People of the Talisman and The Secret of Sinharat by Leigh Brackett

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Paperback. Condition: Very Good. 1964. Ace. 1st Edition of People of the Talisman.

The Secret of Sinharat
Eric John Stark was a hunted outlaw, a hard, merciless renegade with a twenty-year Moonprison sentence hanging over him. Men called him barbarian, wild man. Women called him beast.

But the Earth Police Control had a use for him, for they knew why he was on Mars. The Martian desert-tribesmen of Kesh and Shun had made alliance with the men of the Low Canals, and following the banner of the enigmatic chieftain Kynon, who promised them eternal life, they would sweep out of the deserts and cast a storm of blood across the planet. Stark was one of the outlaw mercenaries who'd been asked to help lead them.

But if he could lead those men, perhaps he could also stop them. And if the rumors which filtered into Mars' civilized border towns had truth, this uprising had to be stopped - for those behind it were more powerful, and infinitely older, than the barbarian armies they would unleash.

People of the Talisman
When Eric John Stark escaped from the camp of the Lord Ciaran of Mekh, he was nearly dead. His mouth, crazed with fear of the bloody thing that clung to its back, laid its belly to the ground and ran wildly through the bitter wind and snow of the Martian Norlands, and Stark held his seat by a concentration that went beyond the urge to live.

He had a purpose now - to find the city of Kushat, which guarded the mysterious Gates of Death and was in turn protected by the Talisman of Ban Cruach. But the Talisman had been secretly stolen years before, and Kushat now lay helpless before the planned attack of Ciaran's mountain hordes.

What Ciaran didn't know was that Stark himself had the Talisman, and he was grimly determined to use it to exact a savage revenge on the Lord of Mekh.