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A bell that hung in a tower high over the pages’ wing awakened Alanna at dawn. Moaning, she bathed her face in cold water. She was still exhausted from her five-day ride. For once she could have slept late.

Gary–a wide-awake, disgustingly cheerful and large Gary–came for her just as she was finished dressing. When Alanna, who hated breakfast, would have taken only an apple, Gary filled up her plate. “Eat,” he advised. “You’ll need your strength.”

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