Kindred Spirits: The Meetings Sextet, Volume I
Mark Anthony, Ellen Porath
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When Flint Fireforge, dwarf and metalsmith, receives a wondrous summons from the Speaker of the Sun, he journeys to the fabled elven city of Qualinost. There he meets Tanis, a thoughtful youth born of a tragic union between elf and man. Tanis and Flint, each a misfit in his own way, find themselves unlikely friends.
But a pompous elf lord is mysteriously slain, and another elf soon meets the same fate. Tanis stands accused, and if his innocence cannot be proven, the half-elf will be banished forever. Solving the mystery will be a perilous task. Time is on the murder's side, and he is not finished yet.
as it flung its fiery tail out behind. The Speaker appeared mindless of the omen, but Eld Ailea pressed hopeful fingers against the amulet that the dying Elansa had forced into her hand; to the midwife’s people, a shooting star portended good fellowship. She hoped the star soared for the child sleeping against the Speaker’s shoulder; a half-elf would need good friends. “I will send others to see to Elansa,” Solostaran said, his voice brittle for a moment. Then he left, taking the baby with him.
will be a strong enough heart to bear it. I suppose it was little enough favor I did, bringing him here. But do you see why it had to be so, Flint?” The Speaker regarded the dwarf intently, his dark blond hair glinting in the strong light. “Despite the peace we have wrought for ourselves here, these last centuries since the Cataclysm have been dark ones, times of sorrow and upheaval. Tanis is a child of that sorrow. And if I can’t bring joy to his life, then how can the sorrow be healed for any
unbending.” Flint gulped down the rest of his tea, not venturing to sneak a look at the Speaker until he’d drained the last drop. Still, he looked up to find Solostaran watching him intently, face pitched downward so that his pointed ears were visible through his golden hair. “If we elves seem unbending to you, Master Fireforge,” Solostaran said gently but evenly, “try to remember that our ‘unbending’ elven commitment to tradition and constancy has protected us when other, more changeable,
that same burst of powerful magic also have deflected an arrow from its path?” Tanis looked wonderingly at the mage. “You are saying …” Miral drew a deep breath. “That what happened to Lord Xenoth was an accident, that you were in no way to blame.” He paused to gather his thoughts. “And that, in fact, you behaved honorably and bravely in the face of near-certain death, seeking to save Lord Xenoth.” Flint stomped over to Tanis’s desk and helped himself to a handful of sugared almonds from a
time, he thought. Anger turned to indecision in the half-elf’s eyes. “Trust me,” Flint whispered again. Finally, Tanis donned the mask. “I feel ridiculous,” came the muffled words from within the wooden cylinder. “You look lovely,” Flint said. “Come on.” They made their way through the courtyard and gardens, then around the front of the palace to the street, where they plunged into the crowd of celebrating elves. “Don’t they ever sleep?” Flint asked irritably as the third elf in a row bumped