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.
April 27, 1763
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.