At the heart of The Three Lands, there is a paradise, filled with beauty and wonders of all kinds. A lush and vibrant place, it stands in sharp contrast to the baseness and squalor of the world outside the walls of Osrakum. But this beauty comes at a cost. The Masters who rule the world are driven by sadistic dreams and mythic charms. They use their vast powers to leech the resources of the world unto themselves, to create an artificial haven where they play out twisted games of power amid a decadent splendor. Within the inner circle of power lies a glittering court where the royal houses plot vile atrocities, and madness and bestiality hold sway. The Masters are nothing less than gods in this realm and their plans (or whims) can bring either perfect pleasure... or death.Young Carnelian has spent his entire life in exile with his father, a nobleman who rejected the evil ways of his people and fled to the ends of the known world. But forces conspired to change all that, and Carnelian returned to his homeland. He is a sheep among wolves, and it has taken every ounce of his strength to resist the temptations of power that threaten to seduce his very soul.What Carnelian could never have imagined was that he would fall in love with none other than Osidian, one of the twin Gods, ruler of his world--or that forces far darker than he thought possible would use him as a weapon. When the young lovers are kidnapped by the Empress Ykoriana and forced from the safety of the empire, it appears that their lives are forfeit. But Carnelian and Osidian fall into the hands of barbarians from the southern plain they call the Undersky. These raiders manage to elude the legions of the Masters, and after enduring terrible hardships, they succeed in bringing their prizes home to their tribe.Carnelian comes to realize that the world is much more bizarre than he could ever imagine, that love can sometimes blind you to things that may destroy you, that the simple things the heart can teach you will prove to be the most true....And that he holds in his hands the potential to save or doom all of his world.The Standing Dead is the powerful sequel to Ricardo Pinto's first novel The Chosen, and it continues this unique fantasy series about power, eros, and madness...and the depths a man will go to for love. It is the second volume in The Stone Dance of the Chameleon series, and he is currently at work on the third. Ricardo Pinto resides in Edinburgh, Scotland.


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The Standing Dead
by Ricardo Pinto

Tor Books
March 1, 2003
ISBN #0312872097
560 pages
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