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She lives in New York and can be visited at TamoraPierce. Twins “That is my decision. We need not discuss it,” said the man at the desk. He was already looking at a book. His two children left the room, closing the door behind them.
I want to be a great sorcerer! I want to slay demons and walk with the gods — ” “D’you think I want to be a lady? Thom and Alanna of Trebond were twins, both with red hair and purple eyes.
The only difference between them — as far as most people could tell — was the length of their hair. In face and body shape, dressed alike, they would have looked alike. You’ll study tilting, fencing — ” “D’you think I like that stuff? You’re the one who likes it, not me! They always teach the girls magic — ” The thought hit her so suddenly that she gasped. Alanna looked around and checked the hall for servants.
You can imitate his writing, so you can do new letters, saying we’re twin boys. Say in the letter that you’re to be a sorcerer. The Daughters of the Goddess are the ones who train young boys in magic, remember?
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When you’re older, they’ll send you to the priests. And I’ll go to the palace and learn to be a knight! You can’t go swimming naked, either. And you’ll turn into a girl — you know, with a chest and everything.
They’ll be traveling with us, and they can tell us apart. They know we aren’t twin boys. And maybe we can talk to Maude.
Alanna looked at her twin’s hopeful face. Part of her wanted to stop this before it got out of hand, but not a very big part. And if I don’t lose mine, she thought. Alanna shook her head. Will you have the guts for it? His eyes were cold. When Alanna finished, the woman turned and stared out the door for long minutes.
Finally she looked at the twins again. They didn’t know it, but Maude was in difficulty. She had taught them all the magic she possessed. They were both capable of learning much more, but there were no other teachers at Trebond. Thom wanted everything he could get from his magic, but he disliked people.
He listened to Maude only because he thought she had something left to teach him; he hated Coram — the other adult who looked after the twins — because Coram made him feel stupid. The only person in the world Thom loved, beside himself, was Alanna.
Maude thought about Alanna and sighed. The girl was very different from her brother. Alanna was afraid of her magic. Thom had to be ordered to hunt, and Alanna had to be tricked and begged into trying spells. The woman had been looking forward to the day when someone else would have to handle these two. Now it seemed the gods were going to test her through them one last time. She shook her head. I must try and See, in the fire.
I thought you could only heal. Thom soon followed, carrying leaves from the magic plant vervain. Maude knelt before the hearth and motioned for the twins to sit on either side of her. She felt sweat running down her back.
People who tried to use magic the gods had not given them often died in ugly ways. Maude gave a silent prayer to the Great Mother Goddess, promising good behavior for the rest of her days if only the Goddess would keep her in one piece through this. She tossed the leaves onto the fire, her lips moving silently with the sacred words. Power from her and from the twins slowly filled the fire. The flames turned green from Maude’s sorcery and purple for the twins’.
The woman drew a deep breath and grabbed the twins’ left hands, thrusting them into the fire. Power shot up their arms. Thom yelped and wriggled with the pain of the magic now filling him up. Alanna bit her lower lip till it bled, fighting the pain her own way.
Maude’s eyes were wide and blank as she kept their intertwined hands in the flames. A picture was forming in the fire. That was impossible — she wasn’t supposed to See anything. Maude was the one who had cast the spell. Maude was the only one who should See anything. Ignoring all the laws of magic Alanna had been taught, the picture grew and spread.
It was a city made all of black, shiny stone. Alanna leaned forward, squinting to see it better. She had never seen anything like this city. The sun beat down on gleaming walls and towers. Alanna was afraid — more afraid than she had ever been Maude let go of the twins. Alanna was cold now, and very confused.
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What had that city been? Thom examined his hand. There were no burn marks, or even scars. There was nothing to show that Maude had kept their hands in the fifst for long minutes. Maude rocked back on her heels. She looked old and tired. Maude looked at her sharply. He turned to Maude.
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The healing woman sighed. Tomorrow Thom and I go to the City of the Gods. Coram still did not know the change in plan. Alanna did not intend to enlighten him until they were far from Trebond.
Song of the Lioness. Alanna: The First Adventure
The letters were quickly opened and read. Lord Alan entrusted his son to the care of Duke Gareth of Naxen and his daughter to the First Daughter of the convent. Sums of money would be sent quarterly to pay for his children’s upkeep until such time as their teachers saw fit to return them to their home.
He was busy with his studies and trusted the judgment of the Duke and the First Daughter in all matters. He was in their debt, Lord Alan of Trebond. Many such letters went to the convent and to the palace every year. All girls from noble families studied in convents until they were fifteen or sixteen, at which time they went to Court to find husbands.
Usually the oldest son of a noble family learned the skills and duties of a knight at the king’s palace. Younger sons could follow their brothers to the palace, or they could go first to the convent, then to the priests’ cloisters, where they studied religion or sorcery. Thom was expert at forging his father’s handwriting. He wrote two new letters, one for “Alan,” one for himself.
Alanna read them carefully, relieved to see that there was no way to tell the difference between Thom’s work and the real thing. The boy sat back with a grin, knowing it might be years before the confusion was resolved. While Thom climbed into a riding skirt, Maude took Alanna into the dressing room.
The girl changed into shirt, breeches and boots.