The outcasts; the hunted of all the brighter worlds, crowded onto Yaroto. But even here was there salvation for Ransome, the jinx-scarred acolyte, when tonight was the night of Bani-tai ... the night of expiation by the photo-memoried priests of dark Darion?
answered without forethought: "The Temple."
"You studied for the priesthood of the Dark One yourself."
"Did Mytor tell you that?"
Irene nodded. The candlelight gave luster to her dark hair and revealed the contours of her high, firm breasts.
Ransome's pulse speeded up just looking at her. Then he saw that she was regarding him as if he were something crawling in damp stone, and there was bitterness in him.
"There are things that even Mytor doesn't know, even omniscient Mytor--"
He checked himself.
"You were going to tell me about how you are really a very honorable man. Why don't you? You have an hour before it will be time to betray the woman from the Hawk of Darion."
Ransome shrugged, and his voice returned her mockery.
"If I told you that I had been an acolyte in the Temple of the Dark One, and that I was condemned to death for blasphemy, committed for love of a woman, would you like me better?"
Good moody story of rescue and betrayal across interstellar space. Actually, everything except the flashbacks takes place on a planet where the dregs of the universe settle.
Nice characters, nice plotting, 6o years old, but not really dated.
An enjoyable read with a sinister, jinx-scarred acolyte and a ruthless gangster venusarian boss who doesn't honor all of his promises. Well written. Enjoyable plot.
2013 SFR GALAXY AWARD WINNER
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