Khat, a member of a humanoid race created by the Ancients to survive in the Waste, and Sagai, his human partner, are relic dealers working on the edge of society, trying to stay one step ahead of the Trade Inspectors and to support Sagai's family. When Khat is hired to find relics believed to be part of one of the Ancients' arcane engines, they are both reluctant to become involved. But the request comes from the Warders, powerful mages who serve Charisat's Elector. Khat soon discovers that the deadly politics of Charisat's upper tiers aren't the only danger. The relics the Warders want are the key to an Ancient magic of unknown power, and, as all the inhabitants of Charisat know, no one understands the Ancients' magic.
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by Martha Wells
by Tim Akers
"Narrator Kyle McCarley sets a steady and even pace for this postapocalyptic tale. The oceans have dried up but left behind many archeological relics. Khat, a bioengineered humanoid, together with his human partner and others, trades in those ancient relics. When Khat is ordered to search for one relic in particular, it puts his life, and the world, at risk. McCarleyÕs style is generally easygoing and relaxed other than in encounters and activities that illustrate a major theme of the bookÑthe wide disparity between the rights and power of the patricians and those of the noncitizens. He engenders empathy for Khat and others of his class as they continue their struggle to make a good life for themselves. J.E.M. © AudioFile 2014, Portland, Maine"
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