Hello. Well, here is your notification that I am on track to publish yet another book next week. This one is a Spin-off/prequel to Mongrel’s Tooth and Consequences, focusing on Khazali. It can also be read as a stand-alone, and for this reason will be part of a new spin-off ‘series’ of sorts, called ‘Alone in the Mongrelverse’.
So without further ado, here you go for your snippet pleasure
In one case, the lesser noble had been so uncouth and brutal in reputation that no-one, not even Kazem, had suggested accepting it, no matter the political advantage. In the other case, Sima had reflexively tightened her hand on the Azadan suitor who had commented on her scar. Sima was more of a soldier than a flower of Djinn femininity. She had conceded to Kazem she needed to marry soon, and Khazali knew it was likely that she would marry a soldier from within the clan.
It would not harm the family. It would strengthen ties with the retainers to the clan. Nor would it advance the Sadeghi among the nobility. Any opportunity for such now lay in Khazali’s marriage potential. Sima clearly believed it would be high.
After help from her sister to clean off the dust from her arms and face, Khazali hid a grimace. The hardest part was yet to come. She was to be introduced to the notable guests. This was the time when any mistakes would be worst. The Rite of Adulthood was only marginally less formal than a wedding or a funeral for the nobility. Her etiquette needed to be impeccable.
First, she was guided by her father to where the representatives of the Seven were standing. “Azdana Khazali, let me introduce you to the representative of the Suren.” He said formally.
The young woman curtsied deeply, and said, “Your Excellency Suren. It is a pleasure to meet you.” She extended her hand, and he brushed her fingers with his lips. “Charming and skilled. Your family should be praised for nurturing you into such a blossom.” Khazali bowed her head and blushed slightly at the compliment. It indicated that despite her skill with a weapon, he felt she had lost none of a woman’s charms. Sima would have been called a fine blade. She was pretty, but her training as the only child for fifty years had made her more masculine than the higher nobility, or the Seven would have accepted in a wife.
Next was the cousin from the Miahran. After she was introduced, after careful check of his clothes, she curtsied gracefully, although not low, and said, “My Lord of the Miahran.” This was the man she most wanted to impress with her poise and grace. What he said to his uncle would give her family the most significant improvement in status. Especially if he managed to convince the heir to take her as his first wife.