It had started out well enough. Gaining entrance to Duke Arisor's palace had proven trivial. This was peaceful, ordered Fairhaven, after all. The duke trusted the queen's law and the governor's vigilance. Kalev only needed to bribe one guard to leave one gate in the outer wall open. After that, he had scaled the palace's ivy-covered wall so swiftly not even the nesting sparrows stirred. The laughter and music from the grand reception in the ballroom covered any stray sounds he made, and the hired patrol tromping through the gardens had completely failed to look up to see the extra shadow moving across the stones. Duke Arisor had become too cavalier about his own safety of late. He was not the first of Fairhaven's prosperous citizens to assume that because the city was well-ordered it was essentially safe. It was but one of his mistakes.
About the Author
Sarah Zettel is an award-winning science fiction and fantasy author. She has written nineteen novels and a roughly equal number of short stories over the past ten years in addition to founding the author cooperative Book View Cafe, practicing tai chi, learning to fiddle, marrying a rocket scientist and raising a rapidly growing son. She is very tired right now.