By Lauren Haney

A vile rumor sweeps around the wilderness like a speedily amassing sandstorm: Queen Hatshepsut plans to disband a lot of her frontier military and rework its fortresses into storehouses. the coming of Amonked—the Queen's cousin and Storekeeper of Amon—at town of Buhen convinces an uneasy Lieutenant Bak of the Medjay police that the whisperings that experience alarmed the population are precise. Then, an afternoon after Amonked inspects the neighborhood garrison and departs, a physique is located stabbed in the home the place he and his occasion rested. The slain guy was once a neighborhood prince, liked via his humans, so Bak travels upriver to affix the caravan and examine. even though not anything tangible connects Amonked and his humans to the heinous act, Bak's inquiry quickly sheds a worrying mild on an inexplicable crime. For the clues recommend that twisted honor and vengeance lie at its root . . . and a surprising mystery, safe via homicide and silence, that may itself silence the truth—and Bak—for eternity.

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The soldiers on the cargo ship, Bak assumed. A guard of honor probably. But would they be alert, competent defenders of Amonked’s person? Directing a smile at the lofty visitor from Waset, he said in a smooth voice, “You’re a man of substance, sir. One who shoulders the weighty tasks of the storekeeper of Amon. ” He dared not look at Nebwa, fearing his friend would laugh aloud at so shameless a ploy. ” Amonked’s face was blank, revealing nothing, but Bak had the uncomfortable feeling that he not only knew he had been manipulated but had allowed it to happen.

The overseer leaped from the deck to the quay and strode up the line, slapping a short baton of office against his thigh. The workmen plodded on with obvious reluctance toward the gate and the storage granaries inside the citadel. The ship, the largest to make Buhen its home port, belonged to Imsiba’s new wife, Sitamon. At present it occupied its usual mooring place, but the other vessels that plied local waters were not so fortunate. Two trading ships, scarred from hard use and needing paint, lay on the opposite side of the quay from Sitamon’s craft.

Seventy-two people who have to be provided A CURSE OF SILENCE 33 with food and drink. ” “Plus the many drovers necessary to handle the donkeys,” Bak said. Seshu heaved a deep, dejected sigh. “The caravan will not only be large and hard to manage, but he’s bringing along a portable pavilion, furniture, any number of items that will make it a target for bandits. ” “Thuty should send along a company of spearmen,” Nebwa said. ” “Fifty men? ” Bak prayed such was the case. Seshu, looking dubious, straightened his spine and pulled back his shoulders.

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