The Native Tongue

When wine flows tongues wag. Tempers flare. A war of words escalates toward bloody war, resurrecting the sins of the past and threatening to surpass them.

A blind harper; harsh-tongued, hot blooded, bearing a grudge that could spark a war.

A merciless judge; discarded, exiled, determined to see the Queen’s law enforced to the letter.

And Daniel Duncanava; dutiful son, faithful servant, loyal subject. A mild man, determined to stop these two jabbering fools. Stop them before their petty squabbling ignites a hidden powder keg that will divide his family, shackle his nation, and ravage the future of the world.

Both Lord Goromond and Sir Moray turned at the sound. I had accidentally armed Peregrine with the steel-stringed harp. That harp was the native harp; it didn’t know any of the sounds of polite society. It was a night harp, and the sounds it spoke were the empty spaces between the strings, the silences a Queen’s Magistrate was never meant to hear. It was a sharp and dangerous weapon in Peregrine’s hands, doubly so now that his madness had surfaced.

—The Native Tongue, by Patrick O'Sullivan