chamberlain d the silent sister

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The Dead King and the Silent Sister are hidden hands, who play a game across the empires, pushing kings and lords around on the board.... Jalan Kendeth is a Prince, a very minor Prince, son of a corrupt cardinal, grandson of the Red Queen (one of many and not high on the inheritance list), a feckless youth interested in women, gambling, and little else. If asked, he would not consider himself even a worthwhile pawn. But Jalan alone among his far more worthy brothers, can see the Silent Sister--the crone-like woman who accompanies his grandmother everywhere and clearly directs her actions. And he also sees her when she weaves a fiery sorcerous web around a building, trapping everyone inside. Jalan escapes, though he is presumed dead, but the crone's sorcery pursues him--and by accident, a fierce Norse warrior named Snorri Snaggason, who has fled from the fighting pits and is making his way out of the city. Their fates are now intertwined, until they can find a way to end the spell. And since Snorri is by far the more dominant of the two (which is understating) Jal journeys with him. As they travel northward, they soon begin to suspect that they, Prince and Warrior, are indeed pawns in the game that the Red Queen and her Silent Sister are playing to help a rogue Prince named Jorg Ancrath reclaim his throne, so that he might defeat their true enemy, the Dead King....

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