Relive the iconic adventures of Tempus the Black and his Sacred Band through the eyes of Nikodemos, his right-side companion, as Niko seeks his spirit’s balance on Bandara’s misty isles. Five early tales of the Stepsons in a world of thieves, novelized with additional stories available nowhere else. Ride with Tempus and his Sacred Band once again, or for the first time. PUBLISHER’S NOTE: Parts of this work have been published in substantially similar form in several volumes of the Shared Universe Series, Thieves World.
This book contains the original stories first written about the Sacred Band of Stepsons, as well as some new stories that expand on their adventures, and Niko’s quest to regain his spiritual and mystical balance. Meet the characters who made the Sacred Band famous: Abarsis, the Slaughter Priest Abarsis, who first formed the Sacred Band and from whom Tempus took over the Band; Niko, Critias, Straton, hazard-class and allergy prone mage Randal “Witchy Ears.” Meet Roxane the witch and her death squads, Ischade the Necromant and her cadre of undead servants, and Cime, Tempus’ wizard-slaying sister. Witness the might of the storm god Vashanka and his immortal god-ridden avatar, Tempus as they battle against sorcery, betrayal and corruption, alongside his Sacred Band of Stepsons. Meet legendary immortals Askelon, the Dream Lord of Meridian, and Jihan the Froth Daughter of Lord Storm.
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Original 4-volume Tempus series from Baen, 1987 – 1990
Janet Morris has always written some of the best and most literate stories in all heroic fantasy. She writes my kind of tale, too: lean, mean, character-driven, creative, and intelligent.
I first encountered Tempus and his Stepsons during the heyday of the Thieves World series, and Morris’ tales and characters soon became my favorites. I am happy and pleased that she has continued to write of the further adventures of Tempus and his Sacred Band of Stepsons. It was a pleasure to revisit such classics as “An End to Dreaming,” “Vashanka’s Minion,” and “Wizard Weather.” Reading these stories brought back such wonderful memories; it was like visiting with old friends.
The stories written especially for this volume, “A Better Class of Enemy,” “For Love of a Ghost,” and “Blood and Honor” are just as good as her earlier tales, and help fill in the blanks, so to speak, adding further info and insight into the series, and helping make this collection more than just another anthology — they pull everything together and turn the parts into a whole novel. Tempus with his right-side companion Niko is a reason to celebrate, and Janet Morris gets a big shout out from me. I look forward to revisiting more of her work, and catching up on those I have missed. Bravo, Janet!
Perseid Press revised editions, 2013 – 2017
The nine (so far) novels of Tempus, Niko, and the Sacred Band can be read and enjoyed on their own, out of sequential order. But here are the novels, in their proper order, and all my reviews can be found here, inside the Black Gate.
1: Tempus (with his right-side companion Niko)
2: Beyond Sanctuary
3: Beyond the Veil
4: Beyond Wizardwall
5: City at the Edge of Time
6: Tempus Unbound
7: Storm Seed
8: The Sacred Band
9: The Fish the Fighters and the Song-girl
Tempus with his right-side companion Niko was published by Perseid Press. Copyright © 1987, 2011 Janet Morris. Book design, Ellie Herring. Cover design, Sonja Aghabekian. Cover art: Unknown — The Battle of Tolbiac, XIX century, Fresco in Pantheon (Paris). Visit the Perseid Press website here.
I thank you all for your appreciation and positive reception of my book reviews.
Until next time… Long life to you, and everlasting glory.
Joe Bonadonna’s last article for Black Gate was his review of Storm Seed, by Janet & Chris Morris.