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The Bone Shard Daughter by Andrea Stewart

The Bone Shard Daughter by Andrea Stewart

Author:Andrea Stewart [Stewart, Andrea]
Language: eng
Format: epub
ISBN: 9780356514925
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
Published: 2020-09-07T18:30:00+00:00


24

Ranami

Nephilanu Island

The theft of the caro nuts had gone well. The next step – telling Phalue what the rebels had truly planned – that hadn’t gone nearly as well. Ranami sat by the ocean, a book in hand, waiting for Phalue to arrive. She dipped a toe into the water and watched the fish dart away from the ripples.

It could have gone worse, though Ranami wasn’t sure what worse would have meant. Once Phalue had truly understood what it was like for the farmers, she’d done her part with gusto. She’d run out to the guards, claiming she’d been attacked in the woods. She’d led them on a merry chase, leaving Ranami to gather as many boxes of nuts as she could carry.

But Phalue never could do anything halfway. Once she’d made her mind up, she threw herself into the task at hand.

Once she’d made her mind up.

Ranami supposed it was a big leap – asking a person to steal caro nuts and then asking them to keep quiet as you overthrew their father. She breathed in the ocean air, heavy with the scent of rain, and tried again to read. After finding herself reading the same paragraph three times, she snapped the cover shut. History couldn’t compare to the present, not with such turmoil ahead.

“You wanted to meet me?” Phalue’s voice emanated from above.

Ranami set the book aside, rose and threw her arms around Phalue’s neck. She smelled faintly of floral soap and sweat. She must have hurried here.

Phalue’s arms tightened briefly around Ranami’s waist and then she stepped away. Their embraces had been like this lately, the brief visit of a bee to a flower and nothing more.

“I have something to ask of you,” Ranami said.

Phalue crossed her arms. “Don’t you think you’ve asked enough?”

Ranami knew that tone. They were about to have a fight. Phalue was heading breakneck in that direction, and once she got going there was little that could slow her down.

Ranami tried anyway. “Have I done something to make you angry?”

“It’s not that simple. It’s not about what you’ve done and haven’t done. Yes, I’m angry, but try to see this from my viewpoint. I love you. I would move mountains for you. And, apparently, I would betray the Empire for you.”

“You were doing the right thing.”

“It’s lovely that it’s that simple for you. You take me to the farms, you show me how terribly these people live and how little they ask for – so I try to make amends. And then you take me into the very heart of the stronghold of the Shardless Few. Remember how I said I would send a letter to the Emperor telling him the Shardless Few were here? Gio told me that they intercepted my letter. I knew it wouldn’t be so simple: one task and they’d leave. Do you think he’ll be content to let me walk away from this freely? I know too much now. You’ve brought me to the den of hungry tigers.”

Ranami was speechless.



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