The life Anghara knows has ended; everyone she loved is dead or doomed. And now she must flee far from her home or die at the hands of her half-brother Sif. A defenseless child is adrift in an unfamiliar world, pursued by the minions of a false king whose brutality knows no bounds.
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April 26, 2005
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Excerpt from The Hidden Queen by Alma Alexander
"One. Already -- and he was Anghara's."
Rima, Red Dynan's widowed queen, paced her chambers, lacing restless fingers in and out of one another in palpable frustration.
"How, my lady?"
"Poison, they think. The healers who tended him say he died in great pain. And now there are six in council. And I can be sure of only two." She looked up, her eyes haunted. "How long, March? How long before some poisoned sweet is handed to Anghara? I cannot be with her constantly, I cannot protect her all the time, not while I am trying to save her throne!"
March, the queen's man from long before her marriage, stirred from where he stood staring into the leaping flames on the great stone hearth. "It might not be too much longer," he said carefully. "There has been other news."
"What? When? Why wasn't I told?"
March smiled, an indulgent smile from an old retainer for a mistress he had known from her cradle. "You are the first to know, my lady. The messenger arrived less than an hour ago."
Rima crossed the room and stood before him. She had to look up at his face; she had always been physically frail, small-boned, almost bird-like. In moments of tenderness, Dynan used to call her his little sparrow. But there was that in her face right now, which would make many a man twice her size tread lightly. "The message?"