By K. J. Parker

A new stand-alone novel from the acclaimed writer of the Engineer Trilogy and The Company.

Basso the great. Basso the good. Basso the clever. the 1st Citizen of the Vesani Republic is a rare guy.

He is ruthless, crafty, and mainly, fortunate. He brings wealth, energy and status to his humans. yet with strength comes undesirable recognition, and Basso needs to safeguard his kingdom and himself from threats international and family. In a life of an important judgements, he is merely ever made one mistake.

One mistake, although, could be sufficient.

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He’d by no means been recognized to make any kind of political noises, he’d received strong wars, and through all debts he was once a good sufficient kind of anyone, for a foreigner. as long as no one observed it as a precedent, there particularly wasn’t any damage in it; and that enterprise with the aqueduct, and the cowshit… “He’s acquired a genius for giving quite worthwhile provides that you just don’t really want,” Aelius stated, searching through the window on the parade floor. one thousand new recruits, lately shipped in from Perigouna, have been being marched around the major backyard to the lengthy shed the place they’d have their heads shaved and their toes inspected. He’d been via that shed himself as soon as. “It’s a very good honour, sir,” stated a tender lieutenant whose identify by no means relatively caught in his reminiscence. “The first time in over centuries—” “Yes, i do know. ” He hadn’t intended to snap. “And now i will be able to marry a citizen, which i've got no purpose of doing, and that i can personal land, which i've got no goal of doing, and that i can vote in elections, which I certainly don't have any purpose of doing. And besides,” he extra, “it’s fallacious. infantrymen shouldn’t be electorate. It’s a very brilliant conference. ” He grew to become clear of the window. “Right,” he stated. “What am I imagined to be doing this present day? ” The lieutenant recited an inventory of names and instances, which Aelius couldn’t rather be afflicted to hear. infantrymen shouldn’t be electorate. squaddies shouldn’t particularly be whatever other than items on a board, to be positioned again within the field while now not in use. It was once simply to boot they had a use for him as a rule. It hadn’t stricken him a lot through the years; he’d been too busy making whatever of himself, as his mom had steered him to do. Youngest commissioned officer, youngest captain, youngest colonel, second-youngest member of the final employees; he’d spent such a lot of his lifestyles in workplaces, attempting to work out the fastest method of relocating up the hall. the difficulty with that as a life-style is that in the end there’s nowhere else to maneuver as much as; at which element, there’s no replacement yet to prevent and notice the place you’ve ended up. Youngest ever Commander-in-Chief of the militia of the Republic; and now a citizen. He used to be healthy and fit, it can be thirty years sooner than he died. What the hell used to be he going to discover to fill within the time? They introduced him papers to signal, after which it used to be time for his first appointment. Basso despatched for his sons. They got here in taking a look worried, as though they have been attempting to work out which in their misdemeanours were detected. “I’ve been thinking,” he stated, no longer them. “And rather, there’s now not a lot element both of you staying on the collage. You’re no longer precisely intellectuals, both of you. ” Pio mumbled whatever, yet Basso had grew to become his deaf part in the direction of him. He mounted his eyes on a element of material within the mosaic. “I imagine you’d be larger occupied studying the kinfolk business,” he acknowledged. “That’s what i used to be doing at your age. My father didn’t think in universities, and I’m uncertain I do, both. ” “Cousin Bassano—” Pio began to say.

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