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Cover for 'The Ring and the Flag'

Newly-graduated imperial officer Justin is convinced he has no future, and hearing the details of the secret mission he's assigned for the Emperor won't change his mind. Civil War threatens the North Mark. Justin must race against time to form a company, and lead his men into the center of the web; but what happens when his loyalty to the Empire means the death of those who follow him?

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  • Justin believes that his failure to make the grade in the Emperor's new Officer Corps is the end his career. But his final interview with Commander Hansen holds a surprise and a secret.

  • The Shard Demon imprisoned beneath Cryssigens has an unexpected visitor. Meanwhile Justin, also defying expectations appears to be a "bought-badge" officer; he recruits his junior officers and observes them hire soldiers.

  • The conspiracy in the North Mark extends deeper than Justin knows- a merciless bandit waits to ambush the Emperor's official mission with arcane resources. Justin's company begins to cohere into a fighting unit, singing on the march, and hears about the glories of the city where they are headed.

  • Justin's troop encounters its first taste of combat, and he meets his lifelong rival Valin, who in dying passes him the flag. Justin sees no way to complete his secret mission now- the race to reach Cryssigens looks lost from the start.

  • Justin struggles to penetrate the hills, but the bandits bring a monstrous foe against his newly-inherited company. Bar-flies in Cryssigens hear that the Emperor's mission has been destroyed, and nothing stands in the way of rebellion against the Empire now.

  • Justin sacrifices his life to destroy the bandit-monster and give his men a shot at victory. The leaders of Cryssigens convene to elect a new Mark who will no doubt lead a rebellion. What chance is there to avert civil war?

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