Chapter 2 here
Chapter 3 here.
Chapter 4 here.
Chapter 5 here.
Chapter 6 here.
Chapter 7 here.
Chapter 8 here.
Chapter 9 here.
Chapter 10 here.
The bed was soft and fluffy; it smelled of an herb Malina could almost remember and it felt like sleeping in a pile of silk and feathers, which she thought might be a bit more accurate than intended.
The sand-cat slept on the pillow Malina wasn’t using, and thankfully, he did not snore.
She had fallen asleep far more easily than she’d expected – a strange place with nothing but the reassurances of a cat that she was safe; a place far from home where magic seemed to do all the housekeeping, when she had considered magic something that was barely in one’s life, or at least barely in her life; a place where she was still, when she came down to it, quite lost. She had slept solidly, but as the sun filtered in through screens of silk, paper, wood, and stone, all of her dreams were loud in her memory.
She opened her eyes to the bedroom, the Queen’s sleeping-chamber, which was draped in silk so that the limestone walls seemed very far away, although it was not a huge room. She closed her eyes to pull back to mind the banners flying in the air, crisp and perfect.
“Three spears azure, upright, oh, bother.” Malina furrowed her brow. “I was never good at all that terminology. Three spears azure, upright, per chevron, with tips bloody, on a field vert, the border or.” She saw the banner fluttering, and it seemed to her like the blood on the spears, the spears themselves, were suddenly real.
“The three chiefs of the place that became the Ever-Flowing Fountain, the Karanala.” The cat had not yet opened his eyes. It didn’t seem to matter. “They lay their spears down on the green grass where it still remained green and not red with blood, and they swore an ever-lasting peace, so long as the fountain flowed.” Continue reading