by Todd Woofenden.
Gunners of the White Cliffs, the first volume of Todd Woofenden's The Gunners Trilogy, is an action/suspense novel with a touch of fantasy, set in two time frames: the present and the distant future.
A tracker hunts a new type of assassin in the present, and a knife fighter in the future tries to protect the villages around him from hostile incursions. The tracker finds that the assassin's attention has turned to a peculiar young woman who can decipher complex patterns. And the knife fighter, hiding in solitude in a mountain pass, is jolted into action when enemy kill squads chase a pair of strangers to his doorstep. The dual time frame adds a touch of fantasy/sci-fi, and sets a tense theme of connections among the characters and across time.
From the back cover:
From his resting place in a cavern beneath the cliffs, a hunter armed with twin ten-inch double-edged blades hears guard transports approaching, rumbling up the road drawn by teams of the finest horses of the southlands, carrying kill squads with cutter guns. Rushing out onto the terraces above the road, he comes across two girls running from the guards, inexplicably still alive. A pair of southern strays has not only crossed the borderlands, but has made it all the way up into the passes.
A tracker known for his ability to find high-value government targets swears off the work when a job goes badly and his handler is killed. But when the killer escapes from prison and assassinates a government advisor near the tracker’s summer lodge, he is drawn back into the hunt. Just as the hunt is getting under way for a second time, a girl who becomes mesmerized by the patterns of things around her is drawn into the pattern herself. Is she the target this time?
Gunners of the White Cliffs, © 2017, Signal Light Books