Rose of the Deadlands by Jesse Sprague EPUB & PDF – eBook Details Online
- Status: Available for Free Download
- Author: Jesse Sprague
- Language: English
- Genre: Sword & Sorcery Fantasy
- Format: PDF / EPUB
- Size: 2 MB
- Price: Free
Saiette was trapped. Trapped by the rose arbor over the stone path from her
cottage to the garden. Trapped by the square of earth under her feet.
Trapped between one patch of horizon and the small town on the downhill
Her fingers curled atop the drystack wall that made a low border
around her parents’ garden. She leaned out to look at the two paths
stretching away from the rose-decked cottage. Every morning her father
traveled the one to the left, toward the village at the base of the hill. This
path was made from fieldstones, and Saiette had trod the path so many
times she had the stones and their individual songs memorized. The path to
the right was a dirt trail that led toward the forested horizon. In the distance,
a bridge arced over a twinkling stream—that was the farthest Saiette had
ever ventured in her nineteen years. It was the edge of her cage.
Her mother’s humming filled the garden.
Saiette knew her cage was lovely. Still, it was a prison, its extent
drawn by the Deadlands cracks surrounding the village and the hill. The
bone-white crevices in the soil cut off the land from the energies running
through the world’s nations. Neither gods nor landbound nobles could feel
what transpired within the boundaries.
A sigh escaped her as her eyes foraged in the distant forest. Only
out-of-towners traveled that path. They arrived smelling of the world, of
scents and sights outside of Saiette’s realm of experience. How she longed
to acquaint herself with those things, to smell and touch the earthwormturned soil beside Birdwyn’s lakes, or to breathe Felinia’s crisp mountain
air. Instead she had only the constant floral perfume of roses and a yeasty
overlay from baking bread in the cottage—neither scent offered inspiration.
Behind Saiette, her mother’s skirts rustled.
“Someone is coming,” her mother said. Soft fingers folded around
Saiette’s shoulders. Anna’s hands were petite as the rest of her, yet their
touch surged with power.
“For you?” Saiette asked.
“No. Use your eyes, my rose.” A smile touched Anna’s velvet voice.
Saiette turned to the village path. A gangly peasant loped up the hill.
Philip. A man who wished to add bars to her cage.
Children, a home, and a husband were worthy commitments—
eventually. But she’d never sample the delights of the world with them
chaining her. And, someday, she intended to be free, to see a high noble
soar overhead on a gryphon and to thrill with fear as Bouraster’s wolves
howled in the night.
“Don’t forget the bread,” Anna said.
“Why don’t you pull it from the oven yourself, Mother?” Saiette’s
annoyance spilled into her words. She couldn’t leave this town and the
shelter of the Deadland’s cracks. She needed the protection and her
mother’s lessons. Yet as the years went on, Saiette resented more and more
that Anna did nothing outside of gardening and selling the green blooms
that covered the property with a seer’s reading etched into them.
Anna’s skirts rasped along the garden path, and then the cottage’s
wood door opened and clunked shut
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