The Wicked And The Witless


Paperback Cover for
The Wicked And The Witless (UK)
by Steve Crisp

Back Cover

As they neared Selzirk, regret gave way to excitement. Soon Sean Kelebes Sarazin, who would one day win himself the name Watashi, would be in the city where he would have at last a chance of real power: Powerful foes would oppose his rise to the rule of the Harvest Plains, but at least he was guaranteed support from his mother. For surely Farfalla would approve of his ambition once she learnt of it. Surely she would not want power to die out of the family with her death. Surely not. In the event, acquiring power proved rather more complicated than Sarazin had imagined. His comfortable life as a hostage in the cool and shady city of Voice had left him ill-prepared for a life of war, intrigue and wizardry. Yet that was what awaited him.

Inside Cover

'It was nice knowing you, Sarazin my friend, but I fear I'll know you no longer. To drink from the Velvet River means certain death by nightfall.' 'Gah!' said Sarazin, in a rare display of perfect idiomatic Churl. But his brothers chaffed him about his recklessness until it was time to board the slave-powered ferry for the trip north to the city of his destiny. Once aboard, Sarazin did not sit. It was too crowded, there were no seats - and his buttocks were raw from the saddle. Padded with greasy raw wool he had managed to ride - but only just. Lod continued to josh him about drinking riverwater. Had he really made a bad mistake? He thought to ask Jarl about it - but Jarl had vanished. Sarazin, desolated, feared him gone for good. Thus it happens in legend. The old swordmaster trains the youth who is fated to dare all on a perilous quest for power or treasure. Then the master dies, retires or vanishes, leaving youth to battle unaided against the evil wizard, the red dragon, the pit of claws, the halfelven enemy or whatever it is. Momentarily, Sarazin was half-convinced he had indeed embarked on a life of legend. After all, he had always known he was meant for great things. But, as he realized in a moment of utter panic, he was far from ready to dare such a destiny unaided.

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