Power of the Sword
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Half-brothers and blood enemies, Manfred and Shasa are caught up in a savage war to seize the sword of power in their land. The story follows them through two decades of South African history, telling of their rivalry in a deadly struggle.
— I am sorry, but I have missed the infection. It is necessary to cut again.’ The second time, because she now knew what to expect, seemed even worse than the first. She had to press her fingernails into the palms of her hands to prevent herself fainting as the priest took up the gleaming silver saw and cut through the exposed bone of Lothar’s humerus only inches below the great joint of the shoulder. For three days afterwards Lothar lay in a pale coma, seeming already to have passed the
her hand. ‘Do you have a last message for the folks back home?’ ‘What do you mean?’ ‘This is the Okavango river, Centaine. The crocodiles here gobble little girls as hors d’oeuvres.’ ‘You could stand guard with the rifle—’ ‘Delighted to oblige.’ ‘— and with your eyes closed!’ ‘Rather defeats the object, doesn’t it?’ He scouted the edge of the lagoon and found shallow water below an outcropping of black water-polished rock where the bottom was white sand and an approaching crocodile would
ineffectually at the blood; all of them stunned and shaken. The women were pale-faced with shock, some of them still screaming with delicious horror, their eyes bright with excitation which was tinged with sexuality, craning to watch as Roelf Stander was lifted over the ropes and carried down the aisle, hanging limp as a corpse, his head lolling, blood running back from his slack mouth across his cheek into his gleaming hair - turning to watch Manfred as he was hustled along to the
Blaine before Centaine had recovered from it sufficiently to take up again the role of lover and protectress which she had so revelled in before. However, she would not even discuss with him the subject of marriage, and became agitated and overwrought when he tried to insist. It was almost as if Isabella were still alive, as if she could from her long-cold grave assert some malevolent power over them. There was nothing in life he wanted more than to have Centaine Courtney as his lawful wife, his
He was longer than an hour, and when he returned Shasa was still reading. He looked up at Blaine from the armchair with the open folder in his hands, and his expression was troubled and grave. ‘What do you make of it?’ Blaine asked. ‘Of course, I have heard of the OB,’ Shasa replied. ‘But I had no idea it was anything like this. It’s a secret army, sir, right in our midst. If it were ever to be fully mobilized against us—’ he shook his head, trying to find the words. ‘A revolution, a civil war,