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Glen Cook The Swordbearer Chapter One Kacalief Summer dessicated the earth and made the horizons waver behind air heavy with dust and pollen. There was no breeze to gentle the gnawing heat. Hooves thundered across hard earth. A war cry slapped the morning's face. A crack hit the still air as a rider's blade bit an oaken post standing in the center of a field where only the most determined grasses survived. A woodchip arced away. The rider's sword flew from his hand. It spun across the powdery earth. A fifteen year old sat watching his brothers rehearse the skills of war. He had his behind nestled in a grassy hummock. His arms were around his shins. His chin rested on his knees. His face was grim. He smiled only weakly when Belthar gave his brother hell. Fabric rustled behind him. He did not turn. His sister came round his shade bush and settled beside him. She was a year older, blonde and striking. She would become a beautiful woman. Anger flashed in her pale gray eyes....