The last bastion of freedom on Mars is about to fall…undermined by enemies within: a secret sisterhood of assassins and the fugitive remnants of the Yellow League–rogue Technopriests with the secret of immortality–who are returning with ancient weapons of unimaginable power, and vengeance in their cold, cold hearts.
Only an astronaut from future Earth and a motley alliance of Martian female warriors stand in their way.
Book 7 in the Dire Planet series is now available at Amazon.com in print and Kindle formats.
Skelks are constantly regrowing teeth. The worn teeth fall out and are replaced by new ones. These tooth remnants are a sign of skelk infestation and are referred to as spottle.
The phrase ‘casting darts into the wind’ indicates wishful thinking or hoping for a lucky turn of events, since throwing darts into the wind is unlikely to result in those darts actually hitting the target.
Some tribes of the Galbran hold yearly tournaments similar to the hastiludes of the Muvari, but far deadlier. Ten contestants vie to prove their superiority in arms and strength, and the survivor wins five wives and a dozen servants and five casks of mushroom ale. One of the contests is the war of knots, which is similar to tug-of-war, where teams vie to pull the others into a chasm filled with spikes.
One of the unfortunate side effects of these hastiludes is it has the tendency to slay most of the best warriors of the tribe, thereby weakening them when it comes time to go to war. Naturally, the winner of the hastilude is expected to fight valiantly, which they almost always do, unless they have become drunkards, imbibing too much of their winnings.