A Conspiracy of Truths (The Tales of the Chants, #1)

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In a bleak, far-northern land, a wandering storyteller is arrested on charges of witchcraft. Though Chant protests his innocence, he is condemned not only as a witch, but a spy. His only chance to save himself rests with the skills he has honed for decades – tell a good story, catch and hold their attention, or die.But the attention he catches is that of the five elected rulers of the country, and Chant finds himself caught in a tangled, corrupt political game which began long before he ever arrived here. As he’s snatched from one Queen’s grasp to another’s, he realizes that he could either be a pawn for one of them… or a player in his own right. After all, he knows better than anyone how powerful the right story can be: Powerful enough to save a life, certainly. Perhaps even powerful enough to bring a nation to its knees.( and “Fanfic and “-style tags for this book can be found here: https: twitter.com _alexrowland status 1032314242320326656 (May contain very slight spoilers))

The Following Text Is From Page 184 Of A Conspiracy of Truths (The Tales of the Chants, #1)
Nerissineya grew into a �ne young woman: graceful, lovely, accomplished. Everything a man like Adrossinar could ever want in a daughter. He gave her the �nest and most beautiful masks there were. She had a thousand of them, each one di�erent and more beautiful than the last, but she had three that were particularly glorious. �e �rst was a mask of the so�est leather as white as a snowy mountaintop when the sun hits it at midday, with long wispy white feathers all around the edges that �oated in the barest breath of breeze. �e second was a mask of gold and silver, beaten with intricate patterns and inlaid with chips of dazzling jewels, a waterfall of silver-colored pearls falling in strands from the bottom edge. �e third was a mask of purest black, so dark it seemed to draw the light into it, so dark it made her skin and eyes seem to glow like the faces of the moons, and it was wreathed in trailing veils of black silk. Nerissineya hated each one of them, for she had a secret. All her life, she had looked into the mirror and seen a masked girl. �e mark across her face was her greatest burden. A curse, not a blessing. “How,” she would ask herself, “will I ever know who I am when I can’t see my own bare face?” How, too, would anyone else ever really know her? One day Adrossinar summoned his daughter into his presence and told her that the time had come for him to give her the very last gi� a father gives his daughter: a wedding mask. He had already visited the �nest mask makers in the city, and each of them had sent him their designs. “Choose,” he told his daughter, “for I love you more than life itself and I would see you in the most beautiful mask the city has ever seen upon your wedding day.” Nerissineya looked at the drawings and said, “�ey are all so lovely. I could never choose.” “Come now,” Adrossinar said. “You say that every time the mask maker visits.” “Your taste is so �ne, Father,” she said. “You’ll pick out the best one. I like them all exactly e�ually.” In fact, she despised them all e�ually.