Joreth knew when Maia entered his father’s smithy, despite having his back to the door. Her honeysuckle scent wafted through the smoke and curled like a fist in his gut. He yanked the rope to squeeze the bellows, but the rush of air couldn’t block out her voice.
“Good day, Halbor,” she said, addressing the master smith.
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It was an occasion of truce, as King Hubert of Xonia and his retinue attended the annual ceremony hosted this time by the Kingdom of Yostec. A number of other kingdoms were also participating, but the focus was on Xonia because they were the closest and fiercest rivals to Yostec, with a decades-long border dispute, and their king was young and untested. Would he make his mark here—or fail to?[…]
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It is not easy to live backwards in time, even when you are Merlin the Magnificent. You would think it would be otherwise, that you would remember all the wonders of the future, but those memories grow dim and fade more quickly than you might suppose. […]
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