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"Changeling" SummaryPanya is the daughter of an assassin; a master of disguise who collects information for her father as he goes about his ruthless work. Her father, Bakari, is a master of his profession... a killer of kings.
But there is more to Bakari's latest target then initially appears. In the frigid, barren wasteland of Astorleon, the assassin's small family arrives at the king's city to find ravens lining the rooftops, tales of a king who has returned from the dead, and terrifying rumors of missing children. Everything goes according to plan... until a botched assassination attempt leaves Panya on her own in the increasingly malevolent city.
Now Panya must struggle against the sinister forces that she has become hopelessly entangled in, unravel the mystery of the evil that grips the city, and save the last of her family before all of her world is consumed by darkness.
The Coffee GodThe Coffee God behind the counter shuffles foot to foot, a dance of steam and espresso. Black painted fingernails, inch gauged ears and a gray striped sweatshirt, hood crooked on his back. There's a cigarette tucked behind one ear; it bobs and twitches with each step.
“Non-fat caramel latte,” he calls, just as he always does, part of a spell, part of a mantra, toneless (just a tuck at the end). I reach. He looks up.
The espresso maker hisses.
There's something like a grin, something like a spark, something like a shared secret linked eye to eye. When he passes over the drink (rough cardboard sleeve hot to the touch), he lingers. Our fingers brush, a shiver, a jolt, a ten-watt shock.
The Coffee God tilts his chin, shouts, “Hey, mind if I take my break now?”
and ducks around the counter without waiting for a reply.
He slips his cigarette between his lips without taking his eyes from mine. I follow him out the door.
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