Victory's Cost [Darkover series]
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by Patricia Cirone
Category: Fantasy/Science Fiction
Description: Grai, the seventh son of a minor king, felt out-of-place at home. He hoped that he would fit in at the Tower, but the leroni seemed to find him as useless as his family did. And then he started to get strange dreams...
eBook Publisher: Marion Zimmer Bradley Literary Works Trust, 1993 Towers of Darkover
eBookwise Release Date: December 2008
16 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [32 KB]
Reading time: 15-22 min.
All Other formats: Printing DISABLED, Read-aloud DISABLED
"One of the things I've always been curious about is how a chieri would relate to being in a Tower. This story attacks that question--and introduces us to some extremely intriguing characters. This, of course, is what writing is all about--a chance to live for a time with interesting and different people, and to live more lives."--Marion Zimmer Bradley, author of the Darkover novels
"I ... I'm honored, vai dom, that you would greet me personally."
"It was my turn," answered Rudir. "Here at the Towers we share duties," he said haughtily. "It won't be what you're accustomed to. No fleets of servants, no lavish banquets."
He flung open a door. "No harem suites." Rudir, his eyes narrowed, waited for Grai's reaction.
Grai was grateful for once that the chieri face he'd inherited from some long-forgotten ancestor was difficult to read. Only those who knew him extremely well had learned to catch the slight changes that divulged his feelings.
Grai just nodded and carried his gear into the closet-sized room. The other sighed as if disappointed.
"It's not often we get young princelings here. They usually demand that matrix technicians drop their work and devote their time to following them up and down vale until they learn just enough laran to lob death at each other. Here, you leave your rank outside the gates. In a Tower only laran counts. And until you prove you have it in full measure and can manipulate it effortlessly, you're nothing. Doubtless a daunting change for you." The other turned on his heel and stalked away.
Grai felt like muttering after him that being the strange-looking, throwback seventh son of a third-rate king perpetually embroiled in others' wars, he'd felt pretty close to nothing all his life. But there would be no point. The man obviously resented the nobility; probably some unacknowledged nedestro son and still smarting from it. Protesting would only give him more ammunition. The only way to reach someone like that was to work hard and show him.
As he would. Grai wasn't here to learn mind-numbing and weapon hurling. Rudir had said rightly that he could have learned that at home. Grai wanted to learn real laran. The kind that built beautiful towers and smooth, flawless roads, the kind that summoned rain for the crops and nourished the land. It was why he had journeyed fifteen days to come to a tower, leaving behind family, rank, and his father's latest war.