The Vacant Throne (Throne of Amenkor, #3)
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The Vacant Throne

by Joshua Palmatier
Release date: 2008
Type: speculative fiction
Genres: fantasyhigh fantasy

Cover art by Larry Rostant.

The city of Amenkor has stood for well over a thousand years as one of the premier trading centers in the world. Ruled by the Mistress of the Skewed Throne, Amenkor has weathered attacks by invaders, and the madness, drought, famine, and disease unleashed by the White Fire, which has swept over the land twice, the first time a millennium ago, and the second within the last decade. Though Amenkor has just withstood another devastating invasion, the city's paid a terrible price both in the loss of lives and destruction in the city itself.

In Amenkor's time of greatest need, Varis – raised in the slums of the city, and trained not only to survive but to kill at need – unwillingly becomes the ruler of the city, the new Mistress of the Skewed Throne. Untrained, unprepared, and not certain who she can trust, Varis takes the Throne at one of the most perilous points in Amenkor's long history. The city is on the brink of starvation, and the trading ships sent out to bring back supplies needed to feed the city have disappeared without a trace. Both Varis and Eryn, the former Mistress, are obsessed with a vision they alone share of Amenkor invaded by an unknown enemy, the harbor watchtowers destroyed, wrecked ships sinking in waters stained red with blood, even as the city itself is engulfed in flames...

Then their vision comes true, and, forced to draw on all of Amenkor's remaining resources, both ordinary and magical, Varis must fight a desperate battle for the city's survival against these ruthless invaders known as the Chorl. But victory is not without its price. And perhaps that price is too high, as the very heart and soul of Amenkor's power, the Skewed Throne, is irrevocably damaged – totally drained of the magic, knowledge, life force, and memories of previous rulers.

The city's last hope lies with its sometime ally, the city of Venitte, rumored to be home to the only throne that is twin in power to Amenkor's, the two created at the same time by a magical working which no one can now duplicate.

With the threat of the Chorl still hanging over them, Varis has no choice but to reach out to Venitte. Yet she and her people are not the only ones looking toward Venitte. The invaders are on the march, and whether Venitte will fare any better against the Chorl than Amenkor has remains to be seen...

updated 2016-09-10

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