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  • Shalador's Lady(Black Jewels,Book 8)(84) by Anne Bishop
  • “We’ll find them.”

    Ranon closed his eyes. A music shop like the one he’d seen in Halaway. A room where the Tradition Keepers like his grandfather could teach openly what had been forbidden for so many years. And Sadi’s gift . . .

    “It’s not the same,” Daemon had said, “but the music of Scelt has a complex simplicity that I think is similar to Shalador’s music. At least as I remember it. You might enjoy it.”

    The music crystals and the brass stand. Such a simple thing, really, and not so simple. Like Sadi casually pointing out some folk music from Dharo that could be played on a flute.

    Sharing customs. Sharing hopes.

    Kind of funny, actually. Now that the Shaladorans could honor their own traditions, it didn’t sting to look beyond his own people and consider what other traditions might have to offer.


    A quick scan of the messages that had arrived that afternoon confirmed that nothing required his immediate attention, so Daemon went up to Jaenelle’s sitting room. When she marked her place in her book and set it aside, he took that as an invitation. He picked her up, then sat down in the stuffed chair with her on his lap.

    “Our guests are on their way home?” She ran her fingers through his hair, a soothing caress.

    “They are.” He called in Jared’s journal and held it up for her to see.

    “They didn’t want it?” Disappointment filled her voice and eyes.

    “They want to preserve the original and also be able to share the contents. Cassidy sent a note with the journal asking if the Queen’s gift could be extended to having a couple of copies made so that people could read Jared’s account of his journey with Lia.”

    She studied him. “That doesn’t sound like an extravagant request.”

    “It’s not. It’s also not a practical request.”

    “Ah. And what would my darling Prince consider a practical request?”

    He shrugged. “A thousand copies would be a good start.”

    She laughed. “What are you going to do with a thousand copies?”

    “For one thing, sell them in the merchant’s shop I’m opening in Eyota. They can buy the book there, then go over to the coffee shop I’m also opening and read while enjoying a cup or two of their favorite beverage.”

    She hooted. “How many shops did Gray and Ranon talk you into opening?”

    He laughed with her. “Four. Plus a loan the court can use to help the people start rebuilding their lives and villages.”

    Then his laughter faded. He cuddled Jaenelle, needing that comfort.

    “What’s troubling you?” she asked.

    “Did I do the right thing?”

    “How big a loan did you give them?” she asked.

    “Five million gold marks.”

    She laughed softly. “That explains why they both looked like they couldn’t remember how to breathe when you brought them back from the village and couldn’t string words together in a coherent sentence all through dinner.”

    “Jaenelle, did I do the right thing?”

    “Why would you ask that?

    “Because Dena Nehele is going to fall.”

    She rested a hand over his heart. “Daemon, pretend you never heard that.Act as if you’d never heard that. That’s what I’m going to do.”

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire