My heartfelt thanks goes to Dr. Daniel Wnorowski; Daniel DiMartini, P.A.; Cheryl Bryant; Dr. Sami Abdul-Malak; the aides, housekeepers, nurses, and therapists of Menorah Park in Syracuse, New York; and Ted Lambert of Orthopedic Rehabilitation Associates of Syracuse, New York. All of you saw me through my surgery and subsequent therapy with knowledge, kindness, efficiency, and professionalism. Thanks for putting me back on my feet (knees, actually) and back to writing again!
My thanks to my Random House crew: Mallory Loehr, who continues to be wonderful; Lisa Findlay, who edited Bloodhound; Schuyler Hooke, old friend and new editor for Mastiff; and Chelsea Eberly, who runs interference.
Cheers for my beloved agent, Craig Tenney, and for the foreign rights team at Harold Ober, who keep the lines of publication open and flowing.
Gratitude to Bruce Coville, my reading buddy and fellow Bollywood fan, who swaps notes with me as we read our works-in-progress to each other.
And at home, I say thanks to my beloved Spouse-Creature, Tim, who is an integral part of all of my books, and to my assistants, Sara Alan and Cara Coville, who tolerate my goofy self and help keep me moving forward. It would not be the same without any of you.
I’d also like to thank Freetheslaves.com for their splendid information and work. Wherever we are, the United States or former Soviet socialist republics, Australia or Dubai, Canada or India, there are slaves. Someone may come up with a prettier name, but they are slaves at the core. Please don’t forget them.
TAMORA PIERCE captured the imagination of readers more than twenty-five years ago with Alanna: The First Adventure. She has written over twenty-five books, including three completed quartets (The Song of the Lioness, The Immortals, and The Protector of the Small), the Trickster duet, and now the Beka Cooper trilogy, set in the fantasy realm of Tortall. She has also written The Circle of Magic and The Circle Opens quartets, as well as two stand-alone titles, The Will of the Empress and Melting Stones. Her books have been translated into many languages, and some are available on audio from Listening Library and Full Cast Audio. She and her husband, Timothy Liebe, also co-wrote the six-episode comic White Tiger: A Hero’s Compulsion for Marvel Comics.
Tamora Pierce’s fast-paced, suspenseful writing and strong, believable heroines have won her much praise: Emperor Mage was a 1996 ALA Best Book for Young Adults, The Realms of the Gods was listed as an “outstanding fantasy novel” by Voice of Youth Advocates in 1996, Squire (Protector of the Small #3) was a 2002 ALA Best Book for Young Adults, and Lady Knight (Protector of the Small #4) debuted at number one on the New York Times bestseller list. Trickster’s Choice spent a month on the New York Times bestseller list and was a 2003 ALA Best Book for Young Adults. Trickster’s Queen was also a New York Times bestseller.
An avid reader herself, Ms. Pierce graduated from the University of Pennsylvania. She has worked at a variety of jobs and has written everything from novels to radio plays. Along with writer Meg Cabot (The Princess Diaries series), she co-founded SheroesCentral, a discussion board about female heroes; remarkable women in fact, fiction, and history; books; current events; and teen issues. SheroesCentral and SheroesFans are now independent of her, but she still drops by and welcomes the Sheroes she meets on tour.
Tamora Pierce lives in Syracuse, New York, with her husband, Tim, a writer, Web page designer, and Web administrator, and their eight indoor cats, porch cat, basement cat, two birds, and occasional rescued wildlife.
For more information, visit tamorapierce.com.