Froi of the Exiles

Froi of the Exiles by Melina Marchetta Read Free Book Online Page B

Book: Froi of the Exiles by Melina Marchetta Read Free Book Online
Authors: Melina Marchetta
Tags: Juvenile Fiction, Fantasy & Magic
sign for him to lower his voice. ‘I know you,’ she whispered. ‘I know you’re trying to find reason where there is no place for it.’
    ‘Reason failed halfway down that mountain,’ he said. ‘I think Rafuel of Sebastabol speaks sincerely.’
    ‘Then you seriously want me to consider this plan for Froi?’
    ‘I don’t think we will ever get into that fortress any other way,’ he said.
    ‘It’s too perfect,’ she said. ‘We want the King dead. They want the King dead. They need an assassin who is of age and speaks Charyn. We have an assassin who is of age and speaks Charyn.’
    She looked at him, pained. ‘How would they have known?’ she whispered. ‘Do you think we have Charyn spies in Lumatere?’
    They had spoken often of spies in the early days after the curse was lifted. Exiles had entered the kingdom with nothing to vouch for the fact that they were indeed Lumateran. Anyone could have been a spy. They both knew that there was still a lack of trust between those who had been trapped inside and the exiles. Regardless of the years of progress, it would be some time before their kingdom was back to what it once was.
    Finnikin sighed and reached over to blow out the candle and they lay silent, listening to Jasmina’s breathing.
    ‘I hate them,’ she said, moments later. ‘It hurts to hate this much, but I do. I want them all dead, especially everyone in that cursed palace. I think of that abomination of a Princess and I want her dead as much as her father. Because I want to lie down to sleep and not imagine them coming over our mountain and annihilating my
yata
and Mont cousins first. I don’t want to imagine them clearing the Flatlands, turning our river into a bloodbath, storming your rock village. I want to stop thinking of them coming through the castle doors and doing to our daughter what they did to my sisters and my mother and father.’
    He felt her breath on him as she leaned close.
    ‘Promise me, my love. Promise me that if they come through the palace doors and there’s no hope, you do what you have to do. You make it quick for her so she doesn’t suffer.’
    Finnikin swallowed hard. He remembered the first time he was forced to make Isaboe such a heinous promise as Jasmina suckled from her breast.
    ‘Let’s not talk of these things, Isaboe.’
    He gathered them both to him and he felt her lips against the back of his hand. At times like this he ached for her, but sometimes there was more between them than their daughter.
    ‘I’ve never spoken of this,’ she said quietly in the dark, ‘but when we lost Froi in Sprie that first time, I didn’t return for the ruby ring he stole from me. It was as if I was sent there to search for him.’
    Finnikin was quiet. He had always felt threatened by the bond betweeen Isaboe and Froi. They shared a desperation to survive and there was a feralness and a darkness about them that he envied fiercely, though he was frightened by what this might mean.
    ‘I’ve questioned the intentions of the goddess these past three years, and she has whispered to me over and over again, “
You will lose him
.” ’ He felt Isaboe shudder. ‘I have a bad feeling about this, Finnikin.’
    He leaned over and kissed her. ‘And I have a bad feeling that I’ll never have a moment on my own with you again,’ he murmured. He heard a sound coming from Jasmina and he lay back down on his side again.
    ‘Tomorrow,’ she whispered, ‘between me seeing the Flatland Lords about the cistern system and you placating the fishmongers about the taxes, I think we may be close to the guest closet on the third landing before I have to go off and speak to the Ambassador about Belegonia and you have to speak to Beatriss about Sennington.’ She paused. ‘We’ll have time.’
    He sighed. ‘So I’m reduced to taking my wife up against a wall in a palace closet?’
    She chuckled in the dark.
    ‘And why do I have to speak to Beatriss?’ he asked with a groan. ‘I’d

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