Some selected bits from Michael Flynn's forthcoming novel, On the Razor's Edge:
In the beginning, there were three, because in these matters there are always three. One was a harper and one was a Hound and one was nine.
There was a treasure, because in these matters there is always a treasure. And there was a far quest, and an ancient tyranny; and longing and greed and ambition and treachery. There was courage and cowardice, as one often finds when something very small stands against something very large. One man had let his fears become the master of his acts, and so men died and cities burned.
"... and one was nine." Sends a chill up my spine. This isn't just good SF, it's absolutely bloody amazing story telling. If you haven't read the other books, give them a try - they're a rare treat.