33. Valykria

Musical Score: Johnny Cash, Ring of Fire The next few days of travel are uneventful. Though Aramil tries to take an interest in his surroundings, he’s subdued and sad as he reflects on the consequences of his actions. Valentine, on the other hand, is profoundly relieved to be freed of constant scrutiny and opportunities for […]

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 […]

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 […]

5. The Labyrinth

Musical Score: Adam and the Ants, The Human Beings Aramil has left a message saying he’ll join Valentine in the stable yard to train. Valentine begins a series of strike drills, alternating bursts of punches with push-ups. Valentine finds it comforting to train. It’s the one time when he knows what’s expected of him, and […]

3. The Island

Musical Score: Adam and the Ants, Killer in the Home Just a few days later, Valentine has a fresh opportunity to experience the benefits of family membership: Sieia holds a garden party in his honor. For much of the day, being honored seems to consist of standing around nursing a glass of lemonade and watching […]