Anabasis by Mak Long
Ancient beyond memory, the lands of the Middle Sea are the dying embers of a glorious culture that once spanned the Five Directions—and beyond. Now cruel and decadent, the fractious city-republics of the Commonwealth cling to the last remnants of former magnificence.
Through this scarred world comes Basti, a gunslinger, a soldier, and a mercenary from the icebound North seeking to make the perilous journey through hostile territory, only to discover that desire and love can burn bright even in the shattered wasteland. Joined in her travels by Irhal, a huntress and daughter of the forest and of the Fae, the headlong collision between two alien ways of life births conflict, passion, and the promise of renewal.
Word count: 20.000