Book One - Threat


The City of the Magicians: Threat

“A Journey Without Departure” is the traditional term for a telepathic sending. It is a talent few can perform yet this is the strategy the City of the Magicians––non-violent pacifists, without army or weapons––hopes will mitigate the barbarian invasion arriving in six months. The plan could work but then maybe not. Sas, the young man chosen to “educate the barbarian” can only think, Me? Sendings? They’ve made a mistake!

Lalya, a City librarian searching for her dead lover’s vanished manuscript, is ensnared by a secret society planning to collaborate with the same barbarians. Attempts to extricate herself from the blackmail, double-dealing, seduction and betrayal force her to realize her final treachery could very well destroy her.

Shoan, the Council strategist, is well aware a shadowy opposition lurks behind the scenes but is stymied how to lure it out into the open. He should remember one of the basic axioms of tactics is, “Methodology is seldom prepared for surprises.”

Both Sas and Lalya are pawns in the strategies of others … yet it only takes a pawn to change the game.

Threat, the first book in The City of the Magicians series, reveals the preparations for a barbarian arrival, but when strategies collide, will anyone be ready? Will anyone be safe?


Apale blue 5 — the obsolete form—was painted on a cryer pillar. 

“Looks like a bony hand, don’t it?” the man remarked.

“D’you know its meaning, Lettered sir?”

“It’s the number 5, glyphed the old way,” said Sas. “Not used in generations.”

A young girl volunteered, “Seen it other places, too.”

“Other places?”

“The Upper Ridge so far … on house walls, no paper.”

“Barbarians,” seethed someone.


The girl asked, “Lettered sir, what does it signify?”

“Afraid I don’t know, but thank you for showing me. Unusual, isn’t it? I’ll let others know. Sorry, you’ll have to excuse me, I’m going to be late for the Temple service.”

“You’re late now,” smirked the girl.

Sas grinned. “You’re right. Be well.” With a nod he resumed his walk.

He was slowed by a second 5 splashed on the east wall of Nethua House, then further on by another more rushed than the last. In the distance another blue 5, large and illegible, lured him toward the Temple.

He shivered.

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