In celebration of the impending release of The Very Best of Kate Elliott, we are sharing story excerpts from the collection.
Today’s preview comes from “The Queen’s Garden.“
Pleasesit down, the youngest girls in front and the older on the pillows
behind. Close the doors so no one is distracted by the blooms and by
the sunbirds and peacocks in the garden. The only blooms I want to
admire are your attentive faces. Now that I have lit the incense and
we have said the prayers to our divine ancestress, I can begin.
carefully to what I am about to tell you.
the day their father the king Karanadayara gravely insulted the
envoys of a powerful emperor, his daughters Princess An and Princess
Yara awoke from their complacency. In the years since their mother’s
death they had allowed his affection to lull them into thinking all
would go forward as it always had down the generations since the
first queen, the Lady Rhinoceros, had established her sacred presence
in the queen’s garden.
has become too full of himself.” Fine lines wrinkled An’s
delicate brow as she frowned. “Ever since Mother’s death he has
forgotten to rule wisely as our regent and instead rules pridefully.
We should have seen it before it came to this.”
he is right to refuse to pay tribute!” objected Yara.
so loud. That may be, but we cannot defeat the Empire of Saro in open
war. There are quieter ways to deflect the empire’s interest. When
the envoys return home, the emperor is required to avenge the insult
or he will look weak to his own court. This will be the excuse he
fidgeting and An pensive, the sisters watched their father gesture
for the next supplicant to come forward. The king’s color was
heightened and his back straight with energy and tension, or so Yara
described him to An. The mutilation had put him in a good mood, and
with a generous smile he welcomed each new group of visitors come to
pay their respects.
The Very Best of Kate Elliott will be available for sale by all finer outlets on February 10, 2015.
For more on The Very Best of Kate Elliott, visit the Tachyon page.
Cover art by Julie Dillon.
Design by Elizabeth Story.