the balance of European power on the line, retreat is not an option.
Astrid Amara lives in Bellingham, Washington. She’s a former Peace Corps Volunteer, an advocate for animal rights, and a bureaucrat by day. After work she can usually be found writing, riding horses, hiking, or else sleeping. Her novel The Archer’s Heart was a finalist for the 2008 Lambda Literary Award.
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