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When you’ve been accused of kidnapping an emperor, and every enforcer in the city wants your head, it’s hard to prove yourself an honorable person and even harder to earn an imperial pardon.

That doesn’t keep Amaranthe Lokdon and her team of outlaws from trying. When athletes start disappearing from the Imperial Games, they may finally have an opportunity to show the emperor that they’re on his side. If she and her comrades can get to the bottom of such a public mystery, they’re sure to get the credit.

But plans go awry when Amaranthe’s own men start plotting against each other, the new ally she’d hoped to acquire tries to turn her in, and her best fighter—and closest friend—disappears.

Maybe getting involved wasn’t such a good idea after all…

Deadly Games is approximately 110,000 words (400 paperback pages). It is the third book in The Emperor's Edge series.

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  • Chapter 1: The crowded Imperial Games stadium is no place for outlaws to loiter, but when word of kidnapped athletes reaches Amaranthe Lokdon she realizes this may finally be her team's chance to earn the emperor's attention -- and a pardon.

  • Chapter 2: Maldynado has arranged a "date" with a warrior-caste journalist, Deret Mancrest, for Amaranthe. Believing it a trap, Sicarius invites himself along.

  • Chapter 3: Sicarius's hunch is correct. Meanwhile, the rest of the team searches the Imperial Games grounds and find signs of illegal magic use.

  • Chapter 4: After eluding Mancrest's trap, Amaranthe decides to visit him anyway, to see what information the journalist may have on the kidnappings. Dinner with Mancrest -- with Sicarius looming nearby -- proves interesting.

  • Chapter 5: Amaranthe talks Basilard into entering an event in the Games, thus to spy from within.

  • Chapter 6: Amaranthe and Sicarius visit a group of miners who may have something to do with the kidnappings. Shortly after sending Sicarius off to follow the leader, she discovers his name on a list that includes the missing athletes.

  • Chapter 7: Sicarius fails to return from the spy errand.

  • Chapter 8: Amaranthe and Maldynado search for Sicarius. Basilard competes in the "clank race" and draws the kidnappers' attention by posting the fastest time amongst the early round entrants.

  • Chapter 9: Basilard and Sicarius are both missing. Deret Mancrest proposes another meeting, this time at midnight in the ruins of Pyramid Park. Amaranthe suspects another trap, but the journalist may have useful information.

  • Chapter 10: After turning the trap on Mancrest, Amaranthe and the rest of the team take their new clues and search for the kidnappers in the heart of the capital. Amaranthe discovers an old enemy is involved.

  • Chapter 11: Basilard wakes up naked in the cell of a strange vessel. Meanwhile, Akstyr gets a lead on the kidnappers and takes Amaranthe and the others to the docks.

  • Chapter 12: Basilard is strapped down on a laboratory table next to Sicarius and the missing athletes. Too bad Sicarius is drugged and unconscious.

  • Chapter 13: After the team realizes the kidnappers and victims are housed in a submergible laboratory at the bottom of the lake, they must figured out how to access it. To make matters worse, a fearsome underwater predator is guarding the structure.

  • Chapter 14: Realizing they'll need help to rescue their comrades, Amaranthe returns to Mancrest, hoping to convince him to tell his naval captain brother of the trouble on the lake bottom.

  • Chapter 15: Basilard and Sicarius attempt an escape, but soldiers and wizards defending the laboratory rally to hunt them down.

  • Chapter 16: Hoping Mancrest's brother will distract the people and the creature defending the laboratory, Amaranthe and the team try to infiltrate it in underwater breathing suits.

  • Chapter 17: With the help of an escaped athlete, the team fights its way inside to search for their comrades. Unfortunately, the marine ship above has decided to drop explosives to destroy the laboratory.

  • Chapter 18: Amaranthe and the others fight their way to the ballast tanks, hoping to force the laboratory to the surface.

  • Chapter 19: After escaping the lake and thwarting the kidnappers, Basilard heads off for a dinner hosted for the victorious athletes. Amaranthe has made peace with Mancrest, and, at Maldynado's urging, agrees to a picnic with the man, but Sicarius has something to say about that...

  • Epilogue: At the dinner, the emperor presses a note into Basilard's hand.

  • Preview of Book 4: Conspiracy

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