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Authors: S. E. Grove

The Crimson Skew

S. E. G


The Glass Sentence

The Golden Specific

The Crimson Skew


An imprint of Penguin Random House LLC

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New York, New York 10014

First published in the United States of America by Viking, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC, 2016

Copyright © 2016 by S. E. Grove

Maps by Dave A. Stevenson

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ISBN 9780698148383


For Rowan

At that time I had three children who went with me on foot, one who rode on horse back, and one whom I carried on my back.

Our corn was good that year; a part of which we had gathered and secured for winter.

In one or two days after the skirmish at Connissius lake, Sullivan and his army arrived at Genesee river, where they destroyed every article of the food kind that they could lay their hands on. A part of the corn they burnt, and threw the remainder in the river. They burnt our houses, killed what few cattle and horses they could find, destroyed our fruit trees, and left nothing but the bare soil and timber. But the Indians had eloped and were not to be found.

Having crossed and recrossed the river, and finished the work of destruction, the army marched off to the east. Our Indians saw them move off, but suspecting that it was Sullivan's intention to watch our return, and then to take us by surprize, resolved that the main body of our tribe should hunt where we then were, till Sullivan had gone so far that there would be no danger of his returning to molest us.

This being agreed to, we hunted continually till the Indians concluded that there could be no risk in our once more taking possession of our lands. Accordingly we all returned; but what were our feelings when we found that there was not a mouthful of any kind of sustenance left, not even enough to keep a child one day from perishing without hunger.

The weather by this time had become cold and stormy; and as we were destitute of houses and food too, I immediately resolved to take my children and look out for myself, without delay.

—Dehgewärnis (Mary Jemison of the Seneca), 1779


You will understand that our priority was to prevent the advance of the Glacine Age and save our own skins—I could not indulge my inquisitive nature as I usually do. So what did we learn? We knew that Blanca, the Lachrima who had held me captive, relied upon Nihilismian recruits to do her work. We knew that Blanca altered their minds and took many of their memories with the hourglass device, a horror I had seen at work firsthand. We knew that the Sandmen, as she called them, were loyal to her, and I suspected that they were drawn to her in the first place because they perceived in her grand vision for the world a way to return to the Age of Verity. They imagined, as she did, that the consequences of the Great Disruption could somehow be reversed. But our questions outnumbered and still outnumber our answers. How did she find and recruit Sandmen? What Ages did they come from? And, most vitally, what would they do now that Blanca was gone? Would they retreat and disappear from sight? Or would they reemerge to pursue some greater, perhaps even more terrible purpose?

—From Shadrack Elli's private reports to Prime Minister Cyril Bligh

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