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The Bloodbaths is the first book of Steve Libbey's new Aqua Pura Trilogy, a sword and sandal fantasy featuring a plumber on an epic quest to win back his beloved. Mercedes Lackey says: "Steve Libbey gives the 'sword-and-sandal' epic a kick in the tunic and propels it into the gestalt of the 21st century, with an everyman hero whose brains triumph over brawn."

Crixus Oraan is a water artesan, an engineer who builds aqueducts and piping for bathhouses and mansions in the empire of Rond (which bears a resemblance to our own Roman Empire). His guild has entrusted him with a large sum of gold to establish a branch in the up-and-coming coastal town of Restia. In a misguided effort to win enough gold to buy a lavish house for his new fiancé Kharrina, he loses the guild's gold in a card game.

A shady sea captain present at the game—and possibly responsible for fleecing him—offers to sneak him off to the wild and mysterious continent of Minq. Afraid to lose his status in society for his crime, he agrees, hoping to gain back the gold he lost and compensate the guild back in Rond.

In this first volume in the bold new Aqua Pura Trilogy, Crixus finds employment with the Lamiae of Nistru, a cruel society where those at the top bathe in the lifeblood of those on the bottom. Will his conscience allow him to finish the job?

By turns dark, comedic, erotic and thrilling, The Bloodbaths is a book that transcends genre to stand on its own.

This podcast is read by SWC's own Veronica Giguere.

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