Emperor Mage (The Immortals, Book 3)
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Sent to Carthak as part of the Tortallan peace delegation, Daine finds herself in the middle of a sticky political situation. She doesn't like the Carthaki practice of keeping slaves, but it's not her place to say anything -- she's just there to heal the emperor's birds. It's extremely frustrating! What's more, her power has grown in a mysterious way.
As the peace talks stall, Daine puzzles over Carthak's two-faced Emperor Ozorne. How can he be so caring with his birds and so cruel to his people? Daine is sure he's planning something. Daine must fight the powerful Emperor Mage, knowing that the safety and peace of the realm depend on stopping Ozorne's power-hungry schemes.
strange. I don’t think he wants to talk to anyone, though. No, probably not, she agreed. They walked on, emerging into the morning sun in a yard where the guests who rode came and went. Awaiting them was Kaddar, holding the reins of a pair of horses. They raced to the ferry landing, then crossed the broad river to Carthak City. Zek burrowed into Daine’s shirt once they boarded the ferry so that he wouldn’t have to look at the river that had nearly killed him. Kitten, sitting up in Daine’s
“Is she heavy?” he asked, looking at the prince and Kitten. “Could I hold her?” “Kit?” Daine asked, and the dragon nodded. Kaddar gave her to Lindhall, who looked startled. “She hasn’t the weight I would expect of a creature of her mass.” “Dragons are hollow-boned, like birds,” the girl explained. “Numair found a scroll that told all about dragons from when they lived in the mortal realms.” “The Draconian Codex” Lindhall and Kaddar said together, and smiled at each other. Making several turns
they don’t really mind. No, the turtle isn’t here right now,” she told the lizards, who had asked. As Kitten and the iguanas sniffed each other, Daine walked around, talking to the inhabitants of the other tanks. They had only good to say of Lindhall. Most didn’t even know they were confined. Kitten’s voice called her away from these small kingdoms. The dragon stood before an empty corner expressing indignation as only she could, with a series of bone-piercing whistles. Before Daine could warn
Kaddar leaning on the rail. “Is that what upset them?” She smiled crookedly. “You’d think they never smelled a dragon before,” she joked, holding her hands out for the lions to smell. Entering their minds, she could feel they missed open ranges, even the ones who were bred in captivity, who learned of their true, wild life from the others. That had bothered her from the first, the sadness of their days even in confinement as pleasant as this. She could not turn them loose. Even if she could,
the female snapped. From the darkness all around them came cluttering agreement from the others. Pipe down! ordered the rat chieftain. So what’s the deal, then, two-legger? “I plan to leave this palace a wreck; plenty of supplies buried under stone and in rooms the men can’t reach,” replied Daine. “So, if you give me what I need, the dogs and cats agree not to hunt anywhere in the palace or on the grounds for a year and a day. I can’t get rid of the human mages, but the dogs and cats will go—if