Huemac, a half-breed, covets ultimate power, but he needs two things—access to the royal family and an ancient artifact. He attains the former by seducing the Emperor’s sister, and then steals the latter.
Moctezuma, the newly crowned Emperor, comes from a long line of powerful gods known as Sin-Eaters. He desires peace among his people, but an ancient prophecy warns of war.
Huemac discovers the incantation to activate the fabled Athame of Souls, a mythical weapon capable of entrapping souls. His quest to rule is within his grasp. Only one thing stands in his way—Moctezuma.
“I understand that my sister has requested you as part of her personal guard,” Moctezuma began offhandedly. “This is a much-coveted position.”
Huemac pretended not to see the dark glare Metztli shot Moctezuma. “Indeed, Lord Emperor. It is a testament of the trust and faith the princess has in me.” He allowed pride and arrogance to flow through his voice.
Moctezuma merely smiled. “Please do not stand on formality, old friend. I am rather pleased Metztli has requested you.”
Huemac coughed in surprise. He made the mistake of glancing directly into Moctezuma’s eyes and once more experienced the sensation of falling. With great effort he looked away. Had the emperor seen anything?
Moctezuma frowned, then rubbed his temples. “I will be speaking with Tialoc about the reassignment once he returns.”
Hope that had nothing to do with his own plot soared through Huemac. Once more he wondered if he were merely using Metztli as a means to an end of if he truly had feelings for her. “And when will that be?”
Moctezuma stared at a point beyond Metztli’s shoulder. “Three days’ time. In the meantime I have spoken with Xochiti to lighten your duties so that the two of you may be permitted some time here and there.”
Joy burst through Huemac. He shook himself. What was the matter with him? He was behaving like some lovestruck halfling.
“Oh that is marvelous!” Metztli beamed. “We can picnic in the valley of the Emperors. You have promised to show me the tombs of the Fallen.”
Huemac inclined his head, unable to stop the smile of indulgence from curling his lips. “Indeed I did. As soon as I know when I can leave, we will begin our adventure.” And maybe I’ll find the incantation to free my soul.