Book of the New Sun (Fantasy Masterworks 02) (Vol 1) by Gene Wolfe
By Gene Wolfe
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Extra info for Book of the New Sun (Fantasy Masterworks 02) (Vol 1)
Darkness closed over me, but out of the darkness came the face of a woman, as immense as the green face of the moon. It was not she who wept - I could hear the sobs still, and this face was untroubled, and indeed filled with that kind of beauty that hardly admits of expression. Her hands reached toward me, and I at once became a fledgling I had taken from its nest the year before in the hope of taming it to perch on my finger, for her hands were each as long as the coffins in which I sometimes rested in my secret mausoleum.
While he shifted his ground I saw Vodalus wrench the knife free and drive it into the leader's throat. The ax rose to strike; I grasped the helve just below the head almost by reflex, and found myself at once in the struggle, kicking, then striking. Quite suddenly it was over. The volunteer whose bloodied weapon I held was dead. The leader of the volunteers was writhing at our feet. The pikeman was gone; his pike lay harmlessly across the path. Vodalus retrieved a black wand from the grass nearby and sheathed his sword in it.
They had the corpse of a woman. Her hair, which had been dark, was in some disorder now about her livid face; she wore a long gown of some pale fabric. "You see," the heavy man said, "just as I told you, Liege, Madame, nineteen times of a score there's nothin' to it. " The words were no sooner out of his mouth than I heard someone shout. Three of the volunteers were coming down the path over the rim of the dale. "Hold them off, Liege," the heavy man growled, shouldering the corpse. " "Take it," Vodalus said.