Quall Assassin: Talaza's Contract
by Yuan Jur

"'For what you have done to my Analuke, I allow you to see my true face. Consider this a parting gift.'"

On the planet Tora, a conflict of warring clans is threatening to bubble up to the surface and bring the entire continent of Ludd into battle. Talaza and his wife Analuke belong to the Quall, a four-armed race of assassins that live in the mountains, stick to the shadows, and carry out their contracts with precision and without mercy. When the couple receives orders to ambush a supposed peace talk between the warrior clan of Scarzen and the duplicitous Flaxon, they have their reservations but are honor-bound to fulfill the request. Before he can finish scouting, Talaza is intercepted by the Star Lord and his canine companion and informed that he must abandon his duty in order to protect the whole land from a terrible tragedy. Worrying about his wife’s decisions and skeptical of his abductor’s true purpose, Talaza can only watch and hope that things resolve peacefully.

The Citadel 7 Superverse series continues in this fifth novella, highlighting the code and behavior of the reclusive and mysterious Quall. Those that have been following the story will be familiar with the world and some of the more prominent characters already, but because of the nature of this series, it’s not at all prohibitive for newer readers to start here and work their way through the other books at their own whim. Despite the shorter form of a novella, the author does a splendid job of building out the world of Tora and its differing races, cultures, and natural features. Blending the genres of science fiction and fantasy, this story is an imaginative, entertaining read and worthy of consideration for any reader who likes to be thrust into an unfamiliar situation, working out the details as they go along.

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