The most terrifying part of Coriane’s nightmares is their plausibility. She is wrenched from sleep in a cold sweat nearly every night because it could have been real this time. A cold, forgotten death in the House Jacos estate. A knife in her back at the hands of Elara or any of the dozens of others who sneer at the unworthy Singer Queen.
But there is a good dream buried amid her nightmares that she can never seem to remember.
It’s a house on a quiet riverbank, or a cabin tucked away in a forest, where royalty and Silver blood and etiquette and intrigue seem like little more than silly stories.
It’s her and Tibe in simple cotton clothes unadorned by jewels or precious metals and unburdened by the responsibilities and perils of the throne.
It’s three, four, maybe even five children, with filthy knees and wild hair and a penchant for climbing too high into the trees when Mother and Father aren’t watching.
It’s a transport that Coriane restored from old parts thrown away by people who simply didn’t know how to use them, that the family piles into when it’s time to visit Uncle Julian and Aunt Sara.
It’s Tibe using his military instinct to hunt game and feed his family and teach his children to play chess instead of to lead Reds into the Choke to die.
It’s pretending not to notice their awkward teenagers sneaking off to steal kisses from sweethearts, never even so much as hearing the word “Queenstrial”.
Datemi differenze, lingue sconosciute e luoghi lontani, città affollate e luci psichedeliche, capelli biondi e cartine illeggibili.
Datemi tradizioni incomprensibili, oceani che non ho mai visto e grattacieli luminosi.
Datemi il sole che si getta nel mare dall'altra parte del mondo.