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A prisoner in the forbidden harem of the great Stone Palace of Percheron, Ana inflames the desires of every man who sees her, even as she fears for her future. The city's beloved protector, Spur Lazar, offered up his life for her, accepting punishment intended for the bewitching odalisque. Now, without Lazar's guiding hand, Percheron has become a darker, more treacherous place.
Mistrusting the machinations of Herezah, his mother—who plots to destroy the odalisque Ana—the young Zar Boaz seeks counsel from the suddenly changed and dangerously secretive "Grand Vizier," counsel he desperately needs. War threatens from a distant realm; the cyclical battle of the gods intensifies; and the first of the Goddess's disciples is claimed by the demon Maliz. But all schemes must ultimately rise and fall on one unknown truth: Spur Lazar lives still, recovering in secret from the illness that has left him the gift of a curse.
Born in 1960 and raised in southern England, Fiona McIntosh spent an early childhood in the gold-mining camp of Bibiani in Ghana, where her father was working. She studied in Brighton before starting a career in PR and marketing in London. She made Australia her home in 1980, continuing in a travel-marketing career with an ad agency, a tourism authority, and an international airline. Fiona married her magazine-publisher husband, Ian, and they now live in Adelaide with their teenage twin sons, Will and Jack.