Eridan wields the coveted bardic rank of Master-Singer to keep his dying race’s culture alive in a brutal world of magic and war. He doesn’t know Sfassa, his brawny wife and musical partner, traded her fanged-and-furred alien shape for a more-human one so she could be with him. Their idyllic marriage shatters when, wounded by an assassination attempt, Sfassa must forever return to her birth shape and her own people.

Eridan still adores his wife and unborn child, but his prim religion and heritage now forbid his marriage. Only the Northwarden—a dangerously charming, genderfluid sorcerer who enforces civilization’s uneasy peace—can guide him toward a solution. Eridan finds he likes the Northwarden far too much for comfort.

Eridan can risk life and sanity to gain shapeshifting and Sfassa, or live a secret and protected life as the Northwarden’s lover. To keep them both, he picks a third audacious path, testing all his skills against vicious assassins, meddling volcano goddesses, his own dearly-bought pride, and the malevolent, sapient heart of the planet itself.

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The Purist