Sherwood Smith Quote

My eyes burned with hot tears. Not for my own defeat, for that merely concerned myself. Not even for the unfairness. I wept in anger and grief for the terrible decision that Vidanric faced alone, with which I could not help. Either he consigned all the Court to death and tried to fight against a sorcerer, or he consigned the remainder of the kingdom to what would surely be a governance more dreadful than even Galdran’s had been.Vidanric stood silently next to me, his head bowed a little, his forehead creased with the intensity of his thought. There was nothing I could do, either for him or against his adversary. I had from all appearances been dismissed, though I knew if I moved I’d either get the knife or the spell. So I remained where I was, free at least to think.And to listen. Which was how I became aware of the soughing of the wind. No, it was not wind, for it was too steady for that. But what else could it be? A faint sound as yet, like a low moan, not from any human voice. The moan of the wind, or of--I sucked in a deep breath. Time. I sensed that a diversion was needed, and luckily there was Flauvic’s penchant for play. So I snuffled back my tears and said in a quavering voice, What’ll happen to us?Well, my dear Meliara, that depends, Flauvic said, with that hateful smile.Was the sound louder?Maybe I’ll change my mind, I mumbled, and I felt Vidanric’s quick glance. But I didn’t dare to look at him. Will you save Branaric and Nimiar from being smashed if I-- I couldn’t say it, even to pretend.Flauvic’s gold-lit eyes narrowed. Why the sudden affect of cowardice?The sound was now like muted drums, though it could be the rushing of my own blood in my ears. But the scintillation had intensified, and I felt a tingle in my feet, the faintest vibration.Flauvic looked up sharply, and the diversion, brief as it was, was lost. But it had been enough. For time, I said. Look outside.Flauvic shoved past us and ran in a few quick strides to the doors. Vidanric and I were a step behind. Meeting our eyes was the strangest sight I believe ever witnessed at Athanarel: Standing in a ring, reaching both ways as far as we could see, was what appeared at first glance to be trees. The scintillation in the air had increased so much that the air had taken on the qualities of light in water, wavering and gleaming. It was hard to see with any clarity, but even so it was obvious what had happened--what the mysterious breezes just before dawn had been.By the hundreds, from all directions, the Hill Folk had come to Athanarel.

Sherwood Smith

My eyes burned with hot tears. Not for my own defeat, for that merely concerned myself. Not even for the unfairness. I wept in anger and grief for the terrible decision that Vidanric faced alone, with which I could not help. Either he consigned all the Court to death and tried to fight against a sorcerer, or he consigned the remainder of the kingdom to what would surely be a governance more dreadful than even Galdran’s had been.Vidanric stood silently next to me, his head bowed a little, his forehead creased with the intensity of his thought. There was nothing I could do, either for him or against his adversary. I had from all appearances been dismissed, though I knew if I moved I’d either get the knife or the spell. So I remained where I was, free at least to think.And to listen. Which was how I became aware of the soughing of the wind. No, it was not wind, for it was too steady for that. But what else could it be? A faint sound as yet, like a low moan, not from any human voice. The moan of the wind, or of--I sucked in a deep breath. Time. I sensed that a diversion was needed, and luckily there was Flauvic’s penchant for play. So I snuffled back my tears and said in a quavering voice, What’ll happen to us?Well, my dear Meliara, that depends, Flauvic said, with that hateful smile.Was the sound louder?Maybe I’ll change my mind, I mumbled, and I felt Vidanric’s quick glance. But I didn’t dare to look at him. Will you save Branaric and Nimiar from being smashed if I-- I couldn’t say it, even to pretend.Flauvic’s gold-lit eyes narrowed. Why the sudden affect of cowardice?The sound was now like muted drums, though it could be the rushing of my own blood in my ears. But the scintillation had intensified, and I felt a tingle in my feet, the faintest vibration.Flauvic looked up sharply, and the diversion, brief as it was, was lost. But it had been enough. For time, I said. Look outside.Flauvic shoved past us and ran in a few quick strides to the doors. Vidanric and I were a step behind. Meeting our eyes was the strangest sight I believe ever witnessed at Athanarel: Standing in a ring, reaching both ways as far as we could see, was what appeared at first glance to be trees. The scintillation in the air had increased so much that the air had taken on the qualities of light in water, wavering and gleaming. It was hard to see with any clarity, but even so it was obvious what had happened--what the mysterious breezes just before dawn had been.By the hundreds, from all directions, the Hill Folk had come to Athanarel.

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About Sherwood Smith

Sherwood Smith (born 1951) is an American fantasy and science fiction writer for young adults and adults. Smith is a Nebula Award finalist and a longtime writing group organizer and participant.
Smith's works include the YA novel Crown Duel. Smith also collaborated with Dave Trowbridge in writing the Exordium series and with Andre Norton in writing two of the books in the Solar Queen universe.
In 2001, her short story "Mom and Dad at the Home Front" was a finalist for the Nebula Award for Best Short Story. Smith's children's books have made it on many library Best Books lists. Her Wren's War was an Anne Spencer Lindbergh Honor Book, and it and The Spy Princess were Mythopoeic Fantasy Award finalists.