When Ileni lost her magic, she lost everything: her place in society, her purpose in life, and the man she had expected to spend her life with. So when the Elders sent her to be magic tutor to a secret sect of assassins, she went willingly, even though the last two tutors had died under mysterious circumstances.
But beneath the assassins’ caves, Ileni will discover a new place and a new purpose… and a new and dangerous love. She will struggle to keep her lost magic a secret while teaching it to her deadly students, and to find out what happened to the two tutors who preceded her. But what she discovers will change not only her future, but the future of her people, the assassins… and possibly the entire world.
Now on to the post!
I thought a lot about what to write about and I decided to pick one of my favorite scenes. I'm titling this "Dancing with an Assassin."
I love this scene and I picked a song for you to listen to while reading it so make sure to click "play" on the video before you start reading!
A sudden Soaring melody pierced the cavern, followed by a fast rhythmic beat. She turned and Saw two boys in the corner, one with a flute, the other pounding at a pair of drums. She didn’t recognize them--they were too young to be her students; eleven or twelve years old, maybe? The flute player had fiery red hair and an angelic face. Did all assassins learn an instrument? Or was he being prepared for a specific mission?
“lt's an Arcaian dance song,” Sorin said, and she turned back to him. He was watching her with the oddest expression on his face--as if it mattered what she thought of this strange Party. As if he cared whether, right now, she was happy.
That was delusion. Delusion, and wine. Sorin was a killer. But he didn't look like one, right now, as he held his hand out to her.
She decided not to think about it--not thinking about things was feeling wonderful, and the wine and music made it easy. She took his hand.
"Arcaians truly know how to dance,” Sorin said, shouting now over the sound of the music—and the whoops of the others as they began to leap out on the floor. "Be glad you don’t know the words of this song, though.”
“Who says I don’t?” Ileni retorted. An Assassin whirled past them, launching himself off the rock floor and tumbling over twice in midair before landing lightly on his feet.
Sorin rolled his eyes and took her other hand. His hand was fine boned, but rough and calloused. He pulled her close with casual strength and grinned down at her.
He was closer to her than he had ever been, his arms encircling her with unyielding strength. She could feel his breath as he spoke. "Can sorcerers dance?"
She lifted her chin to stare up into his face. "l think you’re about to find out."
Actually, sorcerers couldn’t dance--not in the athletic graceful way the assassins could-but it didn’t matter. Sorin held her close and refrained from the complex acrobatics the other assassins were showing off with. They whirled around the cave floor to the tune of the music. Sorin looked down at her with his lips pressed together but curved upward at the corners. The music worked its way into lleni's blood, and she moved to its beat without really thinking. the fabric of her skirt brushing rhythmically against her legs. Exhilaration rushed through her, fueled by the music and the movement and the press of Sorin's hands against her lower hack. Every time he pulled her close she it felt like another draught of wine, making her reckless and giddy.
“Does your master know about this?” she asked at one point, when her cheek was inches form Sorin’s.
“Of course.” Sorin said. He pushed her away, twirled her around, pulled her close again.
“But Don’t worry he never comes. He knows we need some small freedoms.”
Not true freedom, of he knows about it. But who was she to talk? She had chafed against some of her training restrictions, back in the sorcerer’s compound; she had broken the rules often enough to be with Tellis. Small freedoms, every one of them, nothing that would have scandalized the Elders had they found out. For all her little rebellions, she had been content to be what she was being molded to be.
And she didn’t want to argue with Sorin now. He grabbed both her hands, and she leaned back into the swing. As her head fell back, her hair flying out behind her, she scanned the cavern. She was still looking for lrun, but her eye fell instead on Bazel. The round-faced assassin was not part of the dancing. He stood in a corner, near the piles of weapons, small and furtive. Every once in a while, one of the other assassins would walk up to him, and Bazel would hand him something too small for Ileni to see.
Sorin followed her gaze and grimaced. “Would you prefer to dance with your favorite?”
I hope you liked!! This one of my favorite scenes and songs!
I wrote my first story in first grade. The narrator was an ice-cream cone in the process of being eaten. In fourth grade, I wrote my first book, about a girl who gets shipwrecked on a desert island with her faithful and heroic dog (a rip-off of both The Black Stallion and all the Lassie movies, very impressive).
After selling my first story (Temple of Stone) while in high school, I gave in to my mother’s importuning to be practical and majored in biology at Brooklyn College. I then went to Columbia Law School and practiced law for almost two years at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, a large law firm in New York City. I kept writing and submitting in my spare time, and finally, a mere 15 years after my first short story acceptance, I sold my first novel to Greenwillow Books (HarperCollins).
I live in Brookline, Massachusetts (right outside of Boston) with my husband Aaron, a researcher and doctor at the Joslin Diabetes Center, and our three children.
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