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The Plague of Quentaris - Gary Crew

The Story Behind The Story - I got the idea for The Plague of Quentaris after reading a book on the Black Death which was caused by fleas on rats. This got me thinking about the poem, The Pied Piper of Hamelin, and how the rats were run into the mountain (like the rift caves) then the kids of Hamelin disappeared. So, those ideas were utilised for The Plague of Quentaris. I am going back to explore how the children were stolen in my next Quentaris title.

But on the last night of the Three-Day Dark, some said they saw a shape in the starry sky, a black void, where no star shone, a void in the shape of a rat…
Is this a warning of fantastical events to befall Quentaris? What part do the rat children, Anton and Vega, play in this horror? Is this the final calamity that will destroy the mighty city?
So the battlements were breached.

The city entered.

The scene in the marketplace was terrible. Ignoring the warnings of the Watch — ‘Over-zealous,’ some said. ‘Exaggerated others scoffed. ‘Who hasn’t seen a few rats?’ they laughed — the merchants had gone to their stalls.

This was Quentaris, after all.

This was just another day.

This was routine.

But this was the beginning of the plague.

The plague of Quentaris.

And what a vile, ignoble, merciless plague it was.

Scenting the delicacies of the market, the rats ignored the timbers of the city and headed pell-mell for the fresh fruits and meats, the cakes and savouries, the hot bread and sticky buns, the honeys and nectars that the merchants prided themselves upon. In a swarm they launched themselves on the tables, overturning the stalls, scattering the money, the shells, the beads, the discs and tokens of turquoise and lapis, anything and everything that represented the commerce of the city. Only then did the merchants believe. Only then did they see the size of the brutes. Never had they seen rats this big before. The size of dogs, they were, their matted coats long and mangy, their claws huge, their teeth enormous. Their eyes were huge, yellow, reddening like the glare of sullen coals as they ate. And they ate everything. Not just the foodstuffs — whether fresh or rotten — but the oilskin mats that protected the tables, the vendors’ leather aprons, the very tables themselves. Anything and everything that food had touched.

And they would have eaten more — even the children, even the babes in arms, their gummy faces smeared with cheese and yoghurt — had not the Watch descended.

bullet The Gimlet Eye
Equen Queen
Battle for Quentaris
The Spell of Undoing
Vampires of Quentaris
The Skyflower
The Prisoner of Quentaris
Pirates of Quentaris
The Forgotten Prince
Stars of Quentaris
Stolen Children of Quentaris
Nightmare in Quentaris
The Murderers’ Apprentice
The Cat Dreamer
Princess of Shadows
Rifts Through Quentaris
The Plague of Quentaris
The Mind Master
Treasure Hunters of Q.
The Ancient Hero
Angel Fever
Stones of Quentaris
Dragonlords of Quentaris
Quentaris in Flames
Swords of Quentaris
The Revognase
The Perfect Princess
Slaves of Quentaris
Beneath Quentaris

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