Power’s Shadow: Chapter 7, Part 4

Powers-Shadow-Rough-3In order to keep last week’s installment from being too long, I may have made this week’s section a little short. Sometimes balance just isn’t in the cards. Our new player may know something about that.

 

Chapter 7, Part 4

 In some ways Count Maton’s audience room reminded Marta of King Boranac’s. Especially in the way that, although obviously designed to hold a goodly number of people, there was almost no one there save herself, Sela, and Count Maton. Marta wasn’t terribly surprised. From her few times at King Alian’s court in Lythos Marta had learned that there was Court business and then there was the king’s business, and they were seldom the same thing.

Count Maton himself was a thin, angular man with very black hair with only a sprinkling of grey. Marta had never met him before, but she didn’t need to do so to know who he was—she could feel the debt-bond between them like a tether. An invisible, ethereal tether, but no less real for all that. While he was clearly a man of some wealth and importance, it was also equally clear that her presence terrified him, and Marta doubted that the man was afraid of very much. Marta considered fear a useful thing, so far as it went. Yet a frightened man was less likely to think clearly, and that wasn’t what she needed at all. Time would tell if Maton was the man she hoped he was.

Maton rose from his ornate chair when Marta and Sela entered.

“Your servant told me to expect you. To what do I owe this pleasure, Lady Marta? And may I ask the name of your charming companion?”

The title as such meant nothing to Marta, but the fact that someone in Maton’s position was willing to use it in regard to herself told Marta a great deal. As she thought about it, she realized she’d been hearing it more and more lately, and she wondered if that was a good thing or not.

“This is Sela, your Excellency.”

Marta knew Sela had gotten at least a passing instruction at Court in Denelos, so she wasn’t surprised that her friend managed a passable curtsy, but Sela said nothing and Marta went on.

“Thank you for receiving us, Count Maton. I know you are a busy man but—“

She didn’t get to finish. There was a commotion in the hallway outside which sounded almost like a tavern brawl only without the sound of smashing crockery, and Sela reached for the hilt of her sword before its absence apparently reminded her that she wasn’t wearing it. Count Maton, for his part, merely shook his head, looking tired.

“That will be Prince Dolan. I apologize in advance.”

Marta frowned. “Prince Dolan?”

“Borasur-Morushe. Either fifth of sixth in line for the throne. Frankly, I’ve lost count.”

((Chapter 7 – Concluded))

(c) 2014 Richard Parks

Review: When I left Home-My Story by Buddy Guy with David Ritz

Da Capo Press, 2012. ISBN: 978-0-306-82179-0

 

The great bluesman Buddy Guy’s story in some ways was the story of any bluesman who left the South for Chicago near the middle of the 20th century, lured by the electified sound of what’s now called the Chicago Blues, created by earlier artists like Muddy Waters, Earl Hooker, and Howlin’ Wolf. In some ways it’s not like so many other artists’ stories at all, for so many of them lived and died in complete obscurity. That was not Buddy Guy’s destiny, and of course that’s the bulk of what this book is about.

Buddy’s early life as a sharecropper’s son in Louisiana, however, is not given short shrift. There’s a good deal of fascinating detail about what life for a black man was like at that time and in that place, the strong values his parents imbued in him, and what led him to music in the first place. This information has to inform the reader’s understanding of the next phase of his life, when he left home to make his fortune in Chicago. Continue reading

Power’s Shadow: Chapter 7, Part 3

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Chapter 7, Part 3

“You know, for a former thief you’re not that good at skulking,” Dena said. “I think she might have seen you.”

Kel shook his head. “I sincerely doubt that. I once slipped into a mansion where the master and all his retainers were reducing the place to shambles searching for his wife’s lover, gained my desire, and left again without being seen.”

Dena frowned “What were you after?”

“The wife’s bedchamber, of course. After all, I was the one they were looking for. I was quite the lad in my younger days.”

“Now older but not a whit wiser. Take foolish risks on your own behalf, Kel, not mine. I need to know where Marta is going.”

“So why don’t you turn me into a gull or some other bird again? I could watch them from the air.”

“Until they go inside. And a rat or a snake is more suitable for you but likely to either become a cat’s dinner or be crushed under the wheels of a cart in this town. You’ve always claimed to be a proper thief, and this task requires one. Prove yourself.” Continue reading

The Books Are Manifesting

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Author copies of Yamada Monogatari: To Break the Demon Gate arrived by UPS yesterday, so it’s now a real book. Pre-orders should be fulfilling soon as the outlets get their copies.

I also have word that the PS Publishing limited edition has gone to press, and should be available for soon. Not sure how soon is soon, but “soon.” When I have links and such I’ll put them up. In the meantime, we can bask in Ben Baldwin’s cover.

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