my father isn’t man of too many words. he isn’t given to grand overtures of sentiment, or overdone gestures and appeasements—a hagfish could be chewing on his hand, teeth sunk in deep, and you wouldn’t know, not unless he wanted you to. he’s good at bearing pain. but Mother’s death changed him, ripped him open. it changed us both. and we’ve never really recovered. i used to believe loss could be healed. that isn’t true. it’s only dulled.
“Six months have passed since you were accused by the Royal Spymaster of murdering the Empress and conspiring to abduct her daughter Emily, the royal heir. Now, locked away in Coldridge Prison, the time of your execution draws near.”