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A Draw of Kings

A Draw of Kings

Description : A Draw of Kings

DEEP WITHIN, ADORA CONTINUED to harbor the possibility that her uncle, King Rodran, might still live, but the pallid faces of those on the ship, especially Errol’s, refuted all hope.

As always, Errol’s presence drew her gaze as a lodestone drew iron, and the thought of him made her acutely aware of herself: the feel of her hair against her face, the way the fabric of her clothes caressed her skin as she moved, the warmth of her blood pulsing through her veins.

She resisted the urge to scan the deck for him. He would be at the stern, close to the rail. Seasickness, dosed at intervals by Tek’s store of zingiber root, kept him at the rear of the ship, away from her bout with Rokha.

Knees flexed, Adora attempted to distribute her weight as evenly between front foot and back as skill and practice could contrive. Tucking a contrary strand of her golden blond hair behind one ear, she sighted along the wooden staves that served as her practice sword and circled her opponent, searching for an opening that didn’t exist.

The wind, bitter with cold and grief, carried the tang of salt to where she stood. When she wet her lips, the taste of decay beneath the flavor of the waters of the Beron Strait filled her mouth. Errol’s majority was still less than a year in his past, yet she, the only princess of Illustra, wavered between desiring his protection and wanting to safeguard him in turn. She started to laugh but held it back.

“Is something funny, Princess?” Rokha asked. Naaman Ru’s raven-haired...