Orson Scott Card
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The moment young Ivan stumbled upon a clearing in the dense Carpathian forest, his life was forever changed. Atop a pedestal encircled by fallen leaves, the beautiful princess Katerina lay as still as death--while a malevolent presence stirred in the hidden depths below.
Now, years later, Ivan is compelled to return. He finds the clearing just as he left it. This time he does not run . . .
Baba Tila’s window?” Mother asked again. “Between the stones, where she left notes for you before.” “I wasn’t her only student.” Ivan shrugged. “It’s not as if there weren’t several years for someone else to find it.” “It’s simple enough,” said Katerina. They looked at her, waiting for the explanation. “I mean, the message is not for you, or you’d understand it.” “Then I should put it back,” said Ivan. “No,” said Katerina. “It was for you to find. It says to you the thing that you must
it. “Women’s intuition” wasn’t intuition at all, it was heightened observation, unconscious registration of subtle clues. Ruthie knew that her mother-in-law didn’t want the marriage, and knew that somehow she had just given fuel to that cause; Ruthie knew this, but didn’t realize that she knew it. She simply felt uncomfortable, on edge, and she noticed more when she was conversing with her future mother-in-law. Esther didn’t need to be told any of this. She knew, because she had trained herself
standing at the gate, with King Matfei held between two strong men. Other soldiers waited inside the gate of the fort. “I have come,” Katerina said, “to report to the king my father and receive his instructions.” Dimitri shook his head. “King Matfei has been struck dumb by the gods because he allowed Christians to interfere with the ways of the people.” “If the gods have struck down my father the king, why do you need to keep him under guard?” asked Katerina. “The gods need no swords. Father
Matfei, and to Katerina and Ivan too, for good measure. Then he begged for pardon for his dire offenses, and swore to be true to Christ as well, whose atoning sacrifice would make him clean again, if only the king would pardon him. King Matfei, speechless still, nodded gravely. “Let my husband, Ivan, return the sword of a true knight to you,” said Katerina. Ivan knelt before Dimitri, so their eyes were nearly level, though Ivan had the advantage of height, even kneeling. He held out the sword.
end the suspense.” “All the way up here from the wedding,” she said—ignoring him as if he hadn’t spoken—“I’ve been thinking, and I finally reached a conclusion.” He thought she meant she had reached a solution to the problem. But it was nothing so helpful. “My father has condoned this. The druzhina would not do this unless they believed they were doing his will. And that means I don’t dare ask for his help in getting you away.” “Getting me away?” asked Ivan. “If you and I don’t consummate