20. Blood for Blood

Musical Score: Marilyn Manson, Kiddie Grinder Once he lights the candle, Valentine says aloud, “Fuck it.” Before he can lose his nerve, he scrawls a note to Aramil: Cousin, I need your help tonight with an urgent matter. Please come as soon as you receive this. —Xάρων He summons a footman. “No reply — make […]

19. Flashing Eyes

Musical Score: The Boomtown Rats, Fall Down Ariadne is buried immediately, due to the fear of poison. At first, Valentine can’t grasp that she’s dead. At her funeral, he keeps thinking of little things he wants to tell her when he sees her again. Long before he declared himself, asked her to be his wife, […]

18. We See You, Charon

Musical Score: David Bowie, Cactus As they leave the juggler’s booth, Ariadne admits that she doesn’t feel well. She’s sunburned and faint from the heat. Sieia finds a place for her to sit in the shade of a tree, organizes Aramil to get water and cold compresses, and sends Valentine to find the coachman and […]

17. The Carnival

Musical Score: Download, Streaked Valentine and Ariadne are relaxing on a garden bench, waiting for Aramil to show up for a midmorning weapon lesson. Ariadne is reading a novel, and Valentine is lying with his head in her lap, taking in the bees’ trajectories as they shuttle to and fro with loads of pollen. Aramil […]

16. The Gallery

Musical Score: Marilyn Manson, Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) It’s overcast as Valentine walks to the Shelawn townhouse the following morning. After yesterday’s performance, he’s determined to start teaching Aramil at least the basics of archery, so he’s carrying his longbow and quiver. As he strides through the sweetly green city squares, the wind […]

15. Epic Luck

Musical Score: Adam and the Ants, Making History Valentine has a kind of secret now. Inglorion — Sieia’s half-brother, Valentine’s cousin — is a high-ranking, token-holding member of the Beholder clan. At first, Valentine avoids discussing this with Sieia. There seems to be nothing to say, and conversation implies judgment, decision, action. Sieia seems hold […]

14. Inglorion Returns

Musical Score: David Bowie, Station to Station When Valentine returns to the townhouse, a footman intercepts him and leads him to Sieia’s withdrawing room. Apparently she’s decided to send footmen with verbal instructions instead of notes. He’s grateful for her delicacy — it saves him the trouble of questioning the messenger and dissembling.  It’s gloomy […]

13. Lessons in Elvish

Musial Score: Download, Beauty in the Eyes Valentine and Sieia are first down to breakfast. “I’ve found someone to tutor you in High Elvish script,” she says, while pouring out Valentine’s coffee. “I’m proud I thought of it. Albertus is the head archivist for Liamelia. You’ll like him — he’s a pleasant old fellow. He […]

12. Matters Between Men and Women

Musical Score: The Pixies, Gigantic Valentine is delighted to discover that gray elves resemble the Drow in one important respect: engagements are long, and chaperonage is deliberately casual. Elves are not particularly fertile, so the risks are few, and the benefits are viewed with affectionate indulgence. Most marriages in Liamelia are dynastic, but that doesn’t […]

11. I Couldn’t Turn Back If I Wanted To

Musical Score: Download, Suni C Valentine has dutifully shown up at a ball of Sieia’s, largely to distract himself from his internal ethical debate. He’s distracted, though. The weather itself has a kind of moody intensity. Even here, in a stuffy ballroom lit and heated by dozens of candles, he can feel a thunderstorm rolling […]