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Jachad laughed. We Nomas need a king about as much as a snake needs a pair of boots. The Norlander took a moment to unhook a waterskin from his belt and take a long drink, then he put his hand to his throat and massaged it. Jachad knew what Eofar expected, but even though this transaction would earn more than his tribe had seen in the last half-year, he still hesitated.

Eofar answered at once, only this time his words made their way directly from his mind to Jachad's without any of the mechanics of sound. Jachad wouldn't have minded so much if that had been the extent of it, but everything Eofar felt came along with the words: an assaultive jumble of relief, anticipation, anxiety, excitement, fear, and a host of other emotions too subtle to name, all accompanied by swirling colors and strange images. For reasons no one really understood, some people—most notably, the Shadari—couldn't speak Norlander at all: the words and emotions simply didn't register for them.

In Jachad's opinion it was one of the few ways in which they were fortunate. He pressed his knuckles to his temples and tried to stay focused. Surely the Norlanders did not experience each other with such intensity; life would be unbearable. Eofar assured him. As a rule the Nomas kept themselves well informed, but somehow the caravans had missed this important bit of information. The Norlanders apparently had no trouble lying to each other, but he could never be certain of carrying off even the most innocent of deceptions—and in this case, he had no wish to share his feelings about old Governor Eonar with his only son.

The sooner the better, Jachad thought to himself. At least, he hoped it was to himself. Jachad asked briskly. With a suitably dramatic flourish, he produced the little bottle and held it up between his thumb and forefinger. Eofar's eyes shone more brightly as he examined the merchandise. Jachad shook his head apologetically. He felt Eofar's dismay and pressed his advantage. The words dropped like iron ingots, dark and hard.

Blood's Pride: Shattered Kingdoms 1 - Evie Manieri - Google книги

He reached beneath his cloak and pulled out a fat little purse. His words tailed off. Jachad scratched his head and desperately tried to conceal the fact that he had been prepared to take twenty-five. Finally he said,. Eofar's surge of relief nearly knocked Jachad backward. He wrapped the little bottle back up in the scrap of cloth and held it out with a smile. Instinctively Eofar reached for it. His hand came close enough for Jachad to feel the chill radiating from his skin before they both remembered themselves and pulled back.

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He deposited the little package carefully in the sand between them. Eofar picked up the bottle and left the purse lying in the same spot for Jachad to retrieve. He flipped opened the purse and tossed a coin to Eofar, who caught it neatly in his pale hand. Eofar ruminated as he undid the clasps of his cloak and carefully tucked the bottle into the pocket of his shirt.

Blood's Pride: The Shattered Kingdoms, Book One

Jachad answered, trying to mask his impatience with extra good cheer. They'd had this conversation before, and his answer was always the same. The bargaining had gone as well as could be expected up to this point, and now he wanted Eofar to leave so he could catch up with his companion. He certainly did not want to waste his time defending his people's customs to a Norlander yet again. It was bad enough that once he reached the city he would have to contend with the open hostility of the Shadari, who even after twenty-odd years still blamed the Nomas for failing to come to their aid against the Norlanders.

He began walking casually toward Eofar's triffon, hoping Eofar would follow. She lifted her massive head from between her front paws and sat up as they approached. Jachad patted her coarse fur, examining the small, round ears protruding from tufts of longer fur, the deep eye-ridges and long snout. With the ashas' secret passage in and out of the temple lost to history, the triffons were the only way to come and go, and Jachad was forced to ride on one of the creatures each time he came to negotiate with the governor for the garrison's supplies and sell trinkets to the soldiers.

He had grown accustomed to it over the years; the last few times, he had even opened his eyes.

Review: Blood’s Pride by Eve Manieri, Book 1 of the Shattered Kingdoms series

Eofar said as she bent her short legs slightly to make it easier for him to mount. He buckled himself into the harness and took up the reins, then stopped suddenly. Jachad turned and pretended to look where he was pointing. There was no sense in denying that they were together: Eofar's sharp Norlander eyes could easily spot her smeary footprints leading away, even in the tricky half-light. Jachad reminded himself that the best lie was simply an edited version of the truth. I'm escorting her to the Shadar.

She has some scars on her face, so I sent her on ahead. I know how you Norlanders feel about that sort of thing. A subjugated people, the oppressors and a third people on the fence. It all comes to a head when the balance finally starts to topple.

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Vision inducing elixirs and telekinesis mixed in with a fantasy Disclaimer: Received this from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. Rating: 2. It was better than okay, but I don't have a strong enough sense of "like" to fully commit to the Evie Manieri.

Dramatis Personae. Fortunes Blight.

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Blood's Pride is her first novel. She lives with her husband and daughter in New York City.