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Excerpt from Thorn Changer by Christy Reed
Sieku paused a moment and turned to the door, her brush poised to make another pass through her hair. “I was sure I heard something,” she murmured, as only silence sounded in the hall. “Surely it wasn’t—”
Thump. “There it is again,” she rose from her chair. “I’m definitely not hearing things. What could it be?”
She slipped to the door, and bent her head to the key hole. There was hurried whispering outside, “They’re supposed to be here any minute.”
“But we can’t have the party without a minstrel. You know that my lady loves to listen to their tales more than anything else. She didn’t say find one, but you know it’s always been understood that we were to.”
“What can we do?” her steward replied. “It’s almost the hour. There’s no time. We’ll just have to make do with the rest.”
Someone sighed. “I know, but Lady Sieku loves the tales so much… I hate to disappoint her.”
“I wish we could’ve found one for her, but with the Iezomen, the king sent most of them to the border. Wandering minstrels are rare in these times.”
Both voices hushed as footsteps came down the corridor. “Steward, there’s a lass downstairs wanting to see you. Says something about being a minstrel.”
“Ah, wonderful. Tell the lass I’ll be down shortly. Ask her if she knows ‘The Chalice of Nairve.’ It’s one of Her Ladyship’s favorites.”
A giggle. “I believe she does. When I left, she was humming it.”
The voices died away, as footsteps sounded down the hall. Sieku went back to her chair. She began to brush her hair again. “So there’s a minstrel not at the borders after all.” She studied her reflection in the mirror. “I didn’t expect there to be any so close to Miagulo Castle, not with Farer around. I hope she’s not a deserter.”
No, that was silly. All of the minstrels placed at the border knew the seriousness of their duty. And no deserter would dare come so close to the seat of the kingdom. Each one knew the penalty…
Her hand stopped. She placed the brush back in its place, and began to braid the locks next to her face, pulling them back and braiding them together down her back. She turned to view her handiwork in the mirror. “Perfect. It was a good thing I watched Meilee so often. Now I can do it while she’s ill, poor dear.”
She applied a tinge of pink to her lips, a slight bit of powder to her face, and dabbed on some perfume. She rose from her chair, and straightened the skirt of her pale silver gown. “There,” as she surveyed herself in her mirror. “That’ll do. It’s an informal party, after all.”
She sighed. Not all of her guests would be there. “It’s too bad they can’t come. But what they’re doing is important.” She smiled. She’d known the king since childhood, and his nephew since he was a baby. “Ah, they’re a funny pair, to be sure. Kotua is so much like his uncle was at his age. Oh well,” turning toward the door, “maybe next time.”
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That's the end of Chapter Five Part One. I hope you enjoyed it. For right now, Thorn Changer is available exclusively on Amazon. Feel free to share this excerpt, just please include all text between the asterisks (* * *), as well as a link to Thorn Changer's Amazon page. This will give your viewers a link to where they can purchase Thorn Changer if they're interested. Thanks.
Chapter Five Part Two will be available tomorrow.