“Darkness is spreading over the world. What good is a sword against the advance of night?”

The Shadowed Path Trilogy

  • A Woman Worth Ten Coppers
  • Candle in the Storm
  • The Iron Palace (December 28, 2010)

The following dilemma lies at the heart of The Shadowed Path: if evil is fueled by violence, how can violence overcome it?

This trilogy is set in the same world as Queen of the Orcs, but the action takes place two centuries later when all humanity is threatened by a fanatical cult that “harvests souls” for a bloodthirsty god.

There are two principle characters. Honus has been raised from infancy to serve the Goddess of Compassion. Ironically, he is a deadly man. Trained as a Sarf, Honus is a master of the martial disciplines. An expression of rage has been tattooed on his face and his fate has been needled on his back in letters he cannot read. He has been a holy man’s servant all his adult life, but that man has just been slain. Before he died, Honus’s master forbade him to bear his own burden. Believing that he mustn’t carry his pack, Honus purchases a slave for the task.

That slave is a young woman named Yim. In consequence of a childhood vision, she embarked on a holy quest that has been interrupted by her enslavement. Yim is far more than she seems—a woman with extraordinary powers who strives to keep them hidden.

Yim and Honus’s relationship is complicated from the onset and grows more so throughout the trilogy. They are two devout but lonely people facing a hostile and terrifying world. Honus and Yim need one another, but what drives them together also drives them apart. The divine will acts as a third party in their lives, and they respond to it with a mixture of devotion and resentment.

Through the course of the story, Yim will evade Honus, use him, love him, forsake him, and ultimately save him. Honus’s fate binds him to Yim. He comes to love her, but more urgently, he needs her to heal his soul. Even after he feels that Yim has abandoned him, Honus’s need will drive him to join her in confronting the evil that threatens to overwhelm all humanity.