Shadows Over Innocence (an Emperors Edge short story) (The Emperors Edge)

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It did not rain so very much even in the rainy season, when it had a perfect right to; therefore there was joy in the heart and no umbrella anywhere about when we prepared to set forth on our day of discovery. The shallow waters of the cove have been long filled in, but at that time the wharf actually began at Francisco Street between Powell and Mason. They lay on their backs by scores and hundreds, and waved numberless legs in the air — I mean the crabs, not the crabbers. We used to go crabbing ourselves when we felt like it, with a net made of a bit of mosquito-bar stretched over an iron hoop, and with a piece of meat tied securely in the middle of it.

When we hauled up those home-made hoop-nets — most everything seems to have been home-made in those days — we used to find one, two, perhaps three huge crabs revolving clumsily about the centre of attraction in the hollow of the net; and then we shouted in glee and went almost wild with excitement. We never quite comprehended it: we were too young for that, and too shy and too well-bred to make curious or impertinent inquiry.

We sometimes stood at the wide doorway — it was forever invitingly open, — and looked with awe and amazement at paintings richly framed and hung so close together that no bit of the wall was visible. There was a bar at the farther end of the long room, — there was always a bar somewhere in those days; and there were cages filled with strange birds and beasts, — as any one might know with his eyes shut, for the odor of it all was repelling. The strangest feature of that most strange hostelry was the amazing wealth of cobwebs that mantled it. Cobwebs as dense as crape waved in dusty rags from the ceiling; they veiled the pictures and festooned the picture-frames, that shone dimly through them.

Not one of these cobwebs was ever molested — or had been from the beginning of time, as it seemed to us. A velvet carpet on the floor was worn smooth and almost no trace of its rich flowery pattern was left; but there were many square boxes filled with sand or sawdust and reeking with cigar stumps and tobacco juice.

Need I add that some of those pictures were such as our young and innocent eyes ought never to have been laid on?

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Nor were they fit for the eyes of others. There was something uncanny about that house.

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The wharf in front of the house was a free menagerie. Then again there were whole rows of parrots and cockatoos and macaws as splendid as rainbow tints could make them, and with tails a yard long at least. From this bewildering pageant it was but a step to the beach below. Indeed the water at high tide flowed under that house with much foam and fury; for it was a house founded upon the sand, and it long since toppled to its fall, as all such houses must.

We followed the beach, that rounded in a curve toward Black Point. Black Point is the area on which Fort Mason would later be built, an elevated promontory between Aquatic Park and the Marina. Just before reaching the Point there was a sandhill of no mean proportions; this, of course, we climbed with pain, only to slide down with perspiration.

It was our Alp, and we ascended and descended it with a flood of emotion not unmixed with sand. Near by was a wreck, — a veritable wreck; for a ship had been driven ashore in the fog and she was left to her fate — and our mercy. Probably it would not have paid to float her again; for of ships there were more than enough.

Everything worth while was coming into the harbor, and almost nothing going out of it. Other editions.

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Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Note: Despite chronology, it is recommended that The Emperor's Edge book 1 be read first. This short story contains a spoiler for book 1. The target? Five-year-old Prince Sespian. Shadows over Innocence is a 4, Note: Despite chronology, it is recommended that The Emperor's Edge book 1 be read first.

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Get A Copy. Kindle Edition , 17 pages. More Details The Emperor's Edge 0. Sicarius , Sespian Savarsin. Other Editions 1. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Shadows Over Innocence , please sign up. Be the first to ask a question about Shadows Over Innocence.

Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 4. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Mar 25, Bookwraiths rated it really liked it Shelves: self-published , e-books , fantasy , short-fiction. As the tale begins, Sicarius has just completed a successful assassination for his liege lord. Upon his arrival at the palace, he interacts with Emperor Raumesys Savarsin, Commander of the Armies Hollowcrest, and five-year-old Prince Sespian; something that allows this silent assassin to divulge parts of his murky past, explore who he might truly be, and internally express his true feelings about those he serves — years before his chronicled exploits.

While Amaranthe Lokdon was definitely the protagonist of the series, this near silent, mysterious killer was, by far, my favorite character.

Shadows Over Innocence (an Emperor's Edge short story)

This was mainly due to how Sicarius was portrayed: saying very little, blending in with the crowd, keeping to himself, not trusting people, and being skilled at numerous tasks. A standard Sicarius mission going something like this. No endless planning. No annoying brooding. No monologue-ing.

Nope, just a skilled assassin doing his job. Now, if this story is one you'd like to try, please realize it might be more entertaining if you have read book one of the series and are already familiar with the characters highlighted here, but if you decide to start with "Shadows," never fear, because it is an entertaining adventure tale in its own right, filled with wonderful interactions between Sicarius and the other characters as well as having a rousing assassination tale of its very own.

View 2 comments. Feb 17, Marta Cox rated it liked it Shelves: books-i-own. A prequel of sorts and a freebie. This introduces an assassin who is more than just his training who works for a hard Emperor in a time when death seems cheap. Yet we also get a glimpse of the child who will grow up to be the new Emperor and there's an innocence about him that whilst fragile is appealing.