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320 pages, ebook
First published October 2, 2018
Secrets, like memories, do not disappear just because they are buried by snow or time or distance.
“For Emory to take his father’s place as king, he must do as his father had done, and his father before him. He must conquer a dragon and rescue a damsel, and take that maiden as his bride.”
“The damsels are a legacy of nothing—no memory, no past, no family. Accept your nothing, and pray it stays that way.”
“I saved you,” Emory said.
And Ama believed him.”
“That is the way of being a woman, to carve away at herself, to fit herself to the task, but, also, to be able to carve herself in a different way, when a different shape is needed.”
“The tastes of men are not all kind.”
Before Emory had saved her from the dragon, Ama had never been lonely.
“And if something is the way it has always been, who are we to wish it otherwise? Who are we to want anything at all?”
“I have learned, lady, that ‘why’ is a dangerous word.”
“Wild beasts are not meant to be tamed.”
“I saved you,” he said again ― Why did he keep saying that? she wondered ― “and I will keep you safe.”Since she remembers nothing, he gives her the name of Ama (“A woman’s name should begin with an open sound, don’t you think?”). They return to Emory’s castle, where Ama is pampered but unhappy, as everyone around her cheerfully prepares for her wedding to Emory, but it’s clear her concerns and point of view aren’t respected. It’s a man’s world where women are subservient, and despite some kindnesses, Emory uses Ama for his own desires and purposes, and everyone expects compliance from Ama … and in fact from all women, excepting perhaps the queen mother.
The maiden nodded as if she believed him. Did she? Perhaps. It did not matter if she believed him. What she believed would change nothing.
❝One should not make a pet out of a wild beast.❞
➳Thank you Edelweiss and the publisher for an ARC of this book.