Tanith Lee’s 2003 novel Mortal Suns is a standalone secondary world fantasy.
Born deformed, Cemira is consigned by her mother, Queen Hesta of Akhemony, to Death’s Temple to live or die as the god Thon decrees. Cemira apparently attracts Thon’s favour, for she survives the wilful neglect and the abuse that follow.
Cemira is spared a long life of onerous labour in Thon’s temple by the Sun Consort Urdombis. Urdombis, the senior wife, has her co-wife’s child brought back to the royal compound as soon as she learns the child exists. Renamed Callistra, Cemira will be, if not a treasured member of the family, at least acknowledged.
Thon is not done with the girl. Death will transform Akhemony and the lands surrounding it.
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