Special Agent Pendergast and Constance Greene have been called to Exmouth, a small town on the wild Atlantic coast of Massachusetts, to investigate a seemingly innocuous theft. But what they discover at the crime scene changes the course of their investigation: a sealed burial chamber, complete with rusted leg irons, fragments of bone and claw marks on the inside-face of its bricks. Then a historian is found murdered in the desolate salt marshes that surround the town, his face mutilated, his body carved with arcane symbols. Exmouth has a grim history dating back to the aftermath of the Salem witch trials. And now a dark secret, centuries old, is rising to the surface.
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A secret chamber. A mysterious shipwreck. A murder in the desolate salt marshes. A seemingly straightforward private case turns out to be much more complicated-and sinister-than Special Agent A.X.L. Pendergast ever could have anticipated. Pendergast, together with his ward Constance Greene, travels to the quaint seaside village of Exmouth, Massachusetts, to investigate the theft of a priceless wine collection. But inside the wine cellar, they find something considerably more disturbing: a bricked-up niche that once held a crumbling skeleton. Pendergast and Constance soon learn that Exmouth is a town with a very dark and troubled history, and this skeleton may be only the first hint of an ancient transgression, kept secret all these years. But they will discover that the sins of the past are still very much alive. Local legend holds that during the 1692 witch trials in Salem, the real witches escaped, fleeing north to Exmouth and settling deep in the surrounding salt marshes, where they continued to practice their wicked arts. Then, a murdered corpse turns up in the marshes. The only clue is a series of mysterious carvings. Could these demonic symbols bear some relation to the ancient witches' colony, long believed to be abandoned? A terrible evil lurks beneath the surface of this sleepy seaside town-one with deep roots in Exmouth's grim history. And it may be that Constance, with her own troubled past, is the only one who truly comprehends the awful danger that she, Pendergast, and the residents of Exmouth must face . . .
Epic and involving, Return of the Crimson Guard is an enthralling new chapter in the tumultuous history of the Malazan Empire from fantasy author Ian C. Esslemont The return of the mercenary company, the Crimson Guard, could not have come at a worse time for a Malazan Empire exhausted by warfare and weakened by betrayals and rivalries. Indeed, there are those who wonder whether the Empress Laseen might not be losing her grip on power as she faces increasing unrest as conquered kingdoms and principalities sense freedom once more. Into the seething cauldron of Quon Tali--the Empire's heartland--marches the Guard. With their return comes the memory of the Empire--and yet all is not well with the Guard itself. Elements within its elite, the Avowed, have set their sights on far greater power. There are ancient entities who also seek to further their own arcane ends. And what of the swordsman called Traveller who, with his companion Ereko, has gone in search of a confrontation from which none have ever returned? As the Guard prepares to wage war, so Laseen's own generals and mages, the 'Old Hands', grow impatient at what they see as her mismanagement of the Empire. But could Laseen have outwitted them all? Could she be using the uprisings to draw out and finally eliminate these last irksome survivors from the days of her illustrious predecesor, Kellanved? At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
Havgan of Corania knows he is different from others, but he does not know why. He does know, however, that he adamantly hates the witches of Kymru. When he becomes Warleader of Corania, he sets the might of his empire against them and their country. Gwydion the Dreamer and his friend Rhiannon travel to Corania to spy on Havgan after Gwydion?s dream reveals Havgan?s imperialistic desires. In their frantic attempt to save Kymru, they risk everything. But when a thoughtless action threatens to doom them all, Gwydion and Rhiannon must fight not only to discover Havgan?s secret but also to understand why Havgan seems so hauntingly familiar.