Reaper's Awakening: Book One of the Essence Chronicles
Cameron Shale is a Harvester, an agent of the Church whose duty is to save the kingdom’s people by gathering the essence of those chosen to be sacrificed. He does his saving not with a surgeon’s knowledge, or a priest’s prayers, but with the sword. They call him a murderer. They call him the Reaper. His kind are hated, but they are also necessary.
There is a plague waiting to wipe out all those in its path, and it is only with the essences of those sacrificed that it is held at bay. They survived it once. They won't survive it again. But when a shadowy figure emerges leading a rebellion against the Church and king, Cameron is forced to ask questions about a past that has haunted him his entire life. Questions that can only be asked with steel. Questions that can only be answered in blood.
The Downs, the poor district of the city of Avarest, is home to cutthroats and thieves, pickpockets and prostitutes, all of whom pay tribute to one of two powerful crime bosses. It is also home to Aaron Envelar, a disillusioned sellsword known as the Silent Blade, who cares nothing for the criminal overlords or their schemes, who only wants to survive and make a little coin in the process.
But when a group of unwitting thugs steal his mother’s necklace, the only link he has to his murdered parents, Aaron decides that sometimes gold isn’t enough—sometimes, blood is the only payment worth taking. And whatever else will come, this time, he will not be silent. After all, when you take everything from a man, what else does he have to lose?