From Sword & Illusion:
Varian hated days like this. He had only arrived back on
Tellan late last night, and before he’ʹd even had a chance to have
some breakfast, he was assaulted with numerous complaints from
various parts of his kingdom.
He sat at his desk in his office. The sun shone through the
huge, iron-framed windows behind him. He’ʹd removed the
massive draperies his sister Gloriana insisted were necessary to
keep the light from fading the upholstery.
The big desk seemed to loom over the delicate love seats and
spindly-legged tables, but Varian had put his foot down when she
had tried to have the desk removed. It had belonged to the rulers of
Tellan since they first came to this world and made it habitable.
Varian had memories of both his father and grandfather
sitting here, and he wasn’ʹt willing to put such an heirloom aside
just because it offended his sister’ʹs decorating sense. This was his
office, not hers, and he was Prince.
Several of his advisers hovered around his desk as he read
proposed bills and proclamations.
Suddenly, he stopped shuffling papers. His hands shook as
he saw a petition from one of his nobles who wanted to have his
wife declared dead.
“Where is Lord Julian Maurice?” Varian asked, looking at his
“He is on World Afei, home world of his wife, comforting
“How long has his wife been missing?”
Councilor Lianuin glanced at the other men, then faced the
Prince. “The Dragons took her seventeen years ago, Sire. Before you
ascended to the throne, and he’ʹs spent his entire fortune, and more,
traveling all over the Known Worlds searching for her.”
Varian swallowed. He could say nothing else. Lord Julian
had waited longer than he had when his wife had gone missing,
and spent more… He shook his head and signed the petition.
He handed it to a servant. “Please see that this is conveyed to
Lord Julian with our condolences. Tell him that if he needs
anything from us, we will do all we can to help him and his
“Yes, Sire.” The servant left the room.
“It was the right decision,” Councilor Lianuin said.
Varian wasn’t sure if Lianuin was referring to what he’d just
done or what he’d done five years earlier, in declaring his own first
wife dead, and he didn’t want to pursue it. He merely nodded and
went back to his work.
If you want to read more, and I truly hope you do, please check out Sword & Illusion at all your favorite online bookstores, where it is available either as an ebook or paperback. For those who have discovered the fun of listening to books, either in the car or while cooking or something, S&I is also available at Audible.com!
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