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The Skewed Throne by Joshua  Palmatier
DAW Hardcover Hardcover  ISBN/ITEM#: 0756403316
Date: 03 January, 2006 List Price $23.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK /

From release/information:

Back of the book: At its height, Amenkor was a center of wealth and culture. But a millennium ago, the city was caught in the White Fire, a force that swept across the land spreading madness, drought, famine, and disease in its wake. With the passing of that first Fire, the city began a slow, inexorable downward spiral. Now the Dredge--the bustling market street that snaked between the slums and the prosperous center of the city--marked the dividing line between plenty and poverty, safety and peril.

Varis learned to survive as a very young child, when an act of violence left her a homeless orphan. And when the White Fire blasted through Amenkor for the second time, Varis--along with the entire city--was trapped in the overwhelming blaze of power that changed everything.

Thought the current Mistress continued to reign from the Skewed Throne, Amenkor's decline escalated. For Varis, though, the chance to escape her hopeless existence unexpectedly presented itself when a guardsman of the Skewed Throne named Erick--one of the elite assassins known as Seekers--enlisted her to work for him, first as a spy and tracker, and later as a trained assassin, meting out the Mistress' justice.

Because she had a gift for "Seeing" the true nature of people, Varis began to realize that something was wrong, that some of those marked for elimination were not guilty. But how could the Mistress be mistaken? Trust in the all-knowing, all-seeing justice and wisdom of their ruler was the foundation of Amenkor's society.

Then, one fateful day, Varis claimed a life that took her beyond the law. Suddenly there was nowhere safe for her in the Dredge. There was only one place left to flee to--into the heart of Amenkor itself...

(Source: DAW Hardcover)

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