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Baron Piers and Lady Ilane of Mindelan watched Keladry read the reply from the training master. A Tortallan who did not know them well might have thought the man and woman felt nothing, and that even their ten-year-old daughter was only concerned, not upset. That was far from true. The family had spent the last six years living in the Yamani Islands, where displays of deep emotion were regarded as shameful. To get the Yamanis to respect them, they had all learned to hide their feelings, even Keladry. Home in Mindelan again they still acted as Yamanis, hiding uneasiness and even distress behind still faces.

Kel struggled to reread the letter, afraid to say a word. If she did, her shaking voice would give her away completely. Instead she waited as she tried to control the anger and sense of betrayal that filled her.

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