The Last Tale of the Flower Bride by Roshani Chokshi EPUB & PDF – eBook Details Online
- Author Name: Roshani Chokshi
- Book Genre: Fiction, Romance
- ISBN # 9781984879295
- Edition Language: English
- Date of Publication: February 14, 2023
- File Format: PDF / EPUB
- PDF / EPUB File Size: 2 MB
Once upon a time, Indigo Maxwell-Casteñada found me.
I had been lost a long time and had grown comfortable in the dark. I
didn’t imagine anyone could lure me from it. But Indigo was one of those
creatures that can hunt by scent alone, and the reek of my desperate wanting
must have left a tantalizing, fluorescent trail.
Before Indigo, I avoided places where money served as pageantry rather
than payment. I clung to the opinion that they were loud and crass, the
shabby but sturdy armor of a poor man. In those days, I was poor. But I had
become rich in expertise, and it was in this capacity that I served as a
visiting curator to L’Éxposition Des Femmes Monstrueuses. The exhibit had
brought me to Paris on someone else’s dime and, eventually, to the Hôtel de
Once one of the royal apartments of Louis XIV and Marie Antoinette, the
Hôtel de Casteñada now ranked among the finest hotels in the world. The
vaulted ceiling, a restoration of the original, I was told, still showed
indifferent, muscular gods reclining amidst gold-bellied clouds. Ivy lined
the walls, through which the snarling faces of stone satyrs peered and
panted at the guests.
It was common knowledge that each of the Casteñada hotels centered on
a fairy-tale motif. I gathered this one was an homage to Gabrielle-Suzanne
Barbot de Villeneuve’s La Belle et la Bête—Beauty and the Beast—and
while I hated to admit it, something about it seemed not of this world. It
was so lovely I could almost ignore the crowd of models and DJs, red-faced
businessmen and whatever other brilliantly arrayed and ostensibly vapid
creatures such beautiful places attracted.
“Sir?” A slim, dark-skinned waitress appeared at my side. This was the
second time she’d stopped by my table. I had chosen one near the back of
the room so I might keep an eye on the entrance. “Are you sure I cannot get
I glanced at the menu beside the haphazard collection of notes I’d
prepared for the evening. The cocktails started at fifty euros. I smiled at the
waitress, raised my half-filled glass of water, and then tapped the empty
dish of complimentary spiced nuts.
“Perhaps another of these?” I asked. “My guest must be running late.”
The waitress managed a brittle smile and walked away without another
word. She probably thought I was lying about meeting someone. Even I
couldn’t quite believe my intended guest would deign to meet with me.
After months of searching for the whereabouts of a thirteenth-century
grimoire, I had traced it to the private collection of the Casteñada family.
Initially, my requests to view the piece had gone unanswered. This was not
surprising. I was well known only in academic circles as a Middle Ages
historian with an interest in the preservation of incunabula. I had nothing to
lose but time. So I wrote letter after letter, stood for hours as the fax
machine spit them out into offices around the world. I lost a tiny fortune in
long-distance phone calls until, finally, I received a message one week
before I flew to Paris.
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