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The Final Sacrifice

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In one man, two souls fight for survival—and for mastery of an outlaw magic that could save a kingdom.

It was a fate Josan once considered preferable to death. Cast by dark sorcery into the body of Emperor Lucius of Ikaria, the scholar-monk struggled to make peace with a mind that regarded him as a hostile intruder. But now, as simmering rivalries threaten to plunge the kingdom into a bloody civil war, Josan is faced with the most difficult choice of all. For the uneasy truce between him and Lucius is unraveling in a form of madness that is destroying the body they share. There’s only one hope for a cure.

Disguised, stowing away as a common traveler, Josan/Lucius will make the hazardous journey to Xandropol. There in the great library of the Learned Brethren, Josan hopes to find the forbidden magic that will counter the spell that yokes him and Lucius. But an old antagonist is already on their trail: the Lady Ysobel follows them to what she realizes is the scene of her and Josan’s fateful first meeting. But not even she divines the reason for this final pilgrimage: that Josan has returned to sacrifice his life.

From the Paperback edition.

From Publishers Weekly

May 19, 2008 – Though billed as the closer to a trilogy (following 2007's The Sea Change), this low-key climax to the chronicles of scholarly monk Josan and reluctant Ikarian Emperor Lucius stands surprisingly well on its own. Their souls trapped together in Lucius' failing body, they must risk a much-interrupted sea voyage in search of sorcery capable of freeing at least one of the pair. Meanwhile, plotters within and beyond Ikaria threaten both the succession and the empire. Bray's quasi-Mediterranean setting is ably if lightly sketched, and even the most ambitious of Lucius' onstage adversaries are genuinely likable. The novel's most fantastical element is its refreshingly sincere political climate; by contrast, there's little physical action or deeply rooted conflict, and at least one unseen enemy remains at book's end. At the same time, the diplomatic intrigues often sidetrack the plot rather than furthering character development, rendering the finale abrupt and intrusive. Flaws notwithstanding, amiable storytelling and brisk pacing make this an agreeable summer read.
The Final Sacrifice
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  • $6.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Epic
  • Published: Jun 24, 2008
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Seller: Penguin Random House LLC
  • Print Length: 368 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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