Originally published as part of Six by Six: A New Kind of Spec-Fic Anthology. Contains all five previously published short stories set in Ile-Rien and Cineth, plus a new story, "Night at the Opera," set before The Death of the Necromancer and featuring Reynard Morane and Nicholas Valiarde.
Wells' collection of short stories from Ile-Rien and the related world of Cineth is a delight even if you haven't read the associated novels — though of course Death of the Necromancer is also part of this Storybundle! Two stories from Ile-Rien's past grant new glimpses of both the deadly Fey and of Nicholas Vailliarde, and a matching set from Cineth open a window into a world reminiscent of the ancient Mediterranean, where magic is perilous and a god may reside in the roots of an olive tree. Wells' characters are as compelling as her world-building, making this a collection to be savored. – Melissa Scott
Readers enthused after reading these six stories from Six by Six are well prepared to explore any and all of the novels. Readers like myself, well familiar with all of Wells' oeuvre, will help find a lot of blanks filled in that were only hinted at within the pages of the novels.– Paul Weimer, The Skiffy and Fanty Show
Martha Wells was one of the most popular writers ever published in Black Gate. In fact, her three Cineth stories featuring Giliead and Ilias helped bring us a host of new readers. Those three stories have never been collected — until now. Between Worlds: The Collected Ile-Rien and Cineth Stories, one of six anthologies to be funded by the successful Six by Six Kickstarter in December, is now available. It contains "Holy Places," "Houses of the Dead," and "Reflections," which first appeared in Black Gate 10, 11, and 12, as well as "Night at the Opera," a brand new Nicholas and Reynard story set before The Death of the Necromancer, and two other stories.– Black Gate Magazine
If you've already fallen in love with the Ile-Rien novels by Martha Wells—and, really, haven't we all?—then you need the stories collected in Between Worlds. How exactly did Ilias become Giliead's foster brother? What was it actually like, growing up as a god's Chosen Vessel? What were the experiences that forged Giliead and Ilias into such an effective team? These are the stories that will fill in those gaps for you.
Besides the four stories that show us these earlier adventures on Cineth, Between Worlds also collects a story set before before The Element of Fire and featuring Kade Carrion. Better yet, the all-new "Night at the Opera," takes place before the Death of the Necromancer and showcases Nicholas Valiarde and Reynard Morane—just the allies you want on your side if you happen to encounter the world's creepiest blackmailer. And hey, if by any chance you haven't yet encountered Martha Wells, these stories, all prequels to her various novels, offer a fine introduction.– Rachel Neumeier, author of The Keeper of the Mist
Reynard Morane was at his usual table in the Cafe Baudy, a somewhat risqué establishment built on a barge in the Deval Forest pleasure garden's lake, when a beautiful man approached his table. This wasn't an unusual occurrence, especially in this cafe, but this beautiful man was a stranger. He said, "Captain Morane?"
From his features and dark skin, the man was Parscian, a little younger than Reynard but not by much, tall and well-built, and dressed in an elegant but understated way which suggested some level of the upper class. The coat was too expensive for the man to be from a university. For some reason, Reynard attracted a high percentage of men of academic persuasions. "Yes." Reynard smiled warmly. "Please join me."
The man hesitated, then drew out the opposite chair. "A friend told me about you."
"And which friend is this?" Reynard caught the waiter's attention and lifted his brows. The waiter sized up the situation professionally, then went to the bar for a fresh bottle of wine and glasses.
"A man named Biendare." The man lowered his voice. "I believe he is known in some circles as 'Binny.'"
"Binny?" Reynard frowned. This was not encouraging. Binny was not someone who would have recommended Reynard for an assignation. At least not the kind of assignation Reynard had hoped for. Just to make certain, he said, "At the roasted nut kiosk on the Street of Flowers?"
"No, it was in March Street, at a wine bar that also sells fried fish."
"Right." Reynard sat up, adjusting his attitude from invitingly indolent to business-like and alert.
The waiter arrived at the table with the bottle and glasses. Reynard sighed and told him, "No."
"No?" The waiter looked startled, then disappointed. "Oh. Coffee, perhaps?"
"Coffee," Reynard agreed.
The man cast a puzzled look at the retreating waiter's back, and Reynard admitted, "I was hoping it was an assignation." He waved a hand. "It's the Cafe Baudy, you know. There are often assignations."
"Oh, yes, I..." The man obviously decided to drop that subject and pursue his objective. "My name is Amadel. I am the confidential secretary for the Lady Shankir-Clare. She needs assistance of a...particular sort."
Reynard held up a hand for silence as the waiter approached. He waited until the coffee service had been arranged and the waiter departed, then said, "She's being troubled by someone but feels unable to confide the details to the Prefecture?"
"Yes, exactly." Amadel added cream to his cup with the relief of a man who had been searching everywhere for help and was finally in the right place.
This was odd. The Shankir-Clares were a family of rather famous diplomats, wealthy and well-respected in both Parscia and Ile-Rien, where the different branches of the family had originated. Reynard had never met any of them because they were the sort of people who were invited to the palace, not the sort who traveled in demi monde circles. No wonder Amadel hadn't been familiar with the Cafe Baudy. "How did you ever run across Binny?"
"Lady Shankir-Clare's hairdresser knew him," Amadel said. "She said he was the best way to contact people who could help with...sensitive problems."
"Is it blackmail?" Reynard asked. If one of the Shankir-Clare ladies had trusted her affections to the wrong man, and it wasn't someone associated with the infamous Count Montesq, Reynard could probably have it taken care of before dinner. "I quite like dealing with blackmailers. I have some experience at it."
"It isn't an ordinary blackmailer. It's a sorcerer." Amadel's brow furrowed as if he was trying to control a wince of anticipation. He thought Reynard would refuse the commission now. Most of the people who did this sort of thing wouldn't tangle with a sorcerer.
Reynard smiled. "Then Binny sent you to the right place." He signaled the waiter to bring the bill.