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The Origin Stories of Tempus, Niko and the Sacred Band: Tempus With His Right-Side Companion Niko, by Janet Morris

Thursday, March 8th, 2018 | Posted by Joe Bonadonna

Tempus with his right-side companion Niko-small Tempus with his right-side companion Niko-back-small

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.

[Click the images for bigger versions.]

Tempus Janet Moris-small City at the Edge of Time-small Tempus Unbound Janet Morris-small Storm Seed-small

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!

Tempus Perseid Press City at the Edge of Time Perseid Press Tempus Unbound-smaller

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.

4 Comments »

  1. Thank you, Joe Bonadonna and John O’Neil, for letting the first be last with the addition of “Tempus”and thus presenting all nine of the Sacred Band books here on Black Gate, where we most like to be. Life to you, Sacred Banders, and everlasting glory.

    Comment by sacredbander - March 9, 2018 9:53 pm

  2. Sacred Band Commander — you’re most welcome!

    John O’Neill — thank you so very much for such an excellent presentation of my review. Kudos to you and those who man the Black Gate!

    Comment by Joe Bonadonna - March 9, 2018 10:00 pm

  3. Nice article by Joe Bonadonna. Just shared in the Goodreads Sword & Sorcery group, since we have a Groupread on “thieves” (any story with a focus on “thieves”….there are a handful of folks reading various authors/series). Feel welcome to chime in. https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/19238352-mar-apr-2018-b-thieves#comment_form

    Comment by SELindberg - March 10, 2018 8:36 am

  4. Thank you, Seth Lindberg!

    Comment by Joe Bonadonna - March 10, 2018 9:18 am


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