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By Orson Scott Card

A darkish and strong fable from the bestselling writer of Ender's Shadow.

Enter the town of Hart's desire, governed by means of gods either strong and detached, riddled with sorcery and revenge. the town used to be captured through a rebellious lord, Palicrovol, who overthrew the harsh king, Nasilee, hated via his humans.

Palicrovol, too, used to be merciless, as befitted a king. He took the genuine mantle of kinghood by way of forcing Asineth, now Queen via her father's loss of life, to marry him, raping her to consummate the wedding. [But he was once no longer merciless sufficient to rule.] He enable her stay after her humiliation; reside to undergo a daughter; stay to come from exile and retake the throne of Hart's Hope.

But she, in flip, despatched Palicrovol into exile to reproduce a son who could, within the identify of the God, take again the dominion from its merciless Queen.

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Why did they construct this position? Fly puppy, sky puppy, ice water, less than water. The thread of the remembered course grew longer, and Orem puzzled if he may perhaps carry all of it in his brain. And all alongside the partitions, the little slits. The hall tipped left and down, and the ground was once slick demanding dust with a skinny skiff of water working over it. Orem’s foot skidded. He braced himself opposed to the wall. His longest finger slipped right into a hole within the bricks. The water flowed down his arm. “Name of God,” Braisy acknowledged. “Get your hand out. ” Orem retrieved his finger from the slit. “Look at your arm. ” It used to be rainy. Braisy held the lamp over it, studied the place the water had flowed. “Should be black. will be black, boy. It’s the place they placed the ashes of the lifeless. They replenish the slits with the ashes of the useless, and if you happen to get the water on you, then you—but you don’t flip black, do you? What are you, boy? ” They got here to a stairway down. The water cascaded over the stairs. They descended, a step at a time. Water begun dripping from the arched bricks overhead. from time to time the lamp hissed whilst a drop struck it. Braisy appeared to wince with every one drip that hit him. “Quiet here,” Braisy stated softly. “The guards have tunnels via the following, to pay attention for individuals like us, attempting for the opening. And in case you imagine to name for aid, take note this—everyone who’s taken within the paths of the outlet regularly says they have been pressured, continually claims they have been misplaced within the Tombs. The protect cuts them up besides, in little items, boy. Cuts them up in little items. contemplate it sooner than you shout for aid. ” the steps stopped, and now it used to be rock overhead, no longer masonry. right here and there have been posts to shore up the roof of the tunnel. The water ran sluggishly; the place wouldn't it drain to, in spite of everything, on the backside of the area? “What are you going to do with me? ” Orem whispered. “Shut up,” Braisy spoke back. extra twists and turns, and Orem felt the ground of the tunnel start to incline. They have been mountain climbing now, and the water grew shallower and commenced to run opposed to their direction, downward, and eventually they have been on an upward mountaineering corkscrew throughout the rock. while the trail had crossed itself thrice, the stone partitions and steps made manner for wooden. “Slowly,” whispered Braisy. “No squeaks, no creaks. ” A step at a time, putting their toes on the edges of the steps, they crept upward. by surprise he cracked his head opposed to a ceiling. there has been a roof over them, soft planks backward and forward of the wood stair, and the stair ran correct up into it and stopped. “That’s correct, knock,” Braisy whispered. “Why now not name out a greeting? We’ll no longer cross you for vivid, do we? ” Braisy clambered awkwardly up beside him and reached along with his finger till he discovered a gap in a single of the planks. He waggled his finger round, then held the lamp up opposed to the outlet. The flame flattened, then leapt up. For greater than a minute he held the lamp there, after which the board flew upward, and the single beside it, and the single beside that, until eventually there has been the way to climb out. The forums have been subtly hinged and silent.

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