Saga of the Skolian Empire
Lost Continent series (aka Aronsdale)
“The Topaz Desert” in Lace and Blade
Tanzi is a mage - but a mage in hiding. To use her magic - no matter the reason - would earn her severe punishment. When she uses that magic to comfort a child, she is accused of sorcery by the town jeweler. Her magic helps her to escape, but then she realizes that she has nowhere to go and nothing but the ragged clothing on her back . She doesn’t even have her shoes.
Battered and half frozen to death, she is “rescued” by an oily trade merchant. Unfortunately, his goal is to sell her back to jeweler from whom she had so desperately sought to escape. But when the merchant stops to sell goods to Zebb, a miner, Tanzi begs him to let her stay rather than allow the merchant to sell her back to her tormentor.
For Zebb, life in the topaz desert consists of little more than back-breaking work and excruciating loneliness. Why would a woman who looks like a goddess - perhaps is a goddess - choose to stay with the likes of him? And Tanzi herself wonders if she might find herself in even worse danger at the hands of this unknown giant of a miner.
Lace and Blade, an anthology of sexy, elegant, swashbuckling romantic fantasy, launches the Leda imprint of Norilana Books. Catherine Asaro’s story is set in the same magical world as The Fire Opal and other stories in the "Lost Continent" series created for Luna Books.