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Michael A. Stackpole

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Fiction and Excerpts [1]

At the Queen’s Command, Book 1 of the Crown Colonies

, || The colonies of Mistria are in turmoil. They face wars between the competing empires and and insurrection from natives and colonists alike. Prince Vladamier is a Norillian noble, and Nephew to King Richard. He has little political power, but struggles to ensure the colonists interests are represented back in the court. The one thing he does have is a wurm... one of the few existing "dragons" from a clutch of eggs discovered in the old world, hundreds of years ago. As Mistria swirl into chaos, Vlad is married off to an old world princess. This new alliance is supposed to help supply money and mercenaries to put down the various insurrections. But, nobody suspects that Vlad's wurm is about to undergo a change that will impact the worlds delicate political balance...

At the Queen’s Command, Book 1 of the Crown Colonies

We hope you enjoy this excerpt of Chapters 1 through 3 from At the Queen’s Command, the first book of the Crown Colonies series by Michael A. Stackpole, out now from Night Shade Books.

Chapter One

April 27, 1763
Coronet
Temperance Bay, Mystria

Captain Owen Strake stood on the Coronet’s wheel deck, smiling as the ship came around the headland. The wind remained steady, but in the harbor the sea lost its chop. The angry clouds that had pounded the ship with nearly incessant storms had vanished, and the rising sun painted the sky blue. A light mist rose off the deep blue water.

Owen’s stomach began to ease and his flesh to warm. The crossing to Mystria had not been kind to him. Seven weeks of nausea had left him twenty pounds lighter and intolerably weak. Even disastrous campaigns, battle wounds, and long, cold retreats had never left him feeling so hideous.

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