Circles in the Sands of Time

It starts after that one battle – the one where they all think the Infernal Multitude is targeting that artist because she’s an old-soul, but it turns out she has one of the Shards as well.

(In fact, Luna’s pretty sure – and Astra agrees – that even the Multitude didn’t realise she had the Shard, making it a case of the world’s worst timing when the wretched thing activates and traps them all in its Broken Reflection just when the Guardians are winning.)

So there they are, all inside the Reflection: three Celestial Guardians, a battered cadre of fiends, and, as it turns out, Kestrel.


The Testing Point

They called it a marriage, but Devryn was under no illusions. He was a hostage, a guarantee of obedience to their new overlord, a resource like the fields and towns that had been included in the terms of their oathtaking. There had been no war, but it was a surrender nonetheless – and even though he knew there had been few choices, all of them bad, when it came time to depart, he turned away from his mother the Baroness and her consort without granting them the absolution he knew they craved.


In The Twilight Of The Day

“Now remember, show him the courtesy due his title and not a whisper more.” Lady Emily lifted the lace curtain over the carriage window and glanced outside. Her lip curled faintly with distaste. “We must be almost here – the trees are all dead.”

“It is the middle of winter, mother.”

“I know the difference between a tree that has lost its leaves and one that is dead to the core,” Lady Emily snapped. “Straighten your cravat, it looks like a child tied it.”