Chapter 11 Part 5 | Son in Sorrow | IHGK Book 2

Harsin folded Ansella's arms over her chest. The Friends brought the shroud around her body; Harsin and the children took turns sewing it closed. Emsa gave Ansella's velvet-wrapped hair to Sedra, who accepted it with shaking hands. The Friends took up the body in its coffin again and returned to the main hall for the walk to the royal section of the catacombs.

A ramrod-straight, barrel-chested man in the dark Tremontine red uniform of a colonel of the Royal Cavalry waited in the hall; the uniform's markings were of the First Cavalry Battalion of the Whithorse Guard, and medals covered its front. Tradition banned weapons from the Hill, and his sword sheath hung empty at his side. The man held his black fur winter uniform hat under his arm. Gray threaded the black hair fringed round his head as well as his neatly trimmed beard, and his weather-lined face flashed a heavy grief before he snapped to attention.

Chapter 4 Part 6 | Son in Sorrow | IHGK Book 2

Temmin came to himself, still feeling Lassa's delight in fashionable clothes and freedom. "She reminds me of Elly," he said.

Teacher echoed his smile. "Lassanna of Whitehorse could be said to be a spiritual sister to the Princess, yes."

"But why is her story important? It's not real history, is it?"

"The History contains the forgotten stories, especially those of the Kingdom's women--your family's women in particular. Did you know anything about Emmae before you heard her story?"

All the kings of Tremont--Temmin had the entire line memorized all the way back to Temmin the Great. But the queens? No, unless they brought substantial holdings or benefit to the Kingdom. Ilhovin the Peacemaker married a princess of Sairland and cemented the final truce between the colonizer and the once-colonized at last, for instance, but he didn't know her name. In marrying Princess Emmae, Warin the Wise secured Litta for his son Gethin the Third, but Temmin hadn't known her name or her story until Teacher told him last year.

"All right," Temmin admitted, "if you say it's important, then we start with her, and I'll find out what her connection is with Temmin the Bastard at some point, I suppose." He closed the book and began to rise from his chair when a thought took him. "Teacher, is there any news about my sister Mattie?"


Chapter 4 Part 2 | Son in Sorrow | IHGK Book 2

For the first time in almost a year, Temmin found himself at loose ends. His ride with his mother took up part of the morning, but they were back by breakfast. He was not allowed to leave the Keep or its grounds. He might go to the stables. At home, the Estate's stablehands welcomed and then ignored him, treating him as a sort of honored comrade. At the Keep he made the men uncomfortable and formal; it turned a pleasure into a pointless exercise. Given time, he could have won them over, but he didn't have time. He would be at the Keep just a week.


Chapter 14 Part 2 | Lovers and Beloveds | IHGK Book 1

Temmin woke to a gentle clatter of dishes, and a savory smell of roast beef, potatoes, warm bread, and a bit of a cabbage-y smell that might be broccoli. He must have slept through tea. Did he have lunch? His stomach seemed to think he hadn't. "Jenks?" he said. He sat up and pushed the hair out of his puffy eyes.

"Harbis, Your Highness," said the valet in his irritating, melodious tenor, nothing at all like Jenks's gravel-filled baritone.

"Oh, it's you," grumbled Temmin.

"It is me, to be sure, sir," said Harbis. "If you please, sir, your dinner has been sent up. You seemed ill-disposed to dine with your family." He had perfectly appointed the little table; its damask cloth shone clean and white, and the valet's elegant, slender hands fluttered among the dishes, removing silver covers with unfamiliar gestures Temmin found annoyingly graceful.

Chapter 13 Part 13 | Lovers and Beloveds | IHGK Book 1

Temmin came out of the book sobbing. Her years of loneliness, her yearning for love: her father broke her heart, and when she finally thought she'd mended it, Warin broke it again. He felt every ache of it, but unlike Emmae, he knew what Warin had gone through, and why. "Warin loved her! Why didn't she know? She was so lonely and unhappy, how could she turn him away?"

"A handkerchief, Your Highness," Teacher said, handing it over. "You have seen this story through her eyes. Is it not possible he did betray her? Is it not possible he expected too much, too soon?"

Chapter 13 Part 3 | Lovers and Beloveds | IHGK Book 1

Temmin's charge down the Temple steps caught Mardus off-guard. "Your Highness," he called as he ran after the Prince, "I was in conference with the captain of the Temple's Own--I thought we were here for the day--"

"There's been a permanent change of plans. You won't need to talk with the Temple's Own for some time yet, if ever," said Temmin in a thick voice. "Where's my horse? I want to get out of here."

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