by Beth Vaughan
Gollancz Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9780575084001
Date: 16 October 2008 List Price £12.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK /
"Red Gloves is a mercenary, raised to the blade and trained in the ways of war. She'll take no nonsense and pull no punches; she seizes what she wants and leaves when she's done. She and Bethral, her sword-sister, have come to Palins looking for work, but they find torched fields and razed farms, a land defiled. During a storm they stumble across a derelict mansion and beg shelter of the sole human occupant, the resident goatherd. He's not happy, and he's not impressed with the stroppy mercenary - but Red Gloves is even less impressed when he notices her birthmark and claims it marks her out as Chosen, born to help the people of Palins reclaim their land. Her inclination to help dwindles still further when she discovers there's no money, no reward, in fact, nothing in store for the Chosen but a difficult, bloody battle against the odds. So she takes what she wants of the goatherd, and she leaves. But circumstances force Red back to the mansion, and this time she's more inclined to help - after all, impossible odds and bloody battles are very much her style. She's poised, reluctantly, to do her thing, when it turns out she's not the only Chosen in the race for freedom, and the crown..."